For the last five years, Starbucks has paraded itself around as the one and only super-premium coffee brand offered as a single-serving Keurig cup. But now the coffee chain and Green Mountain have decided not to go steady any more, in favor of opening up the field to other coffee brands.
Most of the time when two ginormous companies end some kind of agreement, it’s more akin to a total breakup. But in this case, Starbucks and Keurig are remaining friends, they’re just agreeing to date other people.
While Starbucks will no longer be the exclusive super-premium coffee brand for Keurig, allowing other companies to jockey for that designation, the Wall Street Journal says the deal will give Starbucks “improved business terms” that include expanding Starbucks K-Cup pack and variety types.
The twosome had just extended their deal for the next five years last May, saying at the time that it reinforced Starbucks’ super special position. But this amendment to the agreement “creates more favorable business terms for both companies and allows us to build upon our strong relationship,” Keurig executive Mike Wood said.
This could be in preparation for Coca-Cola’s newly-announced partnership with Keurig Green Mountain to sell a single-serve beverage system and pods for it. It’s likely Coca-Cola wouldn’t want to sell coffee that’s not allowed to be labeled “super-premium,” so now everyone can have a piece of the coffee pie. Mmm, coffee pie.
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Starbucks to End Exclusivity Deal with Keurig [Wall Street Journal]