It's Time to Start Stockpiling K-Cups

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

Even if You Don’t Like Batman, You Might Like Gotham

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Nicolas Sarkozy, Thrice Married, Says Gay Marriage Humiliates the Family

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 22 2014 3:33 PM Killing With Kindness My in-laws want to throw me a get-well-from-cancer bash. There’s no way I can go.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 22 2014 4:06 PM No, Women’s Soccer Does Not Have a Domestic Violence Problem Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 3:16 PM Watch the Best Part of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.