Are you one of the Pod People? Obscure 50’s movie references aside, it seems that 1 in 3 Americans now brew their coffee using the K-cup. When John Sylvan invented the Keurig machine to deliver single cups of coffee to the masses, he never dreamed just how popular this method of home brewing would become. Nearly 9 Billion K-cups were sold in 2014 which equates to over $4 Billion in revenue for the company.
Now that the initial patent has expired, other companies have jumped on the K-cup bandwagon including appliance giants like Cuisinart, Bunn, Hamilton Beach and even Mr. Coffee. Tassimo has gone a step beyond and created a single serving pod system that delivers cocoa, espresso or regular brews. As demand increases, manufacturers rush to fill that need. As a society, we’ve come a very long way in the hundred and fifty years since the coffee pot boiled over the open fire.
Single serving coffee pods save power, water and coffee. They’re clean, efficient and come in all the flavors and brews you could ever want. You can have a French Roast for your first jolt in the morning and a Pumpkin Spice for your second cup. No more stale pots languishing on the burner. Keurig is even now expanding into soups and other K-cup drinks in a partnership with Coca-Cola.
There has been a backlash in the past year regarding the disposal of the coffee pods. The original K-cups are made of plastic and are not recyclable. The impact on the environment is of great concern to all. Imagine 9 billion plastic cups in landfills across America! Still, that hasn’t seemed to stop the public at large as they continue to buy both the machines and the replacement pods. This has been a bit of a public relations nightmare for a company that touts itself as an organic and fair-trade coffee company. Green Mountain Coffee has built its reputation on environmental concerns. The solution? Many of the second generation are reducing the impact of the K-cup on the environment by creating cups that are compostable and recyclable. While this can’t undo the damage already done, it’s certainly a huge step in the right direction. The company announced in December,2015 that it was being acquired by a large corporation for over $13 Billion. The acquisition will take Green Mountain back to a privately held corporation. The company had its IPO in 1993.
Here at PBFY, we’re all about packaging. Naturally, the saga of the K-cup is relevant to our business as well. We manufacture plastic bags, yes, but we’re also mindful of the environment. We have processes that produce bags and packaging made from recycled plastic and paper. We offer a line of paper bags that are environmentally-friendly, recyclable and compostable.
We’d like to hear from you about your coffee preferences. Please take a moment to answer the poll or leave your comments below.[total-poll id=12087]