Behind the Brand: Keurig

The Story Behind Keurig

We enjoy featuring different brands each month, and this week we are exploring the origins of Keurig. If you are a coffee lover, you have likely heard of Keurig, and the first thing you probably do in the morning is hit the “brew” button and have yourself a nice pick-me-up. It’s fascinating to hear how the company took shape, as today it is one of the leaders in coffee brewing. We hope you enjoy reading about Keurig, and stay tuned for our next Behind the Brand post.

The Keurig Revolution Begins

It began with one goal in mind: to revolutionize the way America started its morning.

Tired of drinking weak and stale office coffee, John Sylvan and Peter Dragone, two college roommates turned businessmen, began experimenting with creating a single serve machine that could simply and consistently deliver the perfect cup of coffee. Later joined by

a third man, Dick Sweeney, the entrepreneurs worked tirelessly throughout the early 1990s, building prototype after prototype. After conducting countless taste tests, the initial design nirvana was achieved. They named their brewing system and their company “Keurig”, a word derived from the Dutch word for excellence, and designated each single serve coffee capsule as a “K-Cup® pod.”

The Keurig, Inc. founders knew offering high-quality, specialty coffee in each K-Cup® pod would be instrumental in delivering the taste consumers wanted and deserved. They approached Green Mountain Coffee Roasters throughout their research and development process for assistance with coffee expertise and supply, as well as funding. Intrigued by their innovative spirit, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters invested in the company, teaching it about the rich world of specialty coffee. It then became the first roaster to offer coffee in a K-Cup® pod for the Keurig® single cup brewing system. Together, the team then delivered their first commercial Keurig® brewers to offices in 1998.

After a few years of exclusively targeting sales to offices, Keurig, Inc. executives decided to make this revolutionary brewing system available on kitchen counters. Keurig worked to develop a home model of the brewer that could successfully compete with other single-serve coffee systems offered by competitors. In 2003, Keurig® brewers and K-Cup® pods were made available in high-end department stores, targeting consumers looking for a no-mess approach to brewing coffee, one that could be done from the comfort of their own homes with just one touch of a button.

Realizing the potential of the Keurig® system, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters acquired Keurig, Inc. in 2006, officially uniting specialty coffee with the technical expertise that fueled the early success of the platform. The Keurig® system began to quickly resonate with consumers by offering the quality, convenience and beverage choice they desired. Under one roof (and with a new name in 2014) the company expanded distribution of the Keurig® system, eventually making it available in the specialty retailers, department stores, grocery stores, and other locations.

This strategy of reaching consumers wherever they shopped, fueled by incredible consumer passion for the system, ultimately contributed to the Keurig brewer becoming the leading single-serve platform in the coffee maker category in North America in 2010 – a position it still holds to this day.

Remember, you can purchase Keurig brewing machines, Green Mountain coffee and all your other coffee supplies from OP Plus!

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