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Starbucks 'Bold' Single-Serve Move Could Rival Green Mountain

By Annie Gasparro Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) may be in for a rough road ahead, now that Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) has indicated its intention to enter the single-serve coffee space as the competition. Starbucks' Chief Executive Howard Schultz said in a memo Thursday that the company has "very bold" plans for its single-serve coffee. "At this nascent stage [in the single-serve coffee industry], there are numerous contenders but no demonstrated, long-term winners related to any format, geography or machine," he says. The memo, originally reported by CNBC, goes on to say that while Green Mountain has "emerged as an early leader ... patents alone do not determine market winners." Green Mountain shares closed down 7.7% Thursday at $40.71, and continued to fall in late trading. A Green Mountain spokeswoman wasn't immediately available for comment. Starbucks' long-standing distribution deal with Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) expires March 1. As a result, speculation has been circling in recent weeks as to whether Starbucks will move on to partner with Green Mountain for its popular Keurig single-serve coffee machines and the K-Cup coffee packets that go with them. Investors seem to be interpreting Schultz's comments as essentially dispelling these rumors. Schultz notes in his memo that certain Green Mountain patents for the K-Cups expire in about 18 months, and that only 6% of households in the U.S. own a single-serve brewer, leaving plenty of room for a new competitor in the industry. Schultz also indicated that Starbucks foresees the industry leader in the U.S. as one with an open system, unlike the Keurig which is only compatible with K-Cups. Starbucks announced Tuesday it will provide single-serve coffee packets for up to 500,000 hotel rooms through a partnership with Courtesy Products. -By Annie Gasparro, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2244; annie.gasparro@dowjones.com

Stock News for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR)
DateTimeHeadline
02/04/201616:46:39Current Report Filing (8-k)
02/01/201608:05:03Current Report Filing (8-k)
01/27/201617:09:00Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Files Class Action Suit Against...
01/22/201616:16:56Amended Annual Report (10-k/a)
01/20/201614:49:05Additional Proxy Soliciting Materials (definitive) (defa14a)
01/20/201614:47:19Current Report Filing (8-k)
01/12/201617:30:25Proxy Statement - Merger or Acquistion (definitive) (defm14a)
01/11/201613:52:03Amended Statement of Ownership (sc 13g/a)
01/04/201617:12:20Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
01/04/201617:11:48Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
12/18/201517:33:17Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
12/17/201518:05:00SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Brodsky & Smith, LLC Announces Investigation...
12/11/201506:00:00Watch the latest episode of BizWireTV from Business Wire
12/10/201516:46:00INVESTOR ALERT: Brower Piven Commences An Investigation Into...
12/10/201513:58:25Statement of Ownership (sc 13g)
12/09/201517:18:02Additional Proxy Soliciting Materials (definitive) (defa14a)
12/09/201513:02:00Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. Stockholders Encouraged to Contact...
12/08/201513:15:00INVESTOR ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Notifies Shareholders of...
12/08/201507:34:00Keurig Green Mountain Agrees to Get Bought for $13.9 Billion--6th...
12/08/201506:08:55Current Report Filing (8-k)

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