Err, no, not really

For example, the cost of a cup of Lavazza coffee on Ryanair is the equivalent of £2.55 when converted from euros.
But if you purchased the same coffee at supermarkets, available in 100g tins for £3, each serving comes in at just six pence.
This means a mark-up of 4,150 per cent was applied to the coffee.

What’s the cost of getting a kettle to 30,000 feet?

Further, what’s the cost of the coffee that goes into a £3 Starbucks?

40 thoughts on “Err, no, not really”

  1. For various reasons, I get a couple of professional catering catalogues.

    One arrived yesterday which advertises a small one of these complicated “err, it makes coffee?” machines, with a supply of beans, for £2500. The strap line was, “comes with enough coffee to pay for itself!” Based on £2.50 a cup. Evil extortionists.

    Oh, and monopoly supplier. And “location, location, location.” Of course it is expensive.

    And the answer to your question is, I believe, 20% more than it should be if they were paying “Fair Tax(tm)”?

  2. I seem to recall that for Starbucks it’s something like 10p/serving. It’s why gourmet coffee places aren’t much more expensive – the seriously good beans only add maybe another 10p.

    It’s also why McDonalds does a reasonable espresso for 99p – they don’t have the same overheads per cup as the coffee chains.

  3. More proof that the Daily Mail and the Grauniad are just catering to different sets of idiots.

    Surely this is… obvious?

  4. Anyway, come to high-labour-cost Switzerland, where a half-portion of food in a restaurant is only 20-odd percent cheaper than a full portion.

    Because the actual cost of the food is only a small part of the cost, the labour cost is the same, as are the overheads.

    And I’m amazed that Ryanair sells coffee so cheap on the plane – that’s cheaper than a coffee at the restaurant over the road here…

  5. Of for fuck’s sake! Even discounting the costs to Ryanair, this is just a variation on the “Why does this wine cost £20 in a restaurant when I can get it at the offy for a tenner?” Prices are charged at what the market will bear, and people are prepared to pay more when sat in a plane. Plus they have no choice. This is news, how?

  6. Try getting a thermos of supermarket coffee through the government employed thugs at security and see how much it costs then,

  7. It’s that time of the month again, when newspapers trot out the “why does a cup of coffee cost £2 when the beans cost 3p?” non-story.

    Ironically, it is in the Daily Mail, which understands why a terraced house is worth £1.5m in Kensington but only £35,000 in Bootle.

  8. “What does it cost to get a kettle to 30,000 feet?”

    Should be the title of a book on basic economic reasoning.

  9. How much does the paper cost of that page the story was printed on, compared to the cost of the newspaper? I reckon there’s at least a 200% markup going on.

  10. “Plus they have no choice.”

    They have the choice of saying “No, thank you”. I doubt even Ryanair are making coffee a compulsory add-on to their fares.

  11. A comment underneath:

    “Ridiculous article, businesses buy cheap, add service and sell higher, why is this outrageous?”

    Two people actually gave this obvious statement of fact a “thumbs down”. When you see things like this, you get an understanding of why 26% of the population still intend on voting for Labour.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Trolly dollies don’t come cheap either. There is a lot less romance in flying these days and airlines can’t hire part time students like coffee shops can.

  13. “Trolley Dollies”? From my experience, the budget airlines seem to find it more cost-effective to employ gay men in the role.

  14. Rob,

    I meant those who are determined to have a coffee have no choice. “Well, you can always go without” sounds a lot like the “choice” we are offered by the NHS.

  15. And the established airlines employ frumpy, wrinkly old grandmas who would have been hot little things in the seventies. That’s why I like to fly Asian or Middle Eastern airlines.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Andrew K – “From my experience, the budget airlines seem to find it more cost-effective to employ gay men in the role.”

    Now you mention it, it does seem more common these days. On the bright side, they probably would like to be called trolly dollies. A perk of the job so to speak.

    When is discrimination rational? Is it reasonable to be less willing to accept a coffee from a Gay man air steward? Some forms of hepatitis are spread through saliva for instance. Not to mention whatever it is they have not discovered yet. And frequent fliers are likely to be more high risk still.

  17. abacab
    October 1, 2016 at 8:45 am

    And I’m amazed that Ryanair sells coffee so cheap on the plane

    Almost guaranteed its cheaper than the coffee in the airport itself.

  18. “Some forms of hepatitis are spread through saliva for instance.”

    Indeed. But don’t forget the saliva of the many trolly dollies who will have been rogered by some rich bisexual Middle Eastern goat-fucker.

  19. So Much For Subtlety

    Andrew K – “What is it that you do that makes cabin service invariably spit in your coffee?”

    You know, I have no idea. I always try to put them at their ease. Break the ice so to speak. I always say how delighted I am to see one of them gainfully employed. I always make sure they know I think Cucumber Castle is one of the most seminal albums of all time. I always point out how much I loved Simon Le Bon – and ask solicitously if they know him. After all, there can’t be that many Gays in Britain.

    It is weird.

    Still I get on better with the Gays than the women. You would think that being told it is refreshing to see people still working at their age would be taken in the spirit it was intended.

  20. Company charges for obtaining ingredients and preparing the drink for you.
    Want it cheap? Make and drink it yourself at home. Want someone else to make it for you from their ingredients? You pay them for time and other costs.

  21. Sounds cheaper than Starbucks or Costa charge in their shops. OK it won’t be instant then, but even so, it is what people general charge for a coffee. Note that when Cafe Nero was a quoted company, their accounts showed a very small profit, which worked out at about £2,000 per year per shop. Hence selling 10p of coffee for £2.50 isn’t profit gouging once the other ingredients, labour, and other costs such as location are taken into account.

  22. Hence selling 10p of coffee for £2.50 isn’t profit gouging once the other ingredients, labour, and other costs such as location are taken into account.

    Yes, and the Daily Mail knows that. Probably more than half of their readers know that. But its the weekend, dammit, and they want to be self-righteously outraged about something.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    Richardr – “Hence selling 10p of coffee for £2.50 isn’t profit gouging once the other ingredients, labour, and other costs such as location are taken into account.”

    What does the Mail on Sunday cost these days? Isn’t it £1.50? Is it gouging to sell a tiny amount of ink and paper for that much?

    How much does Ryanair charge for the paper I wonder.

  24. Note that when Cafe Nero was a quoted company, their accounts showed a very small profit, which worked out at about £2,000 per year per shop.

    Interesting. Cafe Nero was one of the companies being complained about in that link I (shamelessly) posted. If they’re not making any money it explains why they are not installing disabled ramps.

  25. DocBud: Good point. Not to mention camels. I think I’d better settle for polysexual, just to be sure I’m being fully inclusive.

  26. This is the same paper which believes an Englishman’s greatest ambition is to buy a house for £10,000 thirty years ago and flog it for £2m tomorrow.

    But don’t charge €2.55 for a coffee on the edge of space.

  27. I wonder how much they charge for coffee at the Ideal Home Exhibition, which the Mail sponsors? Do they charge 12p?

  28. ” £2,000 per year per shop.”

    Right, so you’re not (just) paying for the coffee, it’s the price for having a coffee shop there.

  29. @TimN And the established airlines employ frumpy, wrinkly old grandmas who would have been hot little things in the seventies.

    Most established airlines allow flight crew and cabin crew to bid for their various routes based on seniority (time served). For many the most attractive routes are long haul, because you can get your month’s work done in fewer days. So long-haul flights tend to be crewed by the ‘more experienced’ staff.

  30. What’s the cost of enough paper to print a copy of the daily mail? A faction of a penny?
    How much is the Mail? 65p. What a rip off.
    The only difference being that a hot coffee on a plane is actually useful.

  31. Oops, Please capitalise ‘Daily Mail’ and convert ‘faction’ to ‘fraction’ as you read. If indeed you do.

  32. The article fails to mention that your cup of coffee would cost nothing at all if you swam to Brazil, made your way to a coffee plantation, trespassed thereon, stole some beans at the requisite stage of maturation, sneaked away again, fashioned a cup or mug from clay, built an oven to fire it, collected firewood for this, produced flame (perhaps using friction, since matches cost money), contrived some sort of glaze to make the cup or mug impervious to the water you have somehow devised a way to purify … [some time later] … designed and built your own airliner, etc., etc., etc.

    No? Then welcome to the world of division of labour, the development that has raised the human race out of subsistence and into astounding plenty … and the very thing that governments of all stripes, but particularly socialist ones, do their best to destroy with their regressive tax policies. You know, the sort of policies promulgated by, it would now appear, even the rabidly moronic, house-price obsessed, “beach-body” fetishizing Daily Mail.

  33. Bloke in Costa Rica

    My comment on that DM article:

    “How much does a Daily Mail journalist cost? If you want idiotic economic analysis like this then I bet it’s at least a 4000% markup over just asking a homeless person.”

    In a restaurant, ingredients are generally about 20% of the cost of the meal.

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