Ruling Lets Starbucks Take Over Packaged-Coffee Distribution


A federal court on Friday denied Kraft Foods Inc.’s request to block Starbucks Corp. from taking over the distribution of Starbucks-branded packaged coffee on March 1.

The coffee-house chain is seeking to end a 12-year-old arrangement under which Kraft has been its principal distributor to retailers.

In U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Cathy Seibel ruled that Kraft “has not established that it has suffered irreparable harm,” indicating the packaged-food giant failed to meet a key criteria that would have allowed the court to rule for the injunction.

The legal victory for Starbucks sets in motion an upheaval in the premium-coffee category.

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