US – Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), a leading American beverage and coffeemaker conglomerate, has introduced its latest innovation in the coffee industry with the launch of ‘compostable’ coffee pods dubbed ‘K-Rounds’. 

This eco-friendly alternative, alleged to be free of any plastic or metal, encapsulates coffee grounds within a plant-based protective layer, setting a new standard for sustainability in coffee pod technology. 

According to KDP, the K-Rounds pods are expected to undergo certification as compostable, reflecting the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship. 

The technology behind these pods originates from Delica Switzerland’s CoffeeB system, with KDP securing exclusive rights for its use and further development across the US, Canada, and Mexico.

“As consumers prioritise more personalised, sustainable and accessible coffee experiences, Keurig is proud to introduce the K-Cup pod system innovation plan – designed for any countertop, drink preference and budget,” said Patrick Minogue, President of US Coffee, KDP.   

The unveiling of K-Rounds accompanies the announcement of the upcoming Keurig Alta brewing system, which will be compatible exclusively with these plastic-free pods. Both innovations are slated for a test release in the autumn, offering consumers a glimpse into the future of sustainable coffee brewing. 

Furthermore, KDP revealed a comprehensive ‘roadmap of innovation,’ featuring plans for a compact Keurig brewer to be launched in 2025, promising affordability without compromising on quality.  

CEO Robert Gamgort addressed recent challenges faced by the company, citing a decline in net sales and volumes within its US coffee business in the fourth quarter of last year, attributed to a slowdown in at-home coffee consumption amid the ongoing pandemic recovery. 

To counteract these challenges, Gamgort emphasized KDP’s commitment to affordability through revenue growth management initiatives, focusing on optimizing prices, promotions, and product range.  

CFO Sudhanshu Priyadarshi echoed this sentiment, highlighting the vast potential for growth in single-serve coffee penetration within the US market. 

In addition to K-Rounds and the Keurig Alta system, KDP unveiled the K-Brew + Chill brewer, featuring fast-chilling technology to create iced-style coffees.  

This innovation aims to deliver coffee shop-quality beverages with a level of coldness three times greater than current brew-over-ice technology. 

Despite challenges, KDP reported robust financial performance in 2023, with net sales reaching US$14 billion, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 10.8percent.  

However, net income experienced a decline of 33.1 percent, indicating the need for strategic initiatives to ensure sustained growth and profitability in the evolving coffee market landscape. 


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