Been an interesting week for homegrown planet-bespoiler Keurig Green Mountain. First, the maker of costly coffee pods had to do an embarrassing about-face on its decision to DRM-up its new coffee maker. It was a capitalistically noble effort to derail competition for its profitable (and planet-bespoiling) K-cups, but consumers rebelled.
Understandable. It’s kinda like if oil companies made cars, and DRM’d the tank so you could only buy their brand of gas. Consumers would naturally rebel. Or, here’s an even more insane one: it’s as if you could buy a printer dirt cheap, but then had to pay extortionate prices for cartridges.
Anyway, embarrassing walkback for KGM. But help is on the way, in the form of its new cold-beverage system. Er, “kold.”
Keurig Kold, set to launch this fall, was developed in a partnership with Coca-Cola, Keurig’s largest shareholder, and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Keurig CEO Brian Kelley said the new machine will make a Coke, and other beverages, indistinguishable from the originals.
The magic behind the Keurig Kold: its patented Karbonator system. Ah, the Keurig Kold Karbonator, or “KKK” for short. What could go wrong?
New machine, new patent-protected technology. And pray tell, Dan D’Ambrosio of the Burlington Free Press, what does this wonder of market research do for us consumers?
The water in the Keurig Kold reservoir is chilled separately to 39 degrees in 60 seconds, then “perfectly poured” in 8-ounce portions…
The Keurig Kold pods will initially be sold in four-count boxes priced at 99 cents to $1.29 per pod.
Err… okay. Eight ounces of Coke for a BUCK TWENTY-NINE?
That’s insane. Or, as Business Insider put it:
Keurig’s next big thing is starting to look like a total disaster
Because it’s not just the stratospheric cost of the damn pods, says the Boston Globe:
… the machines will cost around $300 or more and will be rolled out slowly over the next year and a half. … [with] a full national rollout by the 2016 holiday season.
And here’s more good news: even with a price point of $300, KGM will lose money on every machine sold. They’re counting on brisk sales of the profitable (and planet-bespoiling) pods to save their bacon. That’s a big bet with a slow and uncertain payoff.
KGM stock has already taken a beating of late because of consumer backlash over Keurig 2.0. Did investors take heart from the delayed rollout of an uber-costly, dubiously beneficial new product?
The slow roll-out and relatively high price point prompted skepticism from several investors who attended the presentation, and the company’s stock was down more than 5 percent in after-hours trading after the announcement.
KKK fever: catch it!