Fake syrup peddler takes over eco-disastrous beverage maker

That didn’t take long. Keurig Green Mountain, the artist formerly known as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, was sold to a private equity firm in late December; now, the company’s CEO has been kicked out of the way.

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. in Waterbury has hired a new chief executive officer, promoting current CEO Brian Kelley to vice chairman of the board.

That’s a hell of a promotion. Kind of like being promoted from Governor to Lieutenant Governor.

And Kelley’s replacement?

Bob Gamgort, currently CEO of Pinnacle Foods Inc. in Parsippany, New Jersey, will take over leadership of Keurig on May 2. Pinnacle owns a number of well-known brands, including Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Mrs. Butterworth’s and Log Cabin, Armour and Birds Eye.

Ruh-roh, Raggy. Mrs. Butterworth’s and Log Cabin?

Them’s fightin’ words around these parts.

Can we blame Gamgort for the deceptive labeling practices that prompted Vermont’s maple syrup industry to seek a federal crackdown? Directly or indirectly, I think we can.

Either way, he’s clearly got all the integrity of your typical industrial food purveyor. Integrity enough to fit in a thimble and leave room for your pinky.

Kelley’s “promotion” (cough) should be no surprise. KGM has underperformed in recent years. Low points of Kelley’s tenure include the disastrous rollout of Keurig 2.0, a beverage maker designed to block the use of competitors’ single-cup beverage containers; and the very expensive Keurig Kold beverage maker that seems doomed to fail. CNet:

The machine is bulky, loud, and it makes drinks too slowly — about 90 seconds to produce one 8-ounce glass of soda.

Which doesn’t even mention the two biggest problems with KK: The device itself costs nearly $400, and each single serving will set you back a dollar or more. For eight measly ounces. And this is the machine that’s supposed to be the wind beneath KGM’s wings. Albatross around its neck, more like.

Gamgort’s got a big job on his hands. Given his background selling fake syrup and other mass-market comestibles, I think he’ll do anything he can to turn this mess around. Emphasis on “anything.”

Fasten your seat belts, boys. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

3 thoughts on “Fake syrup peddler takes over eco-disastrous beverage maker

  1. H. Brooke Paige

    Little Bit Less of Vermont at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

    It is amazing how quickly the Green Mountain Coffee Roaster brand has fallen from favor with ant the consumers and retailers. Consumed by their obsession with the costly and environmentally unfriendly K-Cup brewer, GMCR lost track of what made the company great – unique blends of premium beans roaster in the “Green Mountains.” Today the company roasts their beans at location throughout the country (Castroville, California; Knoxville, Tennessee; Sumner, Washington; Toronto, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec in addition to their Vermont facilities in Essex, Waterbury and Williston) and promotes their brewers which are manufactured in Asia.

    The Keurig – Coca Cola – Bob Gamgort leadership will only further diminish the importance of our little state in their corporate game plan. Soon, the Green Mountain brand will have as little to do with Vermont as the Vermont Maid “Syrup” brand does! I can’t help but remember how Bill Davis was vilified in the press for trying to aggressively support GMCR in a volatile stock market when he singlehandedly attempted to maintain the company’s Vermont roots and its market value.

    John S. Walters explores the downward trajectory of GMCR at: https://thevpo.org/2016/03/24/fake-syrup-peddler-takes-over-eco-disastrous-beverage-maker/

  2. katrinkavt

    What a difficult name the new boss has… I keep wanting to pronounce it Gagmort.
    I wish they would remove “Vermont” from any and all of their logos.


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