Keurig’s push for smart coffee

The company that popularized coffee pods is making a big push for customization.

Credit: Sergi Alexander / Stringer / Getty Images

If you’re looking for a quick and easy coffee ritual, it’s hard to beat Keurig.

As of last year, 35m US households relied on the single-serve pioneer for their morning cups.

But recent moves to make its machines smarter could help Keurig reach younger consumers and grow that number considerably, per The Boston Globe.

The K-Cup revolution…

… started with a 2017 research study in which 10k participants were given WiFi-connected Keurig machines, providing insight into customer preferences.

  • The study revealed two surprises: Consumers want stronger coffee, and larger cups, than Keurig expected.

These findings led Keurig to prioritize customization through a combination of hardware and software, including:

  • Medusa, a device that punctures the K-Cups with five needles to make stronger brews than its traditional single-needle part.
  • BrewID, which uses AI to recognize the brand and roast of each pod, then customizes the brew settings accordingly.

The updates are already paying off

Intelligentsia, a specialty coffee roaster that previously refused to work with Keurig, agreed to partner with the company on K-Cups last summer after trialing the new tech.

Now, armed for the future with its smart pods, the biggest threat facing Keurig might just be the rise of slow brewers.

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