Kroger to Debut Private-Label Coffee Pods

CINCINNATIKroger [4] will begin selling single-serve coffee pods under its Private Selections and banner brands this September, Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey confirmed for SN.

The pods will be compatible with Keurig single-cup brewers and “possibly more” coffee brewing systems, Dailey said.

Consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of single-cup coffee brewers, but many are beginning to realize that if sold per pound, coffee portioned into pods would cost about $80, noted Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark Consulting, Beullton, Calif.

“There is more than a future for private-label pods in the stores and the basic reason is economics,” Pirko said. “Regardless of the machines, more and more consumers are going to buy in because Wal-Mart and Kroger are going to give them a really viable option that they haven’t had in the past.”

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart [5] announced plans to sell a new lower-priced single-serve beverage machine developed by Esio Beverage.

Kroger’s introduction is timed to the expiration of patents held by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters on its Keurig brewers, which affect compatible coffee pods — so called K-Cup portion packs — which up until this fall will require special licensing agreements with outside coffee brands.