By Martinne Geller
NEW YORK, June 8 Kroger Co, the biggest
U.S. supermarket chain, is planning to introduce store-branded
single-serve coffee cups compatible with Green Mountain Coffee
Roasters Inc's popular Keurig brewers, a company
spokesman told Reuters on Friday.
In addition, the Keurig system may not be the only system
for which Kroger will introduce cups, spokesman Keith Dailey
Kroger is one of many companies including Nestle,
Kraft, Sara Lee, Green Mountain,
Starbucks and privately held Mars looking to tap the
growth of single-cup coffee.
While increased competition has some industry watchers
worried about the sustainability of current profit margins, many
point to consumers' growing desire for convenience and
high-quality coffee at home.
Earlier this week, No. 1 coffee chain Starbucks said its
stores will begin selling single-serve K-Cup coffee pods for
Keurig brewers on June 12, months earlier than some on Wall
Street had expected.
Single-cup brewers make fresh cups of coffee, or even
espresso drinks, in seconds. The single-cup category is small
compared with the overall coffee sector, but growing rapidly.