Starbucks Will No Longer Be Keurig’s Exclusive Super-Premium Coffee Brand

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.

You can follow MBQ on Twitter where she may or may not remark that, speaking of pie, today is actually National Pie Day: @marybethquirk

Starbucks to End Exclusivity Deal with Keurig [Wall Street Journal]

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  1. BikerGeek79 says:

    I’m confused. Green Mountain just got through saying they were going to put DRM in their next line of Keurig machines, ostensibly to weed out competition, and now they’re de-exclusifying Starbucks so they can open up to more K-Cup competition?

    Besides, Wawa and Tim Hortons K-Cups are where it’s at anyway. F that burnt starbucks junk.

    • CommonC3nts says:

      All coffee tastes like burnt water unless you add in a lot of sugar or other things.

    • ChicagoGeek84 says:

      The DRM thing is so other companies can’t make unlicensed coffee pods (k-cups, v-cups…). The deal with Starbucks was a licensing deal, and now that it’s over, Keurig can now license with other premium coffee brands.