Higher Costs Drive Wholesale Prices Up for Coca-Cola's O.J. Brands

HOUSTON - The Minute Maid Business Unit of Coca-Cola North America yesterday announced its third price increase in the past year for chilled premium orange juice, effective Oct. 2. Prior to 2006, the Minute Maid Business Unit had not increased its prices in approximately five years.

Wholesale list prices for Simply Orange Orange Juice and Minute Maid Premium Orange Juice will increase 3 percent to 6 percent in October, the company said, and promotional pricing will be curtailed into 2007. The price increases stem from unprecedented cost increases in orange fruit solids and concentrate, fuel and energy, and general inflation, Minute Maid said.

"We cover short-term cost increases whenever possible," said Minute Maid Business Unit general manager Mike Saint John in a statement. "We have been able to hold the line on prices for the last five years by aggressively cutting costs and increasing productivity, but current commodity cost increases combined with general inflation and other cost pressures have forced us to increase prices."

Saint John added, "The Minute Maid Business Unit will continue to provide the highest quality juice products at a fair market value, and we'll continue to invest aggressively in innovation and demand creation to help drive category and industry growth."
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