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Keurig promises to bring back refillable K-cups as sales tank

Keurig promises to bring back refillable K-cups as sales tank

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Keurig's 2.0 brewer has been controversial, to say the least, with its DRM-like technology that locks out third-party coffee pods. After two quarters of seeing its hardware sales decline, the company is taking one very tiny step in the right direction.

In a Q2 earnings call, Keurig president and CEO Brian Kelley announced that it would be reintroducing My K-cups, a non-disposable pod that can be refilled with virtually any type of loose coffee. "Quite honestly, we were wrong," Kelley said. "We underestimated the passion the consumer had for this. We missed it. We shouldn't have taken it away. We're bringing it back."

"Quite honestly, we were wrong."

The My K-Cups are still a ways off, however — the accessory isn't due out until holiday season — and it seems the original DRM-like system will still remain intact. "Beginning in June of this year, 2.0 brewer packaging will more prominently communicate the fact that the Keurig 2.0 brew is more than 500 varieties across more than 70 brands, including the top 10 brands," Kelley said. "We expect this to help clear up the misperception the system only brews Green Mountain- or Keurig-owned brands." We've reached out to Keurig for more clarification (Update: A Keurig representative responded with the aforementioned facts and this addendum: "Our goal is to provide the widest variety and choice in any system and we've invited virtually all brands to work with us to be a part of the system.")

While total revenue was up 2 percent year-over-year, sales of its brewers and accessories (i.e. the Keurig 2.0) was down 23 percent. That's even more dramatic than the 12 percent drop in brewer sales in the previous quarter, which was the first full quarter 2.0 was on sale.