We've been following the public battle over the Starbucks coffee business at grocery and perhaps single serve coffee T-Discs for the past few weeks, and it doesn't look good. We're unsure if the agreement Starbucks wants to end - a $500 million dollar business Kraft and Starbucks have grown over the past 10 years will include Tassimo T-Discs for Seattle's Best and Starbucks brand coffees, or just focus on Kraft not being able to distribute Starbucks whole bean and ground coffees.
It would seem if Kraft and Starbucks break up the T-Discs would have to go as well, and is this because Starbucks is going to make some kind of single serve coffee brewer using VIA as a base? Who knows, but this potentially disappointing news for consumers of the Tassimo brewing system.
From the Chicago Tribune:
While Starbucks seems bent on breaking up with Kraft, which has distributed its coffee in grocery stores for 12 years, it's unlikely to affect consumers. But the move may cost Starbucks some big bucks. Behind-the-scenes discussions between the companies percolated into public dissonance during earnings calls by Kraft Foods Inc. and Starbucks Corp. on Thursday and culminated with a string of company announcements that seemed to be setting the stage for litigation.
Starbucks desire to break away from Kraft seems to mark a new era for the company. Over the past decade, the coffee chain's agreements with companies like Kraft (bagged coffee) and PepsiCo Inc. (bottled Frappuccino beverages) served as Starbucks' most visible advertising. For consumers who lived in areas without Starbucks cafes, the packaged and bottled versions of its coffee, ice cream and chocolates served as a regular reminder of the brand.
Whatever happens, we'll keep you posted on what we find out regarding Tassimo and the continued presence of Starbucks and Seattle's Best on the platform.
If you haven't figured it out the future of coffee is Single Serve Coffee (okay well maybe more of the future), and the future of the desktop is well - mobile and convenient. The iPad and other are so popular that when you visit a Starbucks lately there's simply fewer and fewer laptops and lots of iPhones, Android, and iPad users and that's got to make Microsoft notice. There's a report that says the Starbucks CIO told a reporter that iDevices from Apple are used more in its stores than any others.
So in a nut shell what's our comparison? Well - the future of the web may be mobile, but we think the future of coffee is really single serve coffee. Over the past 6+ years since we started this site it's easy to see that not only do people want choice and convenience at home, but they want excellent choice and convenience. From K-Cups to T-Discs to Coffee Pods - the choice is there and some of the instant offerings from Starbucks VIA aren't bad either. People are accepting what they want not how they have to get it - so enjoy the ride because it's going to not be a car on a Sunday drive in the Single Serve Coffee and gadget world - it's going to be a flying car moving at the speed of light.
When it rains it pours apps for your iPhone or iPod touch for anything Single Serve Coffee related. As you know we've launched our own Single Serve Coffee app, but we think you'll also enjoy K-Cupboard. K-Cupboard helps provide you with a database of cups for Keurig coffee makers along with ratings for each. If you have ever been in a store and felt overwhelmed when trying to pick out a new flavor but were afraid to take a chance, then this app is for you.
Large database of cups
Sort by brand or cup type
Locally stored ratings for use when an internet connection is not available.
A non-licensed single cup cartridge from Sturm Foods, Inc.
It can be used in Keurig brewers.
Sturm Foods has debuted a single cup cartridge that can be used in a Keurig K-Cup brewer. The Sturm Foods single cup offering is not a licensed K-Cup or a Sturm Foods K-Cup, it's essentially a cartridge like K-Cup that doesn't contain ground coffee, but micro-ground coffee much like Starbuck's Via.
The Grove Square Medium Roast cup is not a real K-Cup and doesn't feature a filter.
It's filled with micro-grind instant coffee.
As we've been following in the news, Green Mountain Coffee and Keurig have sued Sturm Foods for patent infringement. Currently, there are no private label K-Cups, and we were surprised to see a company debut any private label K-Cup like product given the patents on K-Cups have not expired.
Single Serve Espresso has some insightful thoughts about a recent WSJ article on the single serve coffee world. It's no surprise that companies are making a push for the holidays, but the WSJ reports that the single serve coffee and espresso marketers are starting to push hard this year after what appears to be a milestone 2010 for them.
The WSJ is reporting that single serve coffee sales are up 101% over year ago, which is partly why the makers are looking to make the 2010 holiday season a big one. Also sales of single serve coffee machines are mostly in the 4th quarter with over 60% of sales at that time, and the installed base at 7% according to research.
When it rains it pours coffee acquisitions, and this one doesn't really come as a surprise. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. has been buying up most of the K-Cup makers over the past year, and now the circle is complete. Van Houtte was the last K-Cup roaster/licensee to not be part of the Green Mountain family, and now they are being acquired. The purchase price? Van Houtte will be acquired for $890 million US or $915 million Canadian dollars. With this acquisition Green Mountain Coffee now owns Tully's, Timothy's and Diedrich brands giving them a solid footing in Canada and across the Pacific north west. We'll let you know if there's any more to this transaction as the news rolls in.
The Wormhole, a coffee shop in Chicago, celebrates geek culture with a DeLorean parked right inside the shop. And coffee fiends looking for a sci-fi fix with their coffee can rejoice that's it's not just back to the future. The Wormhole has movie posters and memorabilia from films that are in heavy geek rotation: Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and everything else that happened in or around the 80's.
People are always asking us when do you think the single serve coffee market will go from fad to a reality all coffee drinkers must face? Well - how about when the toy coffee maker you get your kids is no longer a drip coffee maker, and is in fact a single serve coffee maker. This set has both a toaster and single serve coffee maker to help make your kids breakfast play a little more realistic.
Toaster includes two pieces of bread, plate, honey jar, and Velcro"sectioned stick of butter kids can "cut" with the play knife. Just like its reallife counterpart, the toaster actually"pops" out the toast when its done.
Coffee Maker includes cup, milk carton, sugar bowl and spoon, and features movable parts for realistic play.
There is a new article on Green Mountain Coffee Roasters that is more of a conundrum for us here at Single Serve Coffee, than insightful. We've seen several articles featuring the company with the pros and cons of single use K-Cups, coffee pods, T-Discs, and even Nespresso capsules with respect to the environment, and this one has nothing really new to offer.
We know that Green Mountain has built a reputation as an eco-friendly company since it was founded nearly 30 years ago, and we also strongly believe in the future more of the single-cup offerings will be even more recyclable and eco-friendly given all the research and development they are working on in the area. We also believe not wasting an entire pot of coffee, and also recycling the majority of the K-Cup is a great start. You can use the coffee grounds in compost along with the paper filter, and we peel off the top to put into our regular recycling which takes all comers.
There is one really interesting tidbit which is the all-paper K-Cup Green Mountain is working on with respect to tea brewing which would be fully recylable. A fully recyclable K-Cup option at least for teas would be a big step toward getting a 100% recycling option.
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