February 8, 2016
Keurig Sales Continue To Fall
Over at NPR and other sites we’re finding stories of Keurig’s sales continuing to fall. Sales are in the decline at Keurig with bookings down some $60 million from last year. Besides K-Cups not being kind to the environment, there’s also been a general dislike of Keurig 2.0 and Keurig KOLD sales are supposedly not great either.
What do you think are Keurig’s troubles? Remember when K-Cups were supposed to take over the world? We did and still think they might if Keurig can make some changes.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at February 8, 2016 7:07 AM
As I said in the forums a year or so ago, when the board of directors and the new CEO decide that Wall Street is the most important customer, it is the beginning of the end. The DRM was strictly a ploy to make Wall St happy and they didn't care if they pissed off everyone else. The new machines are very prone to clogging as well. I wish them nothing, they destroyed an American success story in order to enrich themselves and they deserve their new hedge fund masters. As for me, I have switched to nespresso!
I was an early buyer of the Keurig system, which I believe was the B40 Elite, which I loved, then moved up to the B70Platinum which I also loved, but the trouble began with the 2.0 which I bought because of the addition of the carafe. Almost immediately there were problems with the timer not working correctly, as well as the clock, so I returned it for a replacement, same problem, so I returned it again for a replacement, which worked for a while then would not even turn on. I posted a critique on the Keurig Facebook page, and immediately was contacted and told to call them direct, did so, and was sent a replacement directly from them. Got it up and running, and bingo, the timer would not work, got frustrated, gave it to my son, he didn't need that part to work, and bought another brand, Touch Brewing System, and have been very happy so far with that machine, as it works as advertised. P.S. I still have the B70 Platinum which still works and by all my K-Cups from San Francisco Bay Coffee Company, as their K-Cups are bio-degradable, not like Keurig and others who make K-Cups.
Terrible management decisions, irresponsible research of the convenience coffee marketplace, incredibly stupid disregard for the needs or desires of their existing customers, and the hubris with which they launch insanely expensive products that solve no problems--or create problems--and that no one wants. These are the characteristics of a once-great company that is doomed unless a quick change of direction is forthcoming.
The ONLY thing K cups have going is convenience. Many people are starting to realize such convenience is costing them dearly in $$$ and in taste. Keurig had it's moment in the sun, and while better management would have allowed it to go on longer, it's ultimately doomed.
The comments made by others regarding the quality of coffee is spot on; but I don't think that is why Keurig is losing money.
Most people, including myself aren't coffee snobs/connoisseurs. I though, have switched to French Press and a Breville Grind control.
Keurig's problems, IMO, stem largely from their flawed rollout of the Vue and K 2.0 machines. I find it hubris of an intolerable degree that they would release new coffee machines incompatible with a previo9us format K-cup, and that with K2.0 they would initially restrict the type of coffee you could use in the machine. Some bean counter (pun intended) somewhere probably figured that this was the best way to get money out of us consumers.
The introduction of the Kold was absolutely bat $hit crazy. The machine is obscenely expensive to make and purchase, drink pods cost too much and the unit itself is slow, noisy and bulky. Regardless of what others think, I believe 70-85 seconds for an 8 oz soda is unacceptable. It is a solution in search of a problem.
So what changes can Keurig make? I don't see how they can make any that would change their fortunes around drastically - not unless the coffee magically gets better, all K-cups can be used in all machines and they drop the price of the Kold machines and pods.
Btw, every single person I tell that Keurig coffee is vastly overpriced doesn't believe me until they do the math in terms of price per K-cup .vs. weight of coffee per K-cup.
The 2.0 I have just does not produce a hot cup of coffee. I have to microwave it after brewing. I use refillable k cups, so strength isn't an issue for me.
SH does bring up some good points. One that I would like to address is:
"The main gripe from snooty "connoisseurs" is that the coffee isn't high quality enough (You mean a $150-200 machine using pre-packed pods can't produce the same quality of coffee as a $9000-12000 premium Italian/German machine using freshly roasted/ground premium beans? Gasp!)"
As a coffee geek, nerd, or "snooty connoisseur" my biggest problem is that a $150-200 machine cant make the same quality coffee as a $4 Melitta Ready Set Joe.
If we want to get really specific:
Ceramic pourover - $10
Hand grinder with conical burrs - $20
Gooseneck Kettle (optional but recommended)- $25
Electric kettle (optional but recommended) - $15
Everything you need to get started for $70, not $9,000-12,000. Or even $150-200.
Now lets look at the ongoing cost. I buy my fresh roasted, specialty grade beans online ranging from $7-10 for a 12 ounce bag. That's $0.02-0.03 per gram of coffee. The cheapest Walmart brand of Kcup comes out to $0.03 per gram. Step up to Green Mountain or Starbucks and you are coming in at $0.06-0.07 per gram. That is a 12 ounce equivalent of $20.40-23.80. So well over twice the cost of getting real quality beans.
So no SH, I'm not saying that a $150 machine can't compare to a $9,000 machine. I'm saying that Keurig can't make a good cup of coffee at any price.
I think the main gripe everyone has with Keurig is that the pods aren't recyclable and those that are (from 3rd party manufacturers) just end up making a mess or don't function as advertised (the filters always rip/tear instead of coming cleanly out of the pod/k-cup).
The main gripe from Americans is that the coffee isn't strong enough/hot enough.
The main gripe from Canadians is that we are being prevented from having the same brands/variety as Americans and have to put up with a vastly inferior selection this side of the border.
The main gripe from snooty "connoisseurs" is that the coffee isn't high quality enough (You mean a $150-200 machine using pre-packed pods can't produce the same quality of coffee as a $9000-12000 premium Italian/German machine using freshly roasted/ground premium beans? Gasp!)
The Kold was apparently such a failure that only Costco bothered releasing it in Canada but online-only since they didn't want to risk units sitting unsold in stores for months. From what I hear, you get fizzier Coke and more of it (12oz vs 8oz) from a regular can vs. a Kold Pod. Plus a single can costs considerably less than Kold pod. If that isn't the final nail in the coffin, I don't know what is.
The solution = listen to customer feedback from all genres of people. Give the public what they want instead of what license holders & corporate bigwigs want. I'm sure the CEO of KGM probably doesn't even bother using a Keurig machine for his coffee... let him try a cup from a Keurig 2.0 and see why the general public is losing interest.
The biggest issue that I've always had with Keurig is the format itself. It is absolutely impossible to get a good cup of coffee. The cups themselves are barely able to hold enough grounds to make an 8oz cup and are rarely filled enough to make a 6oz cup. Yet their machines are capable of putting a travel mug's worth of water through that wee little bit of grounds.The other problem is that the machine pushes the water through the grounds too fast. There isn't enough extraction time.
I've tried all different kinds of Kcups, licensed and unlicensed. I've purchased cups filled with freshly roasted, specialty grade coffee (which did make a difference). I've tried them through Keurig machines and a BUNN using the pulse mode to extend extraction. I've used 8 ounces and 6. The best combination I managed was a fresh roasted, single origin Kcup in the BUNN on pulse using 6 ounces of water. It was finally a drinkable cup of coffee, however unenjoyable. I compared it next to a cup manually brewed using the proper ratio of grounds to water and there was no comparison. The Kcup format simply will not brew a good cup of coffee. It's always watery and bitter with a sour aftertaste. On a side note, the BUNN comes with a ground drawer that will hold enough grounds and is capable of making an amazing cup of coffee. Further proof that the Kcup format is the biggest fault in the process.
Now I understand that a majority of coffee drinkers don't actually like coffee. They just need the caffeine so they drink the flavored coffees which use syrupy grossness to cover up poor quality coffee. Or they will load it with cream and sugar to cover up a poor quality coffee. For that, the machines serve a purpose. But for people who actually enjoy a quality cup it just isn't possible with Keurig. Their promise of cafe quality on your counter is a complete sham.