Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Change Is Brewing in Single-Serve Coffee Market

Single-serve coffeemakers from Nespresso, Senseo, Keurig, and other manufacturers are convenient for brewing up a good cup of espresso or coffee (or tea), in your choice of flavor, very quickly.

But, as the New York Times points out, convenience comes at a cost. When you buy a K-cup or pod (or any other proprietary premeasured coffee serving), you're paying the equivalent of about $50 per pound for your coffee serving. 

Yet change is brewing: Competition is increasing and that is likely to bring the price per cup or pod down.

For one thing, K-cup patent protection expires this year. With that in mind, Keurig (owned by Green Mountain Coffee) has a new machine on the way, targeting upscale consumers while repositioning the old Keurig machines for consumers a bit lower on the affluence scale.

Meanwhile, Walmart is about to introduce popularly-priced single-serve coffeemakers by Esio, which will turn up the competitive heat and increase demand for replacement coffee pods/cups.

And competitively-priced compatible K-cups are already emerging, from Rogers Family Company and others. So the days of spending $50 per pound of coffee for single-serve convenience may be numbered.

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