In a move that literally NO ONE was asking for, AB InBev (Anheuser-Busch i.e. Budweiser) and Keurig Green Mountain recently announced a joint venture aimed at bringing an in-home, single-serve alcoholic beverage system to the North American market. In other words… K-Cups for booze.
In a press statement, the two companies said the new venture would “build on the Keurig KOLD technology and system innovations and AB InBev’s brewing and packaging technology, and evolve them within the realm of the full adult beverage category.”
Terrible idea, and here’s why. The key selling feature of the single-serve brewing concept is convenience. You can make one cup at a time and change flavors on a whim. So, everyone can get exactly what they’d prefer without having to brew multiple pots of coffee. Seemingly great, except for the following problems:
- It still takes time. So if you have six people that want coffee, well, person #6 might as well take a nap, or drive to Starbucks.
- There’s very little control. Yeah, yeah, I know… there’s size settings. But no self-respecting coffee snob such as myself drinks his coffee either that weak or in such small quantity. Seriously, for me to get a decent cup of coffee from a Keurig I need to brew three cups worth on the small setting.
- K-Cups are wasteful, take up a lot of space, and wind up being WAY more expensive than buying regular coffee in the long run.
These problems above happen for a drink whose recipe is essentially beans and water. *I know there’s many variations once you consider water temperature, grind size, and coffee to water ratio, but seriously… TWO INGREDIENTS! Now think about the number of possible recipes there for alcoholic drinks.
Without going into any scientific explanation of the actual brewing and fermentation process, it’s impossible to recreate in 5 minutes – so there’s absolutely NO WAY a K-Cup for beer won’t suck flavor-wise. And there’s NO CHANCE of it being more convenient than simply opening a bottle of beer.
I could potentially see a novelty-type interest in using it for mixed drinks (you know, an expensive new toy for annoying braggarts to show off to their guests at the next cocktail party). Otherwise, I don’t see much benefit because if you go to a liquor store and walk down the mixer aisle – you can get just about any “just add alcohol” mixer you’d ever want (often in single serve sizes). Pretty convenient.
Oh.. and the Keurig Kold technology the new venture will be based on failed to make any impact in the soda market last year and was essentially abandoned.
Yeah… I don’t think I’ll be buying any stock in this new company. Just because you CAN make something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
What do you think?