The Digest: Starbucks Makes Its Way Into Your Home
Ashley Cameron | Staff Writer
Starbucks breaks its way into the single-serve business with its new at-home brewer, the Verismo.
Green Mountain Coffee Roaster Inc. popularized the single-serve coffee brewer back in 2006 with the Keurig. Companies like Mr. Coffee, Cuisinart and Nespresso came out with their own versions shortly after.
Starbucks now joins the single-serve business following the success of its coffee competitors. Although Starbucks made a deal for Starbucks K-cups (Keurig single-serve pods) only a year ago and currently controls a quarter of the K-cup market. It announced the idea for its own brewer last March and officially released it earlier this month.
The Verismo will be the first brewer to make regular coffee along with specialty drinks like lattes and espressos. Users will replicate Starbucks drinks with the various kinds of pods. Pods such as latte, espresso, coffee and real milk are available for mixing to recreate authentic Starbucks recipes.
Starbucks’ Verismo site claims: “Your favorite Starbucks beverages. All at home, all from one machine.”
The single-serve market is an $8 billion industry and has grown 143 percent in the last year. The Keurig has been the bestselling brewer in the market, but with the announcement of the Verismo, the Keurig shares have taken a hit of seven percent, while Starbucks’ shares have risen 1.7 percent.
However, Starbucks representatives announced they are not competing with the Keurig or other single-serve brewers; instead, they plan to coincide with one another.
Green Mountain Coffee Roaster Inc. was prepared for some competition. Two of its main patents on their K-cup pods expired this month. However, the company remains optimistic for its future. Experts predict a 15 to 20 percent raise in sales next year. So despite claims, Green Mountain and Starbucks are not at war.
Retailing at about $199, the Verismo will come in a variety of colors. Starbucks will also offer a deluxe version retailing at $399. Starbucks plans on selling machines and pods at William-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond and every Starbucks franchise. The company’s hope is to make it as simple as possible for customers to obtain and enjoy the same Starbucks quality brew from the comfort of their own homes.