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.
Continue reading Keurig brews itself a real mess.
Simple as that.
Keurig is setting itself up to attempt a type of coffee “DRM” on the pods used in its coffee-making machines, according to a report from Techdirt. Keurig’s next-gen machines would be unable to interact with third-party coffee pods, thus locking customers into buying only the Keurig-branded K-cups or those of approved partners.
The single-cup coffee brewers made by Keurig (owned by Green Mountain Coffee) spurred a rush by coffee brands into the single-cup-pod trade. The K-Cup patent expired in 2012, and prior to that, Green Mountain bought up many of its competitors, including Tully’s Coffee Corporation and Timothy’s Coffees. Competitors continue to sell K-Cups, often at a 15- to 25 percent markdown from Green Mountain’s own pods, according to a lawsuit filed against Green Mountain by TreeHouse Foods.
Hey, you know what else is simple, more or less? The K-Cup brewing process itself. Coming up with a device that can duplicate Keurig’s brewing and uses a K-cup doesn’t sound impossibly difficult. It’s essentially ‘high-speed pushing hot water through pre-made grounds:” I’m mildly shocked that there aren’t knockoffs already…
He succumbed last month. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m an addict, precisely: but it is useful to have a one-cup system where my wife and I don’t have to decide which kind of coffee we want to brew. It also makes regulating our caffeine intake easier, although that’s more of an issue for my wife than for me.
On the other hand, I liked making iced coffee out of the dregs of the coffeepot. Not a deal breaker, but there you go.