PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway plans to launch five private-label coffee pods for use with Keurig single-cup brewers, according to reports.
The announcement comes a day after Kroger Co. said it would begin selling single-serve pods  under its Private Selections and banner brands designed for use with Keurig brewers and “possibly more” single-cup coffee systems, beginning this September.
Kroger’s introduction is timed to the expiration of patents held by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters on its Keurig Brewers and K-Cup portion packs, which presently require special licensing agreements with interested coffee brands.
“When the market opens up you’re going to be able to zoom in with a private-label,” noted Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark Consulting.
Earlier this year, Safeway debuted Safeway Select pods that make French Vanilla Cappuccino, Hazlenut Cappuccino and Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa in Keurig machines. Unlike the instant cappuccino and hot cocoa pods, the new pods will make filtered coffee, according to reports.