Skip to main content

(Story updated with analyst view and share price update)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) announced Tuesday that it's increasing consumer purchase prices on all K-Cup portion packs for its Keurig Single Cup brewing system sold in North America by about 10% to 15% as green coffee prices continue to increase.

The price hikes are expected to occur over the next several months and across all sales channels starting Oct. 11.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters said the increase is part of the company's response to several factors affecting the coffee industry -- including a sustained increase in the price of green coffee, differentials for premium quality coffees, increases in prices of other raw materials, and higher packaging and transportation costs.

Over the past three months, green coffee prices have increased from $1.45 a pound to $1.90 a pound, or about 31%, the company said.

"Like others in the coffee industry, we have been closely monitoring rising green coffee costs and increases in other input costs like cocoa and packaging for several months," Scott McCreary, head of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' specialty coffee business unit, said in a press release.

"While we have the flexibility to absorb some short-term cost increases, the sustained nature of the increases we've experienced over the past three months led us to conclude it is necessary to adjust our pricing."

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Astrachan warned in a client note that the benefits of the price hike could be temporary. True, the price increase would allow the company to offset higher input costs. Yes, it could help earnings in the event that coffee prices moderated.

But it could also hurt the company's K-Cup volumes by further raising unit prices, which are already at a significant premium to those of other home coffee products.

An example would be the average selling price of 55 cents for each K-Cup at Bed, Bath and Beyond would become 61 cents with the hike, possibly making the product a less attractive buy. This example was given by the analyst based on the company's stated 10% to15% expected price increase.

Astrachan also cautioned that the price hikes come amid a looming expiration date for the company's two key K-Cup patents in Sep. 2012. This could lead to "increased competition and reduced pricing, in our view," the firm said.

Shares of the company have risen 8.1% to $33.73 in midday trading.

TheStreet Recommends

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Andrea Tse

.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

Andrea Tse

.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

tips@thestreet.com

.

Get more stock ideas and investing advice on our sister site,

Stockpickr.com.

Copyright 2010 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.