The Seattle Times recently published an article on the new single-serve coffee revolution. Today the sales of coffee made in single-serve brewing systems account for over a quarter of every dollar Americans spend on coffee to drink at home. My parents recently purchased a Nespresso machine that we abuse. My father treats it like his toy, which is great for me because I can snap my fingers and have delicious espressos and cappuccinos instantly in front of me
The coffee industry is constantly changing. It began with a classic cup of black coffee to the fancy nonfat vanilla lattes and pumpkin spice chais and now coffee pods you can make at home. Mintel says that in 2013, U.S. consumers bought $3.1 billion worth of coffee pods — versus $132 million in 2008. In a comparison I read on Airtight Interactive learned why people choose Nespresso espressos over Starbucks espressos. First off the price of a Nespresso is $0.52 verse a Starbucks espresso $1.55. In regards to flavor people find Nespresso to be intense and smooth while Starbucks makes espressos that are bitter and taste almost burnt. I can one hundred percent agree with these statements. The beauty of Nespresso over other machines is that there is almost no maintenance required and the convenience of having a cup of coffee at home within 30 seconds is great. But a big disadvantage for patrons is the restriction of only purchasing the capsules from Nespresso.
Author Mark Pendergrast of “Uncommon Grounds” a book about the coffee industry was quoted in the article saying no coffee specialist would have seen this coming. Corporations that produce single-serve pods such as Green Mountain have seen sales multiply “almost twentyfold since its 2006 takeover of Keurig.”
Even Starbucks jumped on the bandwagon; in late 2011 they partnered with Green Mountain to lunch the Starbucks K –cups. They claim roughly 15 percent of the premium single-serve market with its K-cups. Here in Eugene my roommate has a Keurig machine and I purchase Starbucks pods to make at home. Starbucks said its K-cup sales in December were up 65 percent from the previous year.
After reading the article I discovered the implications for consumers, the environment, farmers and cooperate giants. The capsules prove to be very difficult to recycle. And with the demand for coffee pods come an increase in taste for more high-quality coffee. Green Mountain a decade ago sourced from 14 regions and now has added 12 new regions from all around the world. This has allowed for them to widen their impact on the coffee industry. Nespresso is also known to pay 30 to 40 percent above market price for coffee beans.
The K-cups aren’t done expanding, now introducing tea, apple cider and more. While other food and drink brands are taking advantage of the K-cup fad. Campbell soup is underway on producing their soups in K-cups. And Coca- Cola will make Coke an exclusive provider to Keurig’s forthcoming cold-beverage pod system. Coke purchased a 10 percent stake in the company, which increased Green Mountains stock value.
K-cups are the new big thing in the drink industry. Its innovation is expanding, I am intrigued to see what new projects and advances will be made in the future.
Photo credit: http://www.adavidcreation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/nespresso-capsules.jpg / http://timenewsfeed.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/campbell_soup_composite.jpg?w=480&h=320&crop=1