January 23, 2012

Single Serve Coffee at Retail Stores - Target 2012

Right now Keurig powered single serve coffee makers control
an entire aisle across from drip coffee makers in most Target stores.

We've been traveling around to various brick and mortar stores, and our goal is to look at the state of single serve coffee from a consumer point of view. First up on our look at single serve coffee is retail giant Target. If you're unfamiliar with Target as a massive retail store, then you probably live somewhere we've never heard of. Even in our home state of Maine, Target has made in roads as far north as Bangor, and from what we've seen Target has stores in almost every state in the nation.

Target has also always been a big fan of single serve coffee. From the beginning of single serve coffee here in the US as far back as 2004, Target has had Senseo, Tassimo, Keurig, and other single serve coffee makers. Anyone remember Melitta coffee pod brewers or Juan Valdez coffee pods? Well - Target does and had them at one time. How about Archer Farms coffee pods? Target even had it's own in house brand of single serve coffee not that long ago.

Across from the single serve coffee brewers and K-Cups are
drip coffee makers. They must be wondering if they're days are numbered.

Now at Target one-half of the entire coffee aisle is dominated by single serve coffee brewers from Keurig and other Keurig licensed machines. Target used to have coffee pods, T-Disc, and other brewers but given how popular K-Cups are we think they just went were the market went - to all K-Cups at the mega consumer level. However across the aisle staring the single serve coffee brewers down are drip brewers, and there's a lot of them.

We're pretty sure the drip coffee makers are wondering given how many single serve coffee makers lie across the aisle if their days of dominance are over. After poking around and asking various people shopping what they thought - most people were engaged with buying K-Cups and looking over their choices. The drip coffee makers didn't even get a glance in the hour we watched the aisle.

So it looks that Target has embraced the K-Cup and also given up a ton of space to promote single serve coffee. We'll let you know how this changes over the next 6-12 months, but we feel the presence of single serve coffee won't shrink but grow.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at January 23, 2012 7:43 AM
Recent Comments

I hope you’re right hotwasabipeas. I have a Keurig, among many others, and it is my least favorite. There is no doubt that single serve coffee is here to stay but I don’t like retailers trying to force me into spending more money on something I don’t want. I’m ok with having to buy pods for my BUNN online because the selection and prices make more sense than buying the limited Senseo pods in the stores. However, I don’t want to have to start doing the same thing for my Tassimo discs. One thing is certain; I will not be spending any more money on K-Cups. My Keurig is gathering dust as it is.

Posted by: AO at January 24, 2012 8:00 AM

I hope Target will be carrying more than just K-Cups. Tassimo T-discs are getting harder to find at Target and all my local stores carry are just the Maxwell House discs. Interestingly, one of the Target coupons for this month and for most of Feb. is for $1 off of Gevalia T-Discs. Maybe this means that there will be more T-Discs varieties available soon? I hope so!

Posted by: hotwasabipeas at January 23, 2012 6:15 PM

Target recently acquired Zellers stores in Canada (think of Zellers as a Canadian version of K-Mart, only with less variety) and will start converting a good chunk of Zellers into Targets beginning in 2013.

Since they announced that Sobeys would be the sole supplier of grocery items, chances of Canadians getting the same Target items as Americans has pretty much gone down the drain.

Still, I'm holding out a slim sliver of hope that we'll be getting the same single-serve coffee items since GMCR has already begun expanding into Canadian grocery stores across the country.

Posted by: SH at January 23, 2012 10:52 AM
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