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The Street
The Street
Daniel Kline

Keurig Makes a Cold Move to Take On Starbucks, Dunkin'

The Keurig name tends to bring up an emotional response in people. Some laud the company for bringing in an age of coffee choice. People no longer have to share a pot of coffee with their coworkers or even their spouse. Every person can have exactly the cup they want no matter how ridiculous.

That's great for choice but pretty bad for the environment and the Keurig Dr. Pepper (KDP) company has faced a backlash over the waste it produces. It has also led to a rash of imitators offering their own takes on coffee pods.

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Nestle's (NSRGF) Nespresso machines have carved out a small bit of market share, but the reality is that Keurig remains the king of single-serve coffee. That's an empire that Keurig Dr. Pepper has failed to extend.

The company attempted to move into sodas and other cold beverages in partnership with Coca-Cola (KO). Keurig Kold, however, never became popular and was discontinued after a little more than a year. A second product extension. the Keurig Drinkworks, which made alcoholic beverages from pods, achieved a cult following but was also killed when the company could not build up a big enough base of users to bring costs down.

Now, Keurig has a new, more logical, extension to its lineup. The company has launched Keurig K-Iced, a series of single-cup brewers designed to make iced coffee as well as hot.        

Keurig Dr. Pepper has struggled to move beyond hot coffee pods.

Image source: Shutterstock

Keurig Finally Tries the Logical Thing

Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin' actually sell more iced coffee than they do hot coffee. That's probably because the iced experience is not all that easy to duplicate at home.

Hot coffee does not easily become iced coffee. If you put hot coffee over ice, the melting ice dilutes the coffee. Realistically, the best method to cool coffee has always been to let it happen in the refrigerator, and that takes time.

Now, Keurig has introduced a new "family" of single-serve coffee brewers, Keurig K-Iced. The three-machine line is also matched by the release of five new Iced K-Cup pods. 

"The new K-Iced brewers hit the spot for consumers seeking the option to brew either a refreshing and delicious iced coffee or a rich, full-flavored hot coffee from one coffee maker at-home," the company shared in a press release. "The brewers feature a Brew Over Ice option that automatically adjusts the brew temperature, starting hotter to extract the full flavor of the ground coffee then cooling down to minimize ice melt."

It's a logical idea that doesn't produce cold coffee, but it does make fresh-brewed coffee less hot. Keurig has also added a blue button to trigger this process on these three new machines. 

"The innovative brew-over-ice process results in a vibrant, balanced, and flavorful cup of coffee when brewing over ice that never tastes watered down, all in just two minutes," the company added.

Keurig Leans Into The Iced Coffee Trend

"Understanding that Gen-Z is leading the way in iced coffee consumption, with an astounding 73% of consumers between 18-24 drinking iced coffee weekly, we're excited to further expand our brewer and coffee portfolio to meet the needs of our consumers," said Keurig Dr. Pepper Senior Vice President Becky Opdyke. "With the new K-Iced line, consumers not only get that full flavored hot coffee they expect from Keurig, but also a refreshing iced coffee at the touch of a button -- all in one coffee maker."

Keurig's new line consists of three distinct K-Cup brewers:

  • K-Iced Single Serve Coffee Maker is available on, Amazon, and other major retailers nationwide for $99 and features 6, 8 and 10 hot and iced brew sizes, a 42 oz. removable reservoir, and two fresh colorways.
  • K-Iced Essentials Single Serve Coffee Maker is available exclusively at Walmart at a suggested price of $79 and features 6, 8, or 10 oz hot and iced brew sizes, a 36 oz. removable reservoir, and an iced tumbler package.
  • K-Iced Plus Single Serve Coffee Maker is available exclusively at Target for a suggested price of $129 and features 8, 10, or 12 oz hot and iced brew sizes, a 46oz removable reservoir, three unique colorways, and a drip tray to accommodate tumblers and travel mugs up to 7" tall.

 "We know a staggering 80% of iced coffee drinks are consumed at home which makes the new ICED system the perfect addition." Opdyke added.

Keurig has also added five new K-Cup pods designed to work with the K-Iced machines including The Original Donut Shop Iced Duos Cookies + Caramel, McCafé  At Home Iced One Step Mocha Frappe, McCafé At Home Iced One Step Hazelnut Latte, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Iced Vanilla Caramel, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Iced Hazelnut Cream.

And while these "K-Cup pods are specially crafted to stand up to ice," they are not exclusively for use with the new machines. They are compatible with all Keurig models.

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