May 29, 2011 in Business

Surging bean prices filter more cash from coffee drinkers

Matt Andrejczak MarketWatch
 
Tags:coffee

SAN FRANCISCO — Coffee drinkers are facing another round of price increases as Starbucks, J.M. Smucker, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters pass along the rising costs of beans.

Starbucks confirmed Wednesday it will raise the prices for bagged coffee sold at its U.S stores by 17 percent, and 6 percent at its Canadian locations, effective July 12.

Its move comes a day after J.M. Smucker raised prices for the fourth time in the past year. Smucker, which sells Folgers, Dunkin Donuts and Millstone, is upping those prices by 11 percent.

Since May 2010, Smucker has jacked up prices 34 percent to try to stay a step ahead of the commodities market.

Starbucks is raising prices for a 12-ounce bag of coffee at its U.S. stores to a range of $11.95 to $14.95. It is the first price increase since September 2009. The last time Starbucks raised prices for bagged coffee at its Canadian locations was in October 2007.

The Seattle company last year raised prices for some of its drinks to counter rising costs for milk and unroasted beans.

Green Mountain said May 3 it’s raising prices by 10 percent.

That comes after an increase last fall of 10 percent to 15 percent on K-Cup portion packs used in the company’s Keurig single-cup coffee brewer.

Over the past 12 months, coffee contract prices for Arabica beans are up 99 percent on the IntercontinentalExchange.

That has prompted Maxwell House coffee maker Kraft Foods to raise prices three times since August 2010, an increase amounting to 43 percent. A Kraft spokeswoman said Wednesday they had no immediate plan to raise prices.

Last September, Peet’s Coffee & Tea raised prices on beans sold in its coffee shops by 8 percent on average.

Spokespersons for Kraft and Peet’s couldn’t be immediately reached to comment on whether they planned another price increase.

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