An utterly predictable failure

Oh dear. Keurig Green Mountain, our hometown manufacturer of environmentally wasteful consumer products, is cutting back. About a hundred workers will lose their jobs in Vermont following a decision I’ve been predicting from the very start.

KGM is killing Keurig Kold, its overpriced, slow, inconvenient carbonated-beverage delivery system. The layoffs are directly related to that business decision — although any minute now, I expect a press release from Phil Scott blaming the Shumlin administration. Because that’s Leadership!

Among the Keurig Kold’s many problems:

— an initial list price of nearly $400

— beverage pods that cost a buck twenty-five apiece — and make EIGHT OUNCES of soda.

— Producing an eight-ounce serving takes a minimum of 90 seconds.

— The machine itself is bulky — larger in all dimensions than any Keurig coffeemaker. It weighs 23 pounds. Takes up a lot of counter space.

— The water chamber needs to be pre-chilled to 39 degrees, which takes at least two hours. You’d have to preplan your soda breaks, or burn electricity to keep the thing running all the time.

The initial product reviews featured descxriptors like “loud,” “exasperating,” “inconvenient,” “very flawed,” “difficult to justify,” “shaping up to be a colossal dud,” and this concise summary:

As a piece of engineering, the Keurig Kold impresses. As a consumer product, it’s baffling.

Which explains why this white elephant ever reached the marketplace at all. KGM invested a hell of a lot of time and effort into developing Keurig Kold (which, with its core “Karbonator” technology, provides the ever-desirable “KKK” acronym), so management could never bring themselves to admit failure and pull the plug.

But shortly after KK’s launch, the company was sold to a private-equity firm and its CEO given the boot. Then it was only a matter of time before Keurig Kold was tossed on the Edsel Memorial Ash-heap of Consumer Product FAIL.

How badly did this thing do? Two indications:

— They killed it just as the weather was getting into cold-beverage territory.

— They’re offering KK buyers a complete refund on their costly machines. Eesh.

And remember, when you see the inevitable press release from Phil Scott, this had nothing to do with state government.

No Thing.

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6 thoughts on “An utterly predictable failure

  1. sarrants

    The CEO wasn’t really given the boot. He was (sorta) kicked upstairs as vice chairman of the board. proving once again that when you’re that high in an organization, you usually fall up, not down.

    Reply
  2. Dave Katz

    Elect more bidnessmen to high government office. Because that’s what this country needs.
    The “Keurig Kold Karbonator”? Has someone OD’d on back season episodes of “Mad Men”, to the point of losing any capacity for irony or shame they may have had?

    Reply

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