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Customers forced Keurig to backtrack

May 11, 2015

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Keurig, the coffeemaker with the drop-in plastic cups, is everywhere. But when it redesigned its machines last year, it made a lot of customers angry.

Now, their ire has forced the coffee company to backtrack, according to the Washington Post. Here’s what happened.

Keurig machines brew coffee a cup at a time with K-Cups, which are loaded with enough coffee for one serving. K-Cups cost way more than coffee by the pound, so a number of Keurig users lowered their costs by using My K-Cup. It’s a refillable device that fits into the K-Cup slot.

In August 2014, Keurig introduced its “2.0” line of coffeemaker, and stopped making a My K-Cup to fit it. That made the machine incompatible with any K-cups already in existence, as well as with any unlicensed disposable K-cups made by other companies.

As the Post reports, “The reaction was fast and furious, on sites such as Amazon.com, as well as on Keurig’s own social media sites.”

Meanwhile, sales of Keurig machines tanked and inventory began building up on store shelves.  Last week, Keurig’s chief executive admitted during the quarterly earnings call that the company made a mistake.

“Quite honestly, we were wrong,” said the CEO, Brian Kelley. “We underestimated the passion the consumer had for this. We missed it. We shouldn’t have taken it away. We’re bringing it back.”

It’s an example of how a quarterly earnings call can lead to news, or an apology. If you’re covering a company in crisis, be sure to listen to those calls for story ideas. In between the spin, you might find some news.


  • Micheline Maynard

    Micheline is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post concentrating on business and culture. She has written about flooding in Detroit, tainted water in Benton Harbor, nationwide shortages of restaurant staff, and vaccine hesitancy.

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