Kraft Foods said yesterday it has increased the price of its Maxwell House roast and ground coffee by 12 percent for a 13-ounce can to cover...
Kraft Foods said yesterday it has increased the price of its Maxwell House roast and ground coffee by 12 percent for a 13-ounce can to cover rising raw-material costs.
It was the second coffee price increase in the past few days. On Friday, Procter & Gamble (P&G) boosted prices for its Folgers ground coffee, also citing the need to cover the higher cost of green, or unroasted, coffee beans.
After P&G’s move, analysts had predicted that other companies likely would follow suit.
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Pat Riso, a spokeswoman for Kraft’s coffee division in Tarrytown, N.Y., said the suggested list price of the Maxwell House 13-ounce can was raised on Saturday from $2.29 to the new $2.57. Retailers determine the prices charged at stores.
Kraft also increased the price of its Maxwell House instant coffee by 10 cents for an 8-ounce jar. The price of its Yuban and Maxwell House Cafe Collection coffee pods, used in single-serving coffee makers, was boosted by 30 cents. The pods are sold in bags of 16 to 18, varying by the brand.
P&G said last week that it raised the suggested list price of its Folgers ground coffee by 28 cents for cans containing 11.5-ounces to 13 ounces — depending on blend — from $2.28 to $2.56.
But don’t expect specialty-coffee retailers to immediately follow suit.
Commercial coffee tends to include a blend of arabica and robusta beans. Robusta coffee plants are hardier, and the beans much less expensive to produce.
Specialty-coffee retailers tend to turn their noses up at robusta beans, relying solely on the more delicate arabica bean. The plant, which grows at a higher elevation, is much more costly to produce.
Jeff Babcock, who owns Seattle-based coffee shop Zoka, said that because his company spends more for unroasted, arabica coffee beans, the spike in coffee prices represents a smaller percentage of his overall costs. Commercial coffee sellers are “buying their coffee at much lower prices than we are,” he said.
Specialty-coffee retailer Starbucks raised drink prices by 11 cents in October at its North American company-run stores. A spokeswoman said yesterday it had no plans to raise prices further.
Seattle-based Tully’s, which raised prices on its espresso drinks 5 to 10 cents in January, said its prices also will remain unchanged.
Specialty-coffee information provided by Seattle Times retail reporter Monica Soto Ouchi.