Starbucks to Raise Prices

SEATTLE -- Starbucks Corp. announced plans to charge more for large-sized and labor-intensive drinks, due to surging prices for coffee and other commodities, Reuters reported. The company noted it may also raise the price of packaged coffee sold through grocery stores and other channels.

However, the world's biggest coffee chain expects to maintain or lower the price of certain espresso drinks and its "tall" 12-ounce brewed coffee, according to the report. Starbucks declined to disclose the magnitude of price adjustments.

Coffee prices are flirting with a 13-year high, and Starbucks' move comes more than a month after mass-market coffee sellers raised prices on well-known grocery brands, the report stated. The chain had said Aug. 17, that it did not plan to raise prices despite the surging popularity of green coffee.

J.M. Smucker Co. on Aug. 3, boosted prices for most of its Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts, Millstone and Folgers Gourmet Selections coffees in the U.S. by an average of 9 percent. Kraft Foods followed with U.S. price hikes on select Maxwell House and Yuban ground and instant coffees, Reuters reported.

"The extreme nature of the cost increases has made it untenable for us to continue to do so and we have been forced to take the steps we announced today," Chief Executive Howard Schultz said in a statement cited by the news organization.

Rival McDonald's Corp. told Reuters it is "business as usual" when it comes to the prices for its specialty coffee drinks.

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