NORTHFIELD, IL -- An arbitrator ruled that Starbucks must pay Kraft Foods Group more than $2.7 billion for its early termination of the packaged coffee contract between the two companies.
In March 2011, Starbucks announced that it was ending a long-term contract inked in 1998 with Kraft that allowed Kraft to sell bagged Starbucks coffee in grocery stores. | SEE STORY
Starbucks claimed Kraft mismanaged the brand and had breached the contract. Kraft denied the Seattle coffee giant's charges and demanded that Starbucks pay it a fair value for the business, which reportedly brought in annual revenues of about $500 million for Kraft.
The restitution includes $2.23 billion in damages plus $527 million in prejudgment interest and attorney's fees. The award will go to Mondelez International, which spun off Kraft Foods in 2012.