Keurig axes cold-drink machine, offers full refund
After less than a year on the market, Keurig is discontinuing its Kold home soda appliance and pods and offering a full refund to anyone who purchased the machine.
Since debuting last fall, sales of the soda machine have fallen. The beverage system was developed to offer consumers a convenient way to enjoy cold beverages made at home, including carbonated drinks, enhanced waters, juice drinks, sports drinks and teas—but came at a hefty price tag of $369, though this later dropped as sales declined.
With the announcement, the company says it will lay off approximately 130 employees, mainly at a Vermont facility which manufactures the cold-drink pods, according to the Associated Press.
Once optimistic about the possibilities, the Coca-Cola Company says its venture into the home cold-brew market was an educational experience. The company took a minor equity stake in Keurig in 2014 as party of a partnership to provide access to the beverage giant’s iconic brands.
“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 company said in a statement. “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.”
The Vermont-based company was purchased for nearly $14 billion earlier this year by JAB Holding Company which took the company private. Coca-Cola says it has since agreed to sell its equity stake—now about 17 percent—to JAB and will record a net gain of approximately $25.5 million.