Student Life

SAU students are ticked off about Atomic’s Price Bomb

(Photo courtesy of @atomiccoffeebar_

At the beginning of 2024, the Quad City establishment known for their “spin on drive thru coffee” dropped a price bomb on their loyal customers.

 Atomic Coffee Bar, known for their flavor infused Rockstar energy drinks–with creations like Starburst, Pink Drink, and Love Potion–raised their prices on specialty energy drinks. The new price changes are leaving customers scrambling for extra loose change in the drive-thru line. 

Atomic Coffee Bar, which is a big hit amongst young adults in the Quad Cities, serves coffee, lattes, baked goods, and many other treats with their Rockstar energy drinks.

The original price of their energy drinks was $4.00, while extra added flavors were $0.25 each. Now, the price of the drink has increased to $4.50, while keeping their $0.25 each extra added flavoring. This up charge may not seem like a lot, but these skyrocketing prices start to add up for superfan students. 

The recent change in Atomic’s prices has left customers questioning, why would they do such a thing? Atomic Coffee Bar employee, Caroline Jordaho told The Buzz, “Honestly the price updates don’t bother me but we had to do it because of inflation! We are still the cheapest of our coffee shop competitors around the Quad Cities and we offer menu items that make us different from the rest, she mentions Atomic hasn’t lost any business.” Caroline assured that the majority of their customers are students that still order the newly priced drink; and she suspects that this won’t change anytime soon.

A junior of St. Ambrose University and a member of the women’s lacrosse team, Anabelle Brown, says she’s confused, “I don’t get the price change, I don’t go as often as before because I would only get it for convenience. My team and I would get it all the time together but now with the price change, we don’t go as much.”

SAU freshman, Izzy Pohar says she’s upset, “I’m mad! I can’t afford to go as much as I used to. The extra $0.50 does add up for me after a while; I used to go twice every week and now I try to limit myself to once a week.” 

Erica Bostuick, SAU sophomore, hates the upcharge but it’s not holding her back from getting her favorite drink, “I think it’s annoying and I hate that the price isn’t an even amount anymore, but it doesn’t stop me from going there, I go there once a week.”

On the other hand, other students say they don’t see it as a negative and recognize it as a smart business move. Cara LinnenKamp, St. Ambrose junior, indulges in an Atomic energy drink twice weekly and has no plans on stopping. “Atomic raising their prices honestly is smart on their part because of how busy they are, but if they raise them too high people might not go there as much,” LinnenKamp said.

. The Quad Cities is home to three Atomic locations; Davenport, Rock Island, and Bettendorf. For more information on hours and menu items go to