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Starbucks, Green Mountain expand partnership
Starbucks, Green Mountain expand partnership, announce details on Vue coffee packs
By The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) ' Starbucks Coffee Co. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. are expanding their partnership to make, market, distribute and sell Starbucks' Vue coffee packs for use in Green Mountain's Keurig Vue single-cup machines.

The announcement on Wednesday relieved some investors concerned that Starbucks' new single-cup Verismo coffee machine might be a competitive threat to Keurig.

Green Mountain stock rose $2.83, or 5.6 percent, to $53.53 in morning trading. Its shares are up from a 52-week low of $39.42 in mid-November but are well below their peak for the past year of $115.98 in mid-September.

Green Mountain announced its new Keurig Vue machine last month, saying it was created to brew stronger, larger and hotter beverages.

"We believe the customization offered by Vue and its appeal as a premium beverage solution will resonate with loyal Starbucks consumers, and we're pleased to have Starbucks coffee as a brand option in the system as we move forward," Green Mountain President and CEO Lawrence Blanford said in a statement.

Green Mountain, which is based in Waterbury, Vt., is expected to distribute Starbucks Vue packs initially to U.S. specialty, department store and mass retailers and on its web sites by the fall.

"Premium single cup is the fastest-growing segment of global coffee, and the expansion of our relationship with Green Mountain allows us to grow further, faster, in the single cup category," said Jeff Hansberry, Starbucks' president of channel development.

Aside from providing Vue packs for Green Mountain's new Keurig brewer, Starbucks is the exclusive, licensed coffee brand for the Keurig K-Cup machine.

Shares of Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. dipped 2 cents to $53.71 in morning trading.

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