Keurig raises prices 9 percent: Coffeeflation hits K-Cups.

It's Time to Start Stockpiling K-Cups

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 14 2014 1:14 PM

Your Morning K-Cup Is About to Get Way More Expensive

12708781315_2cc5602045_b
Get them before Nov. 3, 2014.

Photo by m01229 via Flickr

Office managers and coffee addicts take note: Stock up on K-Cups now.

Keurig Green Mountain said on Thursday that it will raise prices on coffee products and its signature K-Cups by as much as 9 percent beginning Nov. 3. It's the latest in a long line of companies to implement a price hike in response to the soaring cost of coffee beans. Starbucks, Folgers, Kraft Food Groups, and J.M. Smucker Co. (the distributor of Dunkin' Donuts packaged coffee) have all taken similar steps in recent months, announcing price hikes between 8 and 10 percent.

Advertisement

Coffee devotees are suffering the far-reaching consequences of Hemileia vastatrix, a parasitic fungus better known as coffee leaf rust that is devastating crops of beans in major producer countries. In the past two years alone, the rust has caused more than $1 billion in economic damage across Latin America and the Caribbean. At the same time, Brazil, the world's largest producer of arabica beans (the variety favored by roasters), has lost nearly one-fifth of its crop to severe drought.

Unfortunately, coffee leaf rust is something experts have known about for centuries and have been largely unable to stop. Researchers are working on developing new, resistant types of beans, but those could be years or decades off. For now, your best bet is to hit the stores and fill your shelves before costs go up.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Aug. 28 2015 12:31 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? International affairs writer Joshua Keating on what to read to understand the apparently permanent slowdown of the Chinese economy.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 1 2015 12:20 PM Does Contraception Reduce Abortions? The relationship is surprisingly ambiguous—until you look at the best evidence.