The biggest brand in the single-serve coffee market, Keurig, will soon be selling coffee makers that only work with the company’s own K-cups. On sale later this year, the new cups will come with what Keurig’s owner, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, calls “interactive technology” that effectively locks out imitation K-cups, the Verge reports.
The move is an attempt to push back at reusable and cheaper imitation coffee pods, which can sell for up to 25% less than Kuerig’s “K-cups.” The news was first revealed in a lawsuit filed by Kuerig-competitor TreeHouse Foods, claiming the brand’s parent company Green Mountain is seeking to maintain a monopoly position by locking out competitive products. Kuerig’s CEO confirmed the move in an earnings call, Techdirt reports.
Food industry heavyweight Coca-Cola recently purchased a 10% stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.