Starbucks Verismo Coffee Maker Takes Aim At Single Cup Coffee Market

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Starbucks Verismo Single Cup Coffee MakerIn the coffee wars, the battlefronts are many. The New York Times recently reported that in 2011, the worldwide market for single cup coffee machines and single serving pods was more than eight billion dollars.

The president for channel development and emerging brands at Starbucks, Jeff Hansberry, told the New York Times that single cup coffee sales grew by 143% last year, and that one in every three coffee makers sold is a single cup coffee machine.

This market has so far been largely dominated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, who in 2006, acquired Keurig, the manufacturer of single cup brewing machines and the ubiquitous K-cup coffee pods.

With 37 patents protecting the K-cup, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) easily held on to it’s position as the single cup coffee king. However, with two of those main patents expiring recently, the company finds itself vulnerable to competition.

In a timely move that is sure to intensify the ongoing coffee wars, Starbucks has unleashed it’s newest weapon, the Verismo Coffee Maker.

The Verismo utilizes not-so-unfamiliar-looking plastic cups of coffee grounds, but one ups traditional single cup coffee brewers by including a “milk pod” that according to Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks, “makes a latte with fresh milk just like we make it in our stores.”

Howard Schultz comments on Verismo Coffee Machine

“Our research and development team cracked the code on being able to create a latte using real milk with a proprietary piece of technology,” he said.

The new Verisimo machines will initially be available as two models in an array of colors, one selling for $199 MSRP and one for $399 MSR, but you can already find better prices on Amazon: Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer Piano Black (011023262)

“Starbucks To Introduce Machines For 1 Serving.” New York Times 20 Sept. 2012, New York Edition ed.: B3. Print.

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