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Starbucks gives up exclusive license to Keurig pods

Starbucks gives up exclusive license to Keurig pods

COFFEE: The terms are changes to the five-year agreement the two companies reached last year that tripled the number of Starbucks drinks sold in K-Cups, adding Seattle's Best and Torrefazione Italia coffees, Teavana teas and Starbucks cocoa. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp will get a wider selection of Keurig Green Mountain Inc’s single-serve K-Cup coffee packs, in exchange for giving up the exclusive license for Keurig’s highest-end coffee packs, the companies said on Friday.

The terms are changes to the five-year agreement the two companies reached last year that tripled the number of Starbucks drinks sold in K-Cups, adding Seattle’s Best and Torrefazione Italia coffees, Teavana teas and Starbucks cocoa.

Under terms of the 2013 deal, which replaced their first agreement in 2011, Starbucks kept the exclusive rights to be the licensed “super-premium coffee” brand on the Keurig K-Cup platforms.

The Keurig machine popularized the use of pods, small packets containing everything from coffee, tea or hot chocolate powder, for easy, in-home, one-cup brewing of hot drinks.

The company has sold more than 30 million Keurig machines around the world for use in homes, offices and other locations.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Paul Simao)

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