- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will introduce a new generation of its single-cup brewing system, dubbed Keurig 2.0.
- The move is a response to the slew of non-licensed K-Cups that have appeared in grocery stores across the country. Patents on the original K-Cup technology expired in 2012, allowing everyone with a bean and dream to enter the space.
- Keurig's new brewers will employ a technology that is not compatible with K-Cups that aren't made by Green Mountain or its licensed partners.
We have to admire Green Mountain. Just a few years ago there was no such thing as a K-Cup, and the idea of single-serving brewing machines was a fantasy on some engineer's computer. But today K-Cups are everywhere. And apparently that has become a problem. Some 8 percent of the market for coffee pods used in Keurig brewers is taken by unlicensed copycats. Apparently Nestle faces similar challenges in Europe where its Nespresso brand dominates single-serve brewing machines.
We also have to admire Green Mountain for fighting back. And the Keurig 2.0 idea seems like a wise one. We do, however, have one concern. Keurig made it's announcement at the start of the Christmas shoppiing season. We received our first Keurig brewer a few years ago as a Christmas gift. No doubt millions of people get Keurig brewers for Christmas. The announcement that Keurig 2.0 brewer is coming, but not right away, is sure to hurt sales of Keurig 1.0 this holiday season.