Keurig Announces Single-Serve Coffee Overhaul

The company highlighted "K-Rounds," a plastic-free coffee pod.

Keurig K-Rounds
Keurig K-Rounds
Keurig Dr Pepper

BURLINGTON, Mass., and FRISCO, Texas — Keurig Dr Pepper on Wednesday introduced a multi-year innovation agenda for its Keurig single serve brewing system, including a completely reimagined coffee system and a portfolio of new products and technologies designed to meet the needs of today's and tomorrow's coffee consumer.

The foundation of the company's future vision is "K-Rounds" plastic-free pods, a revolutionary new form of single serve coffee. K-Rounds pods are created from expertly roasted coffee beans that are ground, pressed and wrapped in a proprietary, protective plant-based coating preserving the coffee's flavor and aroma, eliminating the need for plastic or aluminum. K-Rounds plastic-free pods will work in the new Keurig Alta brewer as part of a reimagined Keurig system that allows consumers to make a variety of hot and cold barista-style beverages – from a bold espresso with velvety crema, to an aroma-rich cup of hot coffee or a refreshingly chilled cold coffee – without having to master complex brewing techniques.

As the company pursues its vision, consumers will have the opportunity to provide essential feedback in the ongoing development of the Keurig Alta system in various beta testing phases with the first starting as early as fall 2024. Keurig will leverage learnings from these trials, as well as strategic engagement with and insights from its retailer and coffee brand partners, to refine and optimize the system before making it available for broader sale to consumers. 

"Thirty years ago, Keurig changed the way consumers brewed coffee, with the introduction of the K-Cup pod single serve coffee system. Today, we are applying all our expertise to create a revolutionary new system that will redefine how consumers will brew coffee for decades to come," said Chairman and CEO Bob Gamgort. "Our ambitious agenda reflects our commitment to providing variety, quality, value, and sustainability to the 45 million North American coffee consumers who currently use Keurig brewers and the millions of potential new households who will discover the benefits of a perfect cup of coffee prepared effortlessly in their home."

The unique plastic- and aluminum- free design of K-Rounds allows for brewing at both high pressure for espresso-based drinks and low pressure for drip coffee, cold or hot, so consumers can enjoy a variety of coffeehouse drinks without coffeehouse prices. K-Rounds plastic-free pods will come in different sizes for specific types of coffee beverages and will be marked with a code that the Keurig Alta brewer automatically reads to determine the pressure and extraction profile needed to get the full flavor, aroma and richness of each coffee variety. After brewing, K-Rounds plastic free pods can be disposed of like coffee grounds and are expected to be certified compostable, as the Company is currently working through the certification process. The new Keurig Alta brewer will also provide the option to brew existing K-Cup pods so that users can enjoy the 500+ varieties offered through the Keurig family of brands. 

The development of the Keurig Alta brewer and K-Rounds plastic-free pods is the result of a multi-year innovation project which incorporates significant intellectual property in beverage, pod, appliance and manufacturing design and processes. As part of this intellectual property portfolio, KDP has acquired a perpetual license to know-how and technology invented by Delica Switzerland for their CoffeeB system in Europe, including a proprietary plant-based coating and application processes. KDP's partnership with Delica grants Keurig exclusive rights to use and build upon these technologies for consumers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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