The Keurig has become one of those devices you either love or hate. Some of us are addicted to them even though the coffee isn't quite as good as freshly ground, and the expense is something you shouldn't even think about. Others hate the machines, blaming them for environmental ruination, overcaffeination, and all kinds of other ills. Sales have been rather tepid lately.
But that doesn't stop Keurig from selling the machines and coming up with add-ons. You can now make soup in a Keurig, for example. And now, there's Keurig Kold, which is exactly what it sounds like -- Keurig's answer to Sodastream. An even bubblier description comes from Brian Kelley, Keurig's CEO, who promises the devices will be downright "disruptive," current marketing-speak for new and sort of different.
“The disruptive countertop-size innovation in KOLD is like nothing consumers have ever experienced – from the rapid chilling that turns room temperature water to a perfectly chilled drink at the push of a button; to the dispensing technology that produces consistently great tasting beverages; to the pod technology which enables fully carbonated beverages," Kelley said.
TV and online ads will start appearing any moment now and they'll look something like this:
Division of powers
In the cold beverage world, there are two great superpowers, Coke and Pepsi. Pepsi is already iced down, so to speak, with Sodastream, so Keurig Kold will be aligned with Coca-Cola, which owns a big chunk of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is also a Keurig ally.
The company says the machines will be rolled out in a "disciplined, measured launch" beginning online today. They'll then gradually be available at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and so forth.
They won't be cheap, carrying price tags from $299 to $369. The beverage pods themselves will cost aboutd $1 to $1.29, according to Advertising Age. The good news is that the Kold units don't need a CO2 canister, instead usiing "carbonator beads" to spit out an 8-ounce chilled soft drink in 60 seconds.
Keurig is hoping to get a large jolt from Kold. Its earnings and stock price have suffered lately. The problem is that while consumers are still buying plenty of K-Pod coffee, they're buying fewer pods put out directly by Keurig and more produced by licensed brands, like Starbucks, Peets, etc. Keurig doesn't keep as much revenue from the licensed pods.
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