By Kevin Meyer
Now that I can reliably see again, I have something of a pent-up list of topics I'd like to write on. But it's the weekend, so let's start with something a bit more fun – and perhaps closer to home.
So how many of you have already run down to the nearest Starbucks to get your coffee? Or how many cranked up the Keurig or (gasp!) made a full pot at home? For those of you that made a pot, how much will be left in the pot in a couple hours? Come on, admit it – you end up dumping out most of the pot. Think about that.
Apparently many consumers are, which is why those single serving machines are all the rage. I know I made the switch from the morning Starbucks stop to a Keurig about two years ago. Paid for itself in less than three months. I had previously switched from the traditional pot to the Starbucks run simply because I was the only coffee drinker in the house, and dumping a several scoops of ground coffee into the basket to make a pot for just little ole me didn't make sense.
Wasting coffee didn't make sense, paying a fat markup to Starbucks didn't make sense, but paying a little extra for a single use K-Cup did. Waste reduction, and value from many perspectives besides just price.
Which is how the article describes it as well.
Having already replaced the office coffee pot, single-cup coffee systems now
want to conquer households. Already, 24% of U.S. homes are equipped with
a single-cup coffee machine, making it second only to standard drip
makers in terms of household penetration, according to market research
The rise of single-cup brewing begs shoppers to do the math. Using
one of the new single-cup machines to brew a serving of regular coffee
costs anywhere from 55 cents to 80 cents, depending on the machine and
the coffee. That compares with $1.65 or more for a "tall" coffee at a
Yep, that was the three month payback for one-cup-a-day me.
By far, the most cost-effective option remains to brew a whole pot of
coffee at home using a traditional method, at a cost of anywhere from a
dime to a quarter per serving. But that assumes you drink the whole
pot. The more-common scenario, as any coffee lover knows, is to brew a
pot of coffee but only drink one or two cups, significantly raising the
The real-world realization of that common misperception of mass production. Waste happens, if not tied directly to demand. Whether it's extra coffee in the pot, or cars sitting on a sales lot.
One indisputable advantage of single-cup brewers is that they are fast.
At dinner parties they can efficiently accommodate the varying demands
of a crowd. Many hosts find the machine provides a welcome post-dinner
activity, as guests select and concoct their own drinks before dessert
Velocity of flow. Quick changeover leading to mass customization. Increased value – through time and price and desire matched to demand – to the customer.
Lean right in front of you in the kitchen.