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Kraft boosts Maxwell House prices 22%

(Robert Caplin/Bloomberg News)

Kraft Foods Inc. said Thursday that it raised its U.S. list prices for Maxwell House and Yuban ground coffees by 22 percent and its instant coffee by around 10 percent.

The price hikes, which were effective on Wednesday, marked the company’s fourth coffee price hike in a year and came after arabica coffee futures soared to a 34-year high this month. Get the full story »

Kraft to court: Loss of Starbucks ‘irreparable’

Kraft Foods Inc. told a federal appeals court Friday that it will suffer “irreparable harm” if its distribution deal with Starbucks Corp. ends next week.

The two consumer products giants are in the midst of ending their 12-year partnership in which Kraft distributed Starbucks bagged coffee to supermarkets and other retailers. Starbucks plans to take on the business starting March 1. Get the full story »

Kraft asks court to reverse Starbucks ruling

Kraft Foods Inc.  says the U.S. District Court should reverse its decision to allow Starbucks Corp.  to take over distribution of Starbucks’ branded packaged coffee March 1.

The packaged-food giant filed a brief late Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that Kraft will “suffer loss of customer good will, loss of a unique product line and competitive harm if Starbucks is allowed to unilaterally terminate the contract,” the brief says. Get the full story »

Smucker’s hikes Folgers, other coffee prices 10%

J.M. Smucker Co., the top U.S. packaged coffeemaker, raised prices for most of its coffee products, including Folgers, in a widely expected move as the cost of beans has soared 85 percent in eight months.

Though this was the third price increase in less than a year by the  company known as the trendsetter, many in the industry have wondered how the company managed to wait so long as tight supplies of washed arabica coffee beans have continued to fuel the price rally. Get the full story »

Snow hits home: Big companies, malls closed

Click here for photos of the 2011 Chicago blizzard

One of the biggest snowstorms in Chicago history has paralyzed businesses across the region.

The blizzard, which dumped more than 20 inches of snow on the Chicago area Tuesday night and Wednesday, will have a significant economic impact, as banks, retailers and other companies that rely on face-to-face contact with their customers were closed Wednesday or struggling to open.


Downtown businesses were mostly abandoned Wednesday morning.

One of the only lights emanating from the Thompson Center came from the Dunkin’ Donuts. The newsstand, the salon, the nail parlor, which usually bustle with commuters from the Clark/Lake stop, were closed and darkened. Get the full story »

Kraft loses bid to keep distributing Starbucks

A federal judge rejected Kraft Foods’ bid to force Starbucks Corp to keep using Kraft to distribute packaged coffee to supermarkets in North America and Europe, a decision that allows Starbucks to move ahead with a new partner.

In a ruling from the bench, U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains, New York, on Friday also noted that Starbucks could end up owing Kraft “a boatload of money” if an arbitrator decided the coffee chain breached a 1998 agreement with Kraft. Get the full story »

Starbucks: Kraft interfering with grocery transition

Starbucks Corp. told a federal judge it gave Kraft Foods Inc. ample warning of its plans to end their grocery partnership and that the food maker is now standing in the way of an orderly break-up.

In legal filings on Thursday, the world’s biggest coffee chain asked U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel to deny Kraft’s request to stop Starbucks from ending their 12-year-old deal and moving the business to a new partner. Get the full story »

Homeless man new voice of Kraft Mac & Cheese

Kraft's new "voice" of its Mac & Cheese, Ted Williams, appears on NBC's "Today" show on Jan. 6, 2011. (Reuters/Handout)

Here’s an unusual way to get a job: Ted Williams, a Columbus, Ohio, panhandler, garnered the attention of the Columbus Dispatch, which posted a video of him doing sample voiceovers by the side of the road.

From this, Williams appeared on the “Today” show Thursday morning, announcing that he’d gotten a job as the voice of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

In the video, a disheveled Williams explained that he’d studied voice in school, but developed a drug and alcohol problem. With two years clean, he said, he was hoping that a company would notice him. Get the full story »

India investigating Kraft for tax evasion

From The New York Times’ DealBook | India’s Ministry of Finance is investigating whether Kraft Foods evaded taxes in its $19 billion takeover of Cadbury last year.

Starbucks: Kraft not up to snuff in distribution deal

Starbucks Corp., which is in a legal dispute with Kraft Foods Inc. over a distribution deal, says the foodmaker has not performed up to its expectations — with Kraft admitting missteps in internal communications.

Kraft, which says the coffee chain violated terms of a distribution deal, announced late last week that a New York court may consider its request for a preliminary injunction against Seattle-based Starbucks. Both companies have until Jan. 21 to present their positions. Get the full story »

Starbucks-Kraft spat brewing since January

A feud between Starbucks Corp. and Kraft Foods Inc. over supermarket coffee sales has been brewing since at least January — far longer than Kraft has acknowledged — according to email exchanges between their top executives provided by Starbucks.

The rift became public last month, when the Seattle coffee company said it wanted to end its 12-year-old distribution deal with Kraft, which sells bags of Starbucks coffee in supermarkets and other stores. Get the full story »