NORTHFIELD, ILL. — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling that denied Kraft’s request for an injunction against Starbucks Coffee Co. to prevent the coffee company from ending a retail distribution agreement.
“The Second Circuit did not rule on the fundamental issue of whether Starbucks can exit our contract without paying the fair market value, plus a premium,” said Marc Firestone, executive vice-president of corporate and legal affairs at Kraft. “That question will be decided in arbitration. Having now seen Starbucks inability to substantiate its claims of material breach, we certainly intend to press our case aggressively and look forward to a favorable decision.
“We also expect to prevail in the marketplace, given the strength of our $5 billion global coffee business. Kraft is committed to competing in all coffee segments, including premium and on-demand. Our future plans are as robust as our coffee products, and we look forward to sharing them at the appropriate time.”