For those consumers wanting the kind of immediate synthesizing of food and drinks as seen on “Star Trek,” it’s likely that they’ll have to wait awhile. Some, however, might be drawn to Keurig Green Mountain’s new “Kold” beverage system, which the company views as altering the future of cold beverages.
Keurig today announced the launch of Kold, a machine that uses the company’s pod-based technology to create cold sparkling and still beverages at home. Priced at $369.99 per unit, Kold comes with 13 beverage options, including four Coca-Cola products (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite and Fanta) and two Dr Pepper Snapple-owned brands (Dr Pepper and Canada Dry). Keurig also markets six of its own brands exclusively created for the Kold system.
While other Keurig units are designed to pour hot drinks, the Kold system uses “an aerospace-inspired thermal transfer system,” to chill room temperature water to an ideal temperature, according to the company. And unlike competing at-home cold beverage machines like those marketed by SodaStream, Kold does not use a carbon dioxide canister to create carbonated beverages. Instead, its sparkling drink pods contain what Keurig calls “Karbonator beads,” each of which hold beverage-grade carbon dioxide that is released during the drink-making process.
“The disruptive countertop-size innovation in KOLD is like nothing consumers have ever experienced,” Keurig CEO Brian Kelley said in company release.
Keurig notes that its Kold pods contain a freshness seal on the bottom of each (to be removed by the consumer prior to creating a drink) and do not require refrigeration. Each pod creates an 8 oz. beverage, and Keurig states that most Kold-created drinks will contain 100 calories or less. The pods have a suggested price of $4.49-$4.99 a box of four.
Kold will be sold on the Keurig website and at select retailers online and in six cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, beginning next month.
Last year, Coca-Cola acquired a 10 percent stake in Keurig for $1.25 billion (later raising its ownership in the company to 16 percent), in an agreement that included a 10-year deal for Coke-owned brands to be used in its machines. The launch of Kold comes on the heels of an extended deal between PepsiCo and Sodastream and would appear to signal the dawn of a new battle between the cola giants, that of at-home preparation of cold drinks.
However, some Wall Street analysts are concerned about the prospects for Kold, particularly as it relates to the cost of the system and its $1-per-drink pricing. Internet news site Buzzfeed reports that while “Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a research note that they were ‘impressed by the product,’ and that the beverages tasted good… adoption may be slow ‘given the higher-than-expected price point of the system and a more gradual national launch.’”
Along with slowing sales and missteps in the launch of its much heralded Keurig 2.0 unit, the company, once a Wall Street darling whose stock reached a high of $158.87 per share is trading at $53.95 as of press time.
Despite its dour stock performance and analyst concerns, Keurig on its website hailed the launch of Kold as “revolutioniz[ing] the cold beverage category in the home,” noting that it has “a robust innovation pipeline and [is] envisioning new possibilities for the Keurig brand in homes of the future.”
Here is Keurig’s full press release regarding the launch of Keurig Kold:
WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR), a personal beverage system company that has revolutionized the way consumers create and enjoy beverages, today announced the launch of the Keurig® KOLD™ system, the first beverage system that allows consumers to freshly make cold sparkling and still beverages at home at the push of a button, including beloved favorites from The Coca-Cola Company and Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
“Keurig has redefined the way consumers enjoy coffee and tea in their homes and offices and today with the launch of Keurig KOLD, we’re embarking on a new journey that will change the way consumers enjoy cold beverages at home,” said Brian Kelley, President and CEO of Keurig. “The disruptive countertop-size innovation in KOLD is like nothing consumers have ever experienced – from the rapid chilling that turns room temperature water to a perfectly chilled drink at the push of a button; to the dispensing technology that produces consistently great tasting beverages; to the pod technology which enables fully carbonated beverages. KOLD delivers game changing, on-demand variety of sparkling or non-carbonated beverages all fresh made with Keurig simplicity.”
For the first time consumers will be able to actually make a Coca-Cola® or a Dr Pepper® on their kitchen counter. The Keurig® KOLD™ system encourages choice and discovery, including new and exciting exclusive beverage brands from categories including craft and fountain-style sodas, zero- and low-calorie flavored seltzers and waters, sports hydration drinks, iced teas and – coming soon – cocktail mixers.
Beginning today, the new Keurig® KOLD™ system is available to order on Keurig.com and will be sold at select retailers both online and in six cities beginning in October, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.
In addition to the versatility of the system and broad beverage variety available, the Keurig® KOLD™ system incorporates innovative features and technology, including:
- Fresh-made. The KOLD™ pod and drinkmaker do all the work. Simply remove the freshness seal from the bottom of the pod, pop it in, push the button and freshly make a cold beverage, mixed to just the right taste each and every time.
- Carbonation without a CO2 canister. To make carbonated beverages, the Keurig® KOLD™ system uniquely uses Karbonator™ beads, which are contained within the pod and hold beverage-grade CO2. During the drink making process, CO2 is naturally released into the beverage to perfectly carbonate each drink.
- Drinks delivered chilled. The innovative KOLD™ chiller uses an aerospace-inspired thermal transfer system to rapidly cool beverages to the ideal chilled temperature.
- Perfectly portioned. Keurig® KOLD™ delivers beverages at an eight-ounce portion size, and nearly all beverages have 100 calories or less.
- Space savings. KOLD™ pods need no refrigeration so consumers can easily store more beverage choices in their pantry or in their countertop KOLD™ pod carousel, offering everyone, including family and guests, exactly the cold beverage they want, when they want it.
Kelley concluded, “We’re excited to introduce Keurig KOLD to consumers today and are appreciative of the strong collaboration of our beverage brand partners, The Coca-Cola Company and Dr Pepper Snapple Group. The inclusion of their great brands strengthens the appeal of Keurig KOLD. In addition, we believe Coca-Cola’s marketing strengths and global distribution capabilities will be instrumental in the years to come as we look to expand the reach of Keurig KOLD beyond North America.”
Beverage brands offered in the Keurig® KOLD™ system portfolio include:
- From The Coca-Cola Company: Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero®, Sprite®, Fanta®
- From the Dr Pepper Snapple Group: Dr Pepper®, Canada Dry®
- From Keurig:
- Seraphine™: Zero-calorie seltzers in Mediterranean fruit flavors including Passion Fruit and Persian Lime
- FLYTE™: Thirst-quenching sports hydration drinks, including Lemon Lime Launch, Red Rush and zero-calorie Overtime Orange
- Waterful™: Zero-calorie, lightly flavored and sweetened waters in flavors including Blissful Berry and Citrus Celebration
- Red Barn Craft Soda™: Naturally flavored craft soda made with pure cane sugar. Available varieties include Cane Cola, Root Beer and Zesty Lemon Lime
- Flynn’s Soda Shop™: Soda fountain classics including Orange Cream, Diet Orange Cream, Root Beer, Diet Root Beer and Vanilla Cream that taste as good as dessert
- Tierney’s Iced Tea™: Range of still, sparkling and diet iced teas. Available varieties include Diet Peach, Lemon Mint and Passion Fruit Raspberry.
The Keurig® KOLD™ drinkmaker ($369.99 SRP) is available in either white or black, and comes with a set of two Keurig® KOLD™ drinkmaker glasses. The KOLD™ pods ($4.49-$4.99 SRP for a four-count box) along with additional drinkmaker accessories, such as storage carousels and a variety of specialty-designed glassware, are now available on www.keurig.com/KOLD.
About Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR) is reimagining how beverages can be created, personalized, and enjoyed, fresh-made in homes and workplaces. We are a personal beverage system company revolutionizing the beverage experience through the power of innovative technology and strategic brand partnerships. With an expanding family of more than 80 beloved brands and more than 575 beverage varieties, our Keurig® hot and Keurig KOLD™ beverage systems deliver great taste, convenience, and choice at the push of a button. As a company founded on social responsibility, we are committed to using the power of business to brew a better world through our work to build resilient supply chains, sustainable products, thriving communities, and a water-secure world.
For more information visit: www.KeurigGreenMountain.com. To purchase Keurig products: www.keurig.com, www.keurig.ca,www.keurig.co.uk. For more information about the new Keurig KOLD™ system: http://www.keurig.com/kold.
Keurig routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its website,www.KeurigGreenMountain.com, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. The Company encourages investors to consult this section of its website regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to the Company’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from Keurig as it is released.