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There's a big name gunning after Green Mountain Coffee's (UNKNOWN: GMCR.DL ) Keurig K-Cup business. Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM ) became the latest grocer to go the private-label route, offering its own K-Cup brand.
The market roughed up Green Mountain's stock on the news, but that doesn't seem justified. Green Mountain has survived having much larger grocers enter the market, and it's still on track for double-digit growth.
True to Whole Foods Market's upscale market, the first wave of K-Cups are also quite a bit more expensive than Green Mountain's own portion packs.
There's always the possibility that Whole Foods' entry into this market validates the single-serve platform to its eco-friendly customer base. It would pay off if folks buy Keurig machines, and then start to explore with the wide variety of beverage and brand options. However, even if that doesn't happen, it would seem as Green Mountain's 10% hit this week was overdone.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- General Motors (NYSE: GM ) introduced the all-new 2014 Cadillac ELR, building on its Volt model of combining electric power with an internal combustion engine for extended range. The $75,000 price tag is going to be a turnoff, but GM will have an interesting high-end play to combat those who have range anxiety over all-electric vehicles.
- Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI ) has an activist investor on board, reportedly suggesting that the struggling casual-dining chain spin off its smaller, faster-growing restaurants. If that doesn't work, maybe we can get the Red Lobster and Olive Garden parent to start serving Cheddar Bay bread sticks at both of the struggling chains.
- Costco (NASDAQ: COST ) posted a rare quarterly earnings miss this week, but it sure is selling a lot of poultry. The warehouse club pointed out during its conference call that it sells 60 million of its $4.99 rotisserie whole chickens a year. Add it up, and that's a $300 million-a-year business. Take that, Boston Market!
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