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Starbucks to Cut Grocery Coffee Prices 10% Next Month

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April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee-shop operator, will lower prices for its Starbucks and Seattle’s Best brand packaged coffees sold in U.S. supermarket and retail stores next month.

Prices will decrease 10 percent to $8.99 from $9.99 for a 12-ounce bag of Starbucks coffee beginning May 10, Jim Olson, a spokesman for the Seattle-based company, said in an interview. Seattle’s Best prices will drop 13 percent to $6.99 from $7.99, he said.

“This will allow us to both enhance the value that we’re providing our existing packaged coffee customers, and hopefully increase the frequency which they purchase Starbucks and Seattle’s Best coffee, as well as attract new customers,” Olson said. Starbucks Via instant coffee, K-Cups and Verismo pods aren’t affected by the price cuts, he said.

Starbucks, which also sells Tazo Tea and cold-bottled drinks in supermarkets, has sought to expand its line of products sold at grocers to help boost sales. Revenue for the company’s so-called channel development unit, which includes items sold through warehouse clubs and convenience stores, jumped 50 percent to $1.29 billion in the year ended Sept. 30.

Starbucks rose 0.9 percent to $59.09 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 10 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has climbed 11 percent.

The latte seller in March 2011 increased prices by 12 percent for its Starbucks-brand coffee and about 15 percent for Seattle’s Best coffee sold in grocery and retail stores, Olson said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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