Keurig brews itself a real mess.

Get used to the puns on this: people seem to enjoy coffee-related jokes. Anyway, Keurig’s recent decision to impose DRM on K-Cups (only approved brands of coffee for you!) in its latest line of coffee brewers is having what should have been the expected effect:

In this week’s Keurig Green Mountain Coffee earnings call, the company reported some pretty startling sales numbers.

Year-over-year, Keurig saw an 18% decline in brewer and accessory sales (12% of which was for brewers alone). Brewer shipments did, overall, grow by 6%, but even that was below expectations. The news sent Keurig Green Mountain’s stock tumbling, though it has since recovered some ground.

Basically, why should I buy Keurig’s new coffee brewer if it can’t brew the coffee brands that I might like? – This is a question that Keurig’s market research people should have considered, but rather clearly did not consider… and it will cost them. Unless they come up with a coffee brewer that cures malaria or something, I suppose. That might help them recover their market share.

Via… somebody on Twitter?  Sorry: I saw it earlier in the day.


11 thoughts on “Keurig brews itself a real mess.”

  1. To me, it would be less of a “If I can’t get Starshine Coffee in Keurig 2.0, I’m not buying one,” and more of a “You’re not making as much money, now that you’re not the only one making the pods, so you’re going to add DRM to them? Oh heck no” kind of thing.

  2. Entirely predictable, as “don’t get in the way of people who haven’t yet had their coffee” is up there with “don’t stand between a mama grizzly and her cub” in terms of Things That Ought Not Need Be Said.
    I think one of folks’ BIGGEST gripes is that they bought K-cup futures and then bought a K2.0 only to find that officially-branded and distributed cups that worked previously were also affected by this ploy. Imagine that first morning when you go to use your Green Mountain Co.-branded cup in your brand new brewer and it sits there, happily refusing to do your bidding like a door on the Heart of Gold.
    Bad juju, I tell ya.

      1. Did anyone else see the K1.0-grows-mold meme that keeps circling on FB as a way to sell K2.0 units?
        I will again mention that my Miele coffee system makes one cup at a time – it’s just passed the 80,000 cup mark and is working fine – has no DRM and can all be taken apart and cleaned. Would definitely buy again.
        Yes, it does cost as much as 20 Keurigs, but it makes a much better cup from just beans and water, no muss, no fuss, Just Works.

  3. Anyone who didn’t see this coming when the DRM scheme was announced clearly shouldn’t be investing.

    Apparently, there are already a bunch of work-arounds for it. Everything from clipping a wire, to a clip-in attachment (Freedom Clip).

    I still have an earlier model Keurig and have no plans to upgrade. When I need to make a pot of coffee, I have a good Farberware electric percolator that makes a fantastic pot of coffee in just a few minutes.

  4. Can we take bets on at what point will some Keurig lawyer goes full-retard and tries to use the Copyright Act to sue people for violating/circumventing the DRM?

  5. It sort of sounds like what I remember Apple doing when it wouldn’t let other people write programs for their operating system but Microsoft did. Darn near killed Apple, IIRC.

    (BTW – if you have a functional Keurig machine, why would you go out and by the new version?)

    BTW – I use Mr. Coffee and a thermos.

    1. Apple wouldn’t license MacOS to other hardware vendors (except for a very brief period), but they never kept you from writing programs for it. iOS (iPhone/iPad) does require a nominal fee to develop for.

      1. Thanks. I knew there was some restriction on Apple’s part but couldn’t recall what it actually was, just that it hurt.

  6. Hmmm. The parallel to Grid Computer Corp (from memory…) who patented the idea of the clamshell laptop and … have devolved into a licensing scheme that extracts a buck or two from each laptop sold …. is not a bad way to go.

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