Keurig Kold Wants to Be Your $370 Soda-Chilling Machine
Keurig has been the king of the coffee pod revolution, letting people brew their own hot beverages at the press of a button. Now the company is hoping to do the same thing for cold drinks—though the battle to win over consumers may be harder this time around.
Starting today, Keurig has begun selling their Keurig Kold system, touted in a press release as “the first beverage system that allows consumers to freshly make cold sparkling and still beverages at home at the push of a button.”
No, Keurig hasn’t forgotten about competitors like SodaStream. What makes this product truly a “first” isn’t its ability to carbonate drinks, but to make drinks cold. “The innovative KOLD chiller uses an aerospace-inspired thermal transfer system to rapidly cool beverages to the ideal chilled temperature,” the brand boasts.
Another leg up Kold has on the competition is that it doesn’t need a CO2 canister to carbonate. Instead, the system “uniquely uses Karbonator beads, which are contained within the pod and hold beverage-grade CO2. During the drink making process, CO2 is naturally released into the beverage to perfectly carbonate each drink.” The marketing department must have had a field day naming all these trademarked systems.
Outside of that, Keurig can also hang their hat on partnerships with Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple, meaning the appliance is launching with pods for Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Dr Pepper and Canada Dry. They also have all sorts of private label brands to make things like sports drinks and iced teas.
However, if the idea of a fresh-made, instantly cold soda isn’t appealing, Keurig doesn’t offer much more to encourage you to get on board. With a suggested retail price of $369.99, the system isn’t cheap to buy, and the pods are pricey too: between $4.49 and $4.99 for a four-pack. That’s over a dollar a pop for drinks that come in only eight-ounce servings. You can get a whole two liters of Coke for that price. And unless you are painfully short on fridge space, keeping your cola cold usually isn’t a big deal.
Coffee inherently needs to be brewed and tastes best when it’s still hot and fresh. Cold drinks, on the other hand, have yet to prove they require as much urgency. In fact, just sitting around is how a lot of things go cold to begin with. Plus, it doesn’t help that soda in general, be it sugary or diet, has been seeing a lot of backlash recently. It’ll be interesting to see whether Keurig has any tricks up their sleeve to really get Keurig Kold moving off shelves.