By Karla Paris
Success in the coffee market has led food manufacturers to heavy adoption and innovations of the K-Cup
Single-serve brewing systems were hardly on the map five years ago, but now they account for more than a quarter of every dollar Americans spend on at-home coffee. By 2018, market-research firm Mintel expects consumers to spend nearly as much on coffee pods as they do on bulk coffee.
When you consider that this data is just reflective of the coffee market, it’s no wonder why so many other food and beverage manufacturers are launching new products to capture a bigger share of the market. After all, consumers love the convenience that single-serve capsules, such as K-Cups, offer. On April 16, General Mills launched Nature Valley-brand oatmeal that’s made in a Keurig. Hot water from the Keurig runs through K-Cups and into a mug filled with Nature Valley Bistro Cups oatmeal, to be mixed with an additional packet of nuts and fruit.
But, General Mills isn’t the only food maker tinkering with K-Cups. Smucker's is expanding its product line, offering single-use K-Cups with Folgers brand coffee for use in Keurig machines. Keurig Green Mountain and Smucker’s announced on May 7 an expansion of its partnership agreement, allowing for greater choice and variety of the Smucker’s family of coffee brands for the Keurig system in at-home and away-from-home locations. Also in the works, Smucker’s plans to give its Millstone brand a make-over. The company intends to rebrand and provide additional support so it can compete in the premium ends of the K-Cup and bagged-coffee segments.
Campbell’s is fighting, as well, for its position in the K-Cup market. The soup maker is now offering Campbell's Fresh-Brewed Soup K-Cup Packs which contain broth that can be brewed over a packet of dried vegetables and noodles for use in the Keurig system.
And don’t forget about Coca-Cola. The company also recently decided to invest in the single-cup brewing trend. Earlier this year it agreed to purchase a 10 percent stake in Keurig Green Mountain (formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters). Keurig and its Keurig Cold product, which is being developed, will be the official maker of Coca-Cola's prepare-at-home beverage.