Keurig invented and Patented them. They had their time in the sun for years until patents ran out and capitalism offered manufacturers to produce cups that can be manufactured, filled, and sold by third parties other than Keurig. That means store brands, small distributors and coffee roasters could offer their products in cups compatible with the K-Cup machines. Great opportunity, except that meant the coffee giant lost control of it’s own creation, and that means a loss of money. Keurig’s solution: Lets make another machine that will NEVER allow the use of third party manufacturers products. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce the Keurig 2.0, followed some 7-8 months later by the K-Cup 2.0 backfire.
Let’s look at this from a retailer’s perspective. I spent the last 4-5 years selling customers on these Keurig machines, then re-set my coffee aisle to accommodate all the brands that offered K-Cups, then again when all the third parties came out. Now, Keurig wants me to not sell the original version, and sell the 2.0 and all it’s coffee’s that go with it and think about getting rid of some of these third party manufacturers to make the space we will need. Yeah, I’ll get back to you on that….
Most of those reading this will understand the consumers point of view. ” I love my K-Cup, I get hot coffee in 45 seconds. It’s so convenient, I don’t care if I’m paying a bit more per cup. It’s so quick.” That testament rings true time & time again and that’s where the K-Cup 2.0 backfire begins. People love the machines they have and for a company to be so brash thinking they can bully consumers into getting rid of perfectly working machines and get new ones that suit the company’s needs better; is absurd at best. This also puts a damper on the choices that customers would have if they purchase the 2.0. For an example, say you like the Morning Blend from Newman’s Own. You drink it all the time and when you buy the 2.0 you realize that Newman’s Company has not contracted the new packaging that will only work in the 2.0. Perhaps they don’s see the need since there is no demand as of yet. Why should they invest manufacturing packaging in an unproven machine when what they have is selling well? Hope you didn’t throw your old machine out. This is also the case for “store brands” and small roasters much like ourselves who have spent the time and resources to produce a cup for the original Keurig machines so customers can have a wider selection of coffees. I don’t view the K-cup market as volume, but more of selection. When you approach a turnstile in someone’s office, it’s filled with several different kinds of types of coffees rather than 25 of one kind.
I will refrain from the soap box and not discuss the disruption of capitalism and the attempt to squash small businesses from playing in the corporate sandbox that results from Keurig wanting to manipulate their customer base. The second boom in the K-Cup 2.0 backfire.
lastly I will refer to some internet discussions and articles that speak to the same point; it’s not only this coffee roaster’s opinion. The VERGE explains what Keurig has done and points out the complaints of consumers as they find that the 100 cups they got on sale at Costco don’t work in the wonderful new brewer Keurig sold them on. What this is is called a DRM ( Digital Rights Management ). It’s a chip that will only allow the brewer to recognize the new 2.0 cups. They are FORCING YOU TO ONLY USE THEIR PRODUCTS SO THEY MAKE MORE MONEY.
Make Use Of.com discusses the backlash of using such software in their article ” The Great K-Cup Backlash: What every tech company should learn.” and how it sends a message to customers that their freedom of choice will be taken so the corporation can make more money. They cite many of the negative reviews from Amazon Customers such as these few:
Other companies have tried and/or implemented a DRM with success and some with failure. The question is will Keurig listen to it’s customers or the all mighty dollar to respond the k-Cup 2.0 backfire? That is what remains to be seen. In the mean time Roasters such as ourselves are offering better quality, freshly roasted K-Cup solutions for the Original line of K-Cup Machines.
For more info please visit Reggie’s Roast Coffee: Freshly Roasted Single Use Cups Cheers!