Coffee maker Keurig's cold drink system to hit shelves in 2015

Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:16pm EST
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Keurig Green Mountain Inc., maker of the K-Cup single-serve coffee pod, could introduce its new cold brewing system as early as next spring, the head of its Canadian arm said on Monday, in a challenge to Israeli market leader SodaStream International.

Keurig is betting on a niche market that it says could become bigger than the single-serve hot beverage market. Cold brewing systems enable consumers to make carbonated and non-carbonated beverages at home and use little fridge space.

"Picture yourself literally making a Coke at home," Stephane Glorieux, head of Keurig Canada, said in an interview. "It terms of (cold) beverage consumption versus the hot platform, you're talking about four to five times more occasions."

Glorieux also called a lawsuit alleging anti-competitive practices over its existing coffee brewing machine "without merit."

Canada's Club Coffee, which makes cheaper, biodegradable coffee pods that can be used in Keurig brewers, launched a C$600 million lawsuit against the U.S. company last month over the new machine's "lock-out" technology that makes it more difficult to use non Keurig-licensed K-Cups.

Last week, Club Coffee followed up with a formal complaint to the Competition Bureau of Canada seeking a federal investigation into Keurig.

"We're very confident that Club Coffee's complaints are without merit," Glorieux said.

The Canadian lawsuit came shortly after a U.S. federal judge denied coffee company Rogers Family Co's request to block the sale of the new Keurig 2.0 machines.   Continued...