Single Serve Coffee and Now Alcohol

Will wonders never cease? Keurig, the folks who invented the k cup for single serve coffee, are now working on a single serve machine for beer and liquor. CBC News writes about the Keurig single-serve alcohol machine.

Imagine popping a single-serve pod into your Keurig machine and – ta-dah! – out pours a martini.

The idea is not far-fetched. Keurig Green Mountain – the manufacturer of the popular single-cup coffee maker – is now working on an at-home booze machine.

If all goes according to plan, it would be like having a personal bartender in your home, offering everything from single servings of beer and spirits to cocktails and mixers.

For the project, U.S.-based Keurig has teamed up with Anheuser-Busch InBev, a multinational beverage and brewing company.

Critics are quick to mention that there are already quick and convenient ways to consume alcohol like cans of beer, single serve bottles of wine or pre mixed cocktails from your frig. What critics have not mentioned are the drawbacks that are already an issue with k-cups. We wrote about the death of the k cup.

Are we going to see the death of the k cup? Keurig, the maker of single serve coffee saw its stock drop 30% after reporting diminishing sales. Fortune reports as Keurig sales plunge. We wrote recently about k cups in our article, Does Organic Coffee in a K Cup Make Sense? There is a basic contradiction in the equation of selling organic coffee in plastic containers that will fill up landfills and not decompose for thousands of years! However, the more likely case is that single serving coffee is a fad and fads run their course. So, is this the death of the k cup or simply a retrenchment into a smaller market?

K cups make sense when you are traveling and need a cup of coffee in your hotel room. And k cups make sense if you really need to reduce your coffee intake or don’t want to keep throwing out all of that unused coffee. But, these arguments do not apply to alcoholic drinks which are typically available in cans and bottles and don’t require a machine for their use. Will single serve alcohol bloom into a fad like single serve coffee and if so will it go bust?

CNN Money addresses the k cup coffee fad.

It seems that Keurig alienated its core customers with its newest machine, the Keurig 2.0. Some consumers balked at the $199.99 price tag. But what really irked caffeine addicts was the fact that the new Keurig could only make coffee with officially licensed K-Cups.

But there is a big cottage industry of cheaper, private label coffee pods that were compatible with older Keurig machines.

Two makers of those cups, TreeHouse Foods and Rogers Family Co., have both sued Keurig Green Mountain and accused the company of anti-competitive practices.

Rogers went as far as creating a “Freedom Clip” that lets Keurig 2.0 customers brew non-licensed pods.

It would seem that the k cup fad is wearing thin and Keurig has hurt itself by trying to corner the market with a machine upgrade that excludes other brands. That, in the end, is probably the reason for the death of the k cup.

In light of this one can see the single serve alcohol machine as a last gasp effort by Keurig to stay solvent.


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