Keurig Green Mountain pulls Keurig Kold
KGM said it will offer full refunds for the Keurig Kold
Keurig Green Mountain (KGM) has discontinued the Keurig Kold, less than a year after the troubled home carbonation platform was launched.
The company, which initally attracted heavy investment from The Coca-Cola Co to help fund the Kold, said yesterday it will give full refunds to all consumers who bought the machine.
After a long incubation, the US$370 Kold was launched in September, to lukewarm reviews. By December, KGM had agreed a 78% stake sale to private-equity group JAB Holding Co for US$13.9bn. JAB took the company private in March.
Despite the Kold's removal from US shelves, KGM - which made its name through coffee-brewing machines - may still continue in the cold-beverage market. "We view our initial Kold system launch as a pioneering execution," the company said yesterday. "We learned a lot - including that consumers are willing to embrace the concept of a system that delivers fresh-made, cold beverages in the home - and we'll build our learnings into future beverage systems."
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said that the company had ceased to hold any stake in Keurig since JAB's takeover.
"Our partnership with Keurig on the Kold platform has provided a great opportunity for innovating and learning about new technologies that can deliver our beverages to consumers," the spokesperson said. "Through it, we've gained valuable insights into what people want and expect from an in-home, single-serve cold beverage system. We will apply those learnings as we continue to explore innovation that will enable people to enjoy our brands in new ways."
Coca-Cola bought into KGM in 2014 with an initial $1.25bn investment as the two companies announced a partnership over the Keurig Kold. The soft drinks maker gave KGM the right to use its branded products in the machine, alongside brands from Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
The Kold was unveiled in the US in September but analysts given a preview said consumers would be put off by the cost. Early reviews pointed out that consumers could buy 37 Coca-Cola 24-packs for the same price as the Keurig Kold.
In March, Keurig Green Mountain CEO Brian Kelley stepped down. Kelley was previously an executive with Coca-Cola.
Local media in Vermont, where the Keurig Kold is made, reported that KGM will cut 108 jobs at its factory in the state.
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