The Coca-Cola Company has taken 10% in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) to enable it to be the exclusive partner for the production and sale of Coke-branded single-serve, pod-based cold beverages – for the Keurig Cold single-serve beverage system.
GMCR’s Keurig single-cup coffee machines are well established in the North American market, and it has already expanded beyond coffee with a soup deal with Campbell’s. The move towards cold drinks appears to be fuelled by the high profile resurgence of SodaStream, which has not only regained its space on kitchen worktops around the world, but also successfully introduced SodaStream Caps – its first ever flavour concentrates in a single-use capsule.
So this $1.25bn investment moves Coke towards this territory, giving it the opportunity to compete with alternatives and providing it with a potential ‘home delivery’ option. Of course, Coke is no stranger to ‘mix your own’, as demonstrated through its Freestyle vending units. But to make that technology scaleable to reach the residential and small office market would no doubt cost more than its investment in GMCR.