Starbucks Confirms Interest in Single Serve Coffee Market

February 13, 2011

This week it was reported that coffee kingpin Starbucks confirmed its interest in entering the single serve coffee market. Chicago Tribune writer Emily Bryson York predicted that this move by the coffee retailing leader would give a big push to the growing single serve coffee arena. This market, growing at a steady rate of about 2% a year, accounts for about $509 million in U.S. sales. The attraction of single serve coffee is its ease of preparation and cleanup, besides offering cup-to-cup variety. The systems work by brewing single cups, or pods, one at a time. The pods come pre-packed and pre-tamped. Taking only 40 seconds to brew each cup, five people could have five varieties of coffee in the space of a few minutes. There is little cleanup as the used pods are disposable. Single serve brewing beats running to the local coffee shop for favorite drinks, making it a good choice for offices. The main downside of single serve brewers is their expense. The brewer itself varies in price and the pods can run from 45 cents to a dollar apiece. This is probably the main reason the trend has not been an exploding one. Starbucks’ entry would definitely bring new interest and depending on the cost, spread the appeal to the chain’s fans. ROASTe sells both pod brewers and a variety of pods. Our most practical accessory, however, is the reusable pod designed for Keurig brewers (brewer and pods shown below). With these, the user can fill the pod with his or her favorite coffee and still enjoy the convenience of quick brewing, at a much lower cost than the pre-filled pods. Of course, the preparation is more involved, as the user must fill and tamp the pod before every use. Nevertheless, it’s the ability to serve every office or family member’s favorite cup quickly that offers the potential for the trend to take off in greater popularity.



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