American Coffee Market Overrun By Pod People

When you make coffee in the morning, do you go for an intense, foodie-like sensory experience, or do you look for the quickest and easiest way to get caffeine into your digestive tract? More and more Americans are turning to pre-filled coffee cartridges for their caffeination needs.

It’s not like cartridges provide terrible coffee. It’s not a gourmet experience, but it’s not bad. “Unless you’re going to a well-trained barista you risk getting your coffee brewed incorrectly anyway,” a coffee consultant (which is an actual profession) pointed out to Marketwatch.

On the one hand, cartridges can get expensive and clog landfills: there are no recyclable options on the market yet. One place they’ve caught on outside of the home are places like offices, waiting rooms, and even apartment buildings. They do eliminate the ever-present office coffee machine problems of disagreements over who made the last pot, the best coffee strength, and the waste of tossing out cold leftovers. At fifty cents to a dollar per cup, is that worth it?

More than a third of American adults now have single-cup coffee makers like the Keurig, Nespresso, or Tassimo systems in their homes. Old-fashioned roasted coffee is now only 52% of the home coffee market.

Sales of single-serve coffee have tripled since 2011 [Marketwatch]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.