Coke to Raise Soda Prices as Commodity Costs Bubble

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Published June 24, 2011

| FOXBusiness

In an effort to combat climbing commodity costs, Coca-Cola (KO) will raise its soda prices by 3% to 4% in July, adding to an increase of 2% implemented earlier this year, according to Reuters, citing a company spokesman.

The Atlanta-based maker of Coke, Fanta and Sprite has continued to feel the affects of rising costs for raw materials like oil and packaging, which has forced many of its industry peers, including Kraft (KFT) and Starbucks (SBUX), to raise prices.

Earlier this year the worlds largest beverage maker warned it would have to implement price increases and gave a similar range, but the timing remained unknown.

Some analysts had expressed concerns over the potential timing of the increase, with some fearing a post-labor day hike would make it difficult for rivals PepsiCo (PEP) and Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) to raise their own prices during the high-demand summer season.

In a note, Credit Suisse analyst Carlos Laboy said the early-summer announcement provides some relief for all players in the industry in North America, according to Reuters.

Industry publication Beverage Digest reported earlier this month that Pepsi planned on raising drink prices by 3% to 5% between July 10 and Labor Day.

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http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/06/24/higher-commodity-costs-force-coke-to-boost-prices/