February 17, 2011

Nespresso Pixie - First Prices Hit Internet; Cups with Launch


The first prices are starting to appear on the internet for the Nespresso Pixie, giving us insight into the pricing of the newest Nespresso brewer. In the US, the Nespresso Citiz comes in at about $279 list price, not the cheapest in the line, but as the newest, it deserves a bit of a premium.

The newest machine, the Pixie should logically come in a bit lower; smaller size, smaller price, right?

Euro Sites Selling First

The Pixie is in the middle of the Euro launch cycle right now, with upcoming availability from what I see at various shopping sites. It appears that the launch will be the second week in March.

The price of the Nespresso Pixie is coming in at or below the Citiz, with many UK sites coming in at about $220 (vs. the Citiz at $240), with other continental sites offering the Pixie for above $200 also. (vs. a similarly priced Citiz).

To me it seems like Nespresso is offering a slight discount for the smaller machine, with room to drop the price later in its life and still make a nice margin. The new technology and miniaturized elements of the Pixie will need to extract a bit more value from the marketplace than the older technology.

With this said, I would expect the Pixie to come in as low as $199, but maybe as high as $259. I think that they could make some nice coin with a price point above $230, but would blow the doors off the factory with a price point below $200.

If I get any confirmation, I'll let you know.

More after the jump........
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February 13, 2011

Starbucks Working on Single Serve Product: Confirmed


The Chicago Tribune confirmed recently that Starbucks is working to bring a single serve coffee/espresso product to the marketplace. The question will be what is it and what form will it take?

Espresso Based?

Starbucks at its heart is an espresso drinks company. Will the single serve product be a capsule based system like a Nespresso? If it is, they will need to make the appealing part of the espresso drinks easy to make. Most Starbucks drinkers want a milk-based drink, and most won't want to steam milk. So the solution may be a Nescafe Dolce Gusto type machine where the whole process is self contained makes sense for them.

Drip Coffee Based?

If Starbucks wants to make volume inroads into the grocery channel they will want to deliver drip coffee; the type of coffee most Americans drink. This means a K-Cup type product (non-pressurized/low pressure), maybe even K-Cups themselves. Paying royalties for the next year or two until Keurig patents start running out might be the most attractive proposition given the large installed base of machines in the US.

Regardless, the launch will certainly be in Starbucks Cafes and in the Grocery Channel. Separating from Kraft is all about the grocery channel and the ability for Starbucks to control its distribution and its feature and display better. The other not so subtle reason is that they may need to separate in order to push the a new non-Kraft single serve coffee product.

The Starbucks Via launch appears to be doing well, mostly on the back of the cafe volume - from what I can tell the volume through the grocery stores I visit is minimal at best (the Via Packages have dust on them). Starbucks is going to have to work hard to push the new product in grocery to overcome the barriers they see with Via. Picking a standard like a K-Cup would make it easy for grocery and consumers to understand the product and buy it.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 3, 2011

Anti-Oxidants in Your Coffee Cup

A recent study coming out of the University of British Columbia is telling us about the level of anti-oxidants in our coffee if generated by the roasting process. While there are a class of anti-oxidants in green coffee, those are generally destroyed by the heat of the roast, while a different class of anti-oxidants develops as a result of the browning during the roast. The naturally occurring anti-oxidants in Green Coffee, called chlorogenic acids, decline about 90% in that roasting process, while Maillard Reaction Products are the new generation anti-oxidants that develop in the roast. Maillard reactions take place in all kinds of browning processes, bringing about flavor changes and color changes as a result.

Darker Roast is Better?

So, no, darker isn't better, because at some point the coffee darkens too much and even the new class of anti-oxidants starts to decline. So that Italian Roast might not be as packed with anti-oxidants as that Full City Roast.....

More on Anti-Oxidants in Coffee at the Vancouver Sun

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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