Inside these posts: Packaged coffee

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Starbucks maps out plan to conquer grocery aisles

Starbucks Corp. coffee on a shelf at a grocery store in New York. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Starbucks Corp. wants to make sales of its coffee and other products in the grocery aisle rival its traditional cafe business, according to Chief Executive Howard Schultz.

The world’s biggest coffee chain is betting it can use the power of its brand to sell a portfolio of goods — such as Via instant coffee and bottled Frappuccino — everywhere food and beverages are sold, whether in a supermarket in the United States or a vending machine in Asia. Get the full story »

Starbucks raises grocery packaged coffee prices

(Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Starbucks raised its price for grocery packaged coffee on Friday by 12 percent, on average, due to still climbing coffee commodity prices.

The increase affects both Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee brands and is the company’s first price increase on grocery packaged coffee since March 2008. Get the full story »

Starbucks wins Kraft appeal over coffee deal

Packages of Starbucks coffee lined up in a supermarket in January 2011. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

It’s official: Kraft Foods will lose its Starbucks business March 1.

The final legal obstacle was removed to Starbucks ending its coffee distribution agreement with Northfield-based Kraft Foods by a U.S. appeals court ruling Friday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York affirmed a lower court ruling of Jan. 28, denying Kraft’s request to stop Starbucks from moving ahead with its plan to use a new partner to distribute packaged coffee to supermarkets in North America and Europe.

Kraft and Starbucks Coffee Co. are in the arbitration to decide what the Seattle-based coffee giant must pay to terminate the relationship. Kraft has been fighting in court to maintain control of the Starbucks business until the arbitration has been concluded. 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 »

Kraft says court will hear appeal in Starbucks case

Kraft Foods Inc. said an appeals court agreed to hear arguments over whether Starbucks Corp. can proceed with taking over distribution of its bagged coffee as planned on March 1.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday said it would hold an expedited appeal, according to Kraft, which must file its argument by Feb. 9. A final ruling on the appeal could come by the end of the month.

Kraft planned to appeal last Friday’s ruling, where the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a preliminary injunction that would block Starbucks from taking over the distribution from Kraft in just a couple of weeks. Get the full story »

Starbucks offers customers option to replace Via

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks will offer customers who don’t like Starbucks Via Ready Brew the option of replacing it with a 12-ounce bag of ground coffee.

Via, launched in 2009, was the first major entry into the U.S. instant coffee market in years. Though the coffee packets generated $135 million in sales in their first year, Starbucks is appealing to a wider audience with an offer: Try it. And if you don’t like it, we’ll replace it with regular coffee.

Starbucks announced the promotion Tuesday morning. It will run through August. In order to score free java, customers unhappy with their Via purchase can print out a form online and mail it in with their original receipt and UPC code. Requests must be postmarked by August 31. 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 »