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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January 31, 2011

Nespresso Pixie - Small Brewer - Coming this Spring


UPDATE: See My Review of the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Brewer.

UPDATE: The Nespresso Pixie has Launched in the US with a Pre-Sale at Williams Sonoma. I'll have a Nespresso Pixie in for Review in the coming days.

Nespresso is launching the new Nespresso Pixie Brewer "This Spring" according to a confirmation I received today detailing the new product and its features. The surprisingly small Pixie will no doubt take up a minimal amount of room on your countertop brewing up a classic Nespresso shot without taking up much real estate. Of course it will run on Nespresso capsules allowing buyers to choose from over a dozen blends and seasonal and limited edition blends that liven up the overall coffee selection.

The sides of the Pixie are colored aluminum, with an ABS case, stainless drip tray and an alloy handle to make for a pretty stout, and attractive piece.

"The sleek and compact new design of the machine features side panels in anodized aluminum inspired by industrial, minimalist design. Pixie, available in six bold and vibrant colors, projects a daring new look for Nespresso." Those colors are: Electric Indigo, Electric Red, Electric Titan, Electric Lime, Electric Aluminum and Electric Steelblue.

Espresso and Lungo; Auto Shut Off, Low Water Alert


The machine will have Espresso and Lungo settings brewing up 1.35 ounces and 4.75 ounces of espresso respectively. Like other automatic Nespresso machines, the Pixie's settings can be customized by the user. The Pixie will also feature an automatic shut-off much like the Nespresso Citiz brewer, so that it saves energy. The Pixie will automatically shut off after 9 minutes of non-use, which can be changed by the user up to a maximum of 30 minutes. My Nespresso Essenza does not do this, and I have left it on all day on occasion.

Finally, the Nespresso Pixie is going to have a water level detection capability, which I would imagine would alert you before brewing and sucking the poor reservoir dry. On such a small machine, I would imagine that the reservoir will be less than a liter/quart, which would increase the potential of running the Pixie dry. While you can re-prime the maker, it must help overall customer satisfaction by offering the warning.

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January 28, 2011

New Nespresso Pixie Brewer in 2011


There will be a new Nespresso brewer launched in 2011, and a new marketing firm (Brando) has been brought onboard to help launch it this year. Coming off the buzz generated by the Kazaar Limited Edition, they have a high bar to get over when it comes to creating market demand. After the Citiz brewer, it will be interesting to see what design direction they take their newest unit it. Will it be an all-in-one unit, or a new stand alone espresso only style unit?

Update: Well the first signs of the Pixie are out from none other than Nespresso USA with its recent appearance on a morning news show. The Pixie looks to be about 6-7-inches high and about 3-4 inches wide. At that size, it would be dwarfed by the seemingly small Citiz at about 3-inches (body) wide and about 12 inches high. - Thanks Josh

It appears that the launch is in Q1 2011, but if the agency is just coming on board now, and has the responsibility for a global campaign, they need some time; maybe the end of Q1? They could follow the Citiz launch pattern; The Citiz unit was sent out for pre-launch reviews in March, leading to a springtime lunch somewhere on the Globe.....

We'll keep you posted.....

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January 17, 2011

Sara Lee L'OR EspressO Capsules Update


Sara Lee is making the news lately with its success and expansion of their L'OR EsspressO capsules that are compatible with Nespresso machines. The pitched battle has Nespresso crying foul, concerned that the capsules violate the layered product patents covering Nespresso design and functionality, while Sara Lee see opportunity in selling a capsule that they must believe lie outside that patent barrier.

In a recent conversation with company spokesman Ernesto Duran, I learned that Sara Lee is pleased with their sales so far of the L'OR EspressO capsules in France and their recent launch is the Netherlands is on track to perform very well too, as results are exceeding expectations. In France, Sara Lee has sold over 100 million L'OR EspressO capsules, while reaching over a million households there since April 2010.

In the Netherlands, the capsules are sold online and through the company's Douwe Egberts corner café-stores that allow for quick and broad distribution. The result is that the L'OR EspressO capsules are already one of the best selling products in those stores cafes. Douwe Egberts was founded in the Netherlands, and with that strong distribution channel it is easy to see why Sara Lee chose the Netherlands for their second market. If you can't reach a café-store, Sara Lee opened up an online market, allowing consumers to get the capsules shipped directly to their homes.

No Current Plans for US Launch

While Sara Lee’s the L'OR capsules "have the potential for global success, it would be premature to talk about any specific plans beyond the existing markets," according to company spokesman Ernesto Duran. So while we can hope to have more variety of capsules here in the US, there are no public plans to launch them here just yet.

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January 11, 2011

Nespresso Capsule Knock-Offs - Quick Update


A quick update on the saga of companies trying to sell Nespresso Compatible Espresso Capsules; a court ordered the supermarket chain Denner SA to stop selling their own version of the compatible capsules because they violated Nespresso's patented technology. The supermarket is reconsidering their options and indicated that they believed that they could still sell them legally.

Recall that Sara Lee is selling four varieties of Nespresso Compatible coffee under the L'Or Espresso mark. There were rumors about the Sara Lee L'Or capsules coming to the US, but I have not heard any more new on this rumor.

In other news, Sara Lee just announced that they are selling the L'Or espresso capsules via mail order in the Netherlands. In a recent press release they indicated that they had 40% penetration into French homes with a Nespresso machine. Now if I were Nespresso, I'd be worried if nearly half of may user base had tried my competitors product that had been on the market since April of 2010. They claim to have sold over a million capsules already. The Sara Lee L'Or Espresso Press Release was put out in English which to me means that they are targeting English speaking countries with the news..... like potentially seeding the US market for a similar launch. I'd like to try them; bring it on.

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December 30, 2010

Reconditioned Nespresso Machines Now Available


Nespresso has re-filled its store on eBay with reconditioned machines at some pretty good prices. I've reported on these reconditioned machine sales before, but recently Nespresso had nothing but an empty store coming into the holidays. You can debate their timing and motivation, but for the rest of us, the eBay store that has a mix of auctions and "Buy-it-Now" quick buys offers some good deals if you can get past the reconditioned status.

These machines are sold directly by Nespresso and come with a "6 month Advanced Exchange Warranty. That means that if the product should need service within the warranty period, Nespresso will send out a a temporary replacement unit while service is being completed. This not only gives you peace of mind but also a working Nespresso machine while yours is away."

The savings can be significant; for instance for a Nespresso Essenza C100

Current Price New - $199; online

Buy it Now Price - $149 at Nespresso Certified Store

Savings - $50

You could also jump on any number of the auctions and take a chance that you could get it for even less.

UPDATE: I just watched an Essenza Auction that ended at $95 - that's about $100 less than the new list price of $199. I also watched a Nespresso Citiz Auction and it ended at $158 - or about $120 less than wha't available online.

They currently have the D290, Essenza C100, Le Cube, Citiz, and Citiz with Milk available.

Check out Nespresso Certified Auctions Store at eBay

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December 17, 2010

Nespresso Variations - Whimsical Look at Each Flavor World

Nespresso put out some fun flavors this year with their Nespresso Variations flavored espresso capsules, and their companion site is a very whimsical look into what a world might be like where clouds and little bots made your Variations Capsules. Nespresso was featured as a site of the day by Favorite Website Awards, and with good reason. The videos below give a flavor by flavor look at what it takes to make your capsules in this fantasy Nespresso Variations World..... I like the almonds growing on the underside of the clouds.

Nespresso Variations - Vanilla

Nespresso Variations - Caramel

Nespresso Variations - Almond

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December 16, 2010

Sara Lee May Sell Nespresso Compatible Capsules in the US under the Douwe Egberts Name


Bloomberg has reported that Sara Lee, one of the major coffee makers in Europe may start selling their Nespresso compatible capsules in the US through a mail order system as they look for ways to expand their distribution of this coffee format.

While Nespresso/Nestle feels that their capsule and machines are well protected through a layered patent process, Sara Lee believes that they have successfully circumvented the patent protection and have been offering their L'Or capsules in France online and at retailers since April, and in the Netherlands just this month. They have reportedly sold 90 million capsules to date.

The costs are slightly lower for the Sara Lee version than the Nespresso capsules; 0.29 Euro versus 0.33 Euro each. The slightly lower cost can add up if you are drinking a couple of these a day, amounting to about $30 annually at a two a day rate. They overall savings isn't so amazing, but the big news here is that Nestle could lose the power behind what's been one of their best growth engines over the last decade. Sara Lee currently has four varieties in France, versus the sixteen+ versions that Nespresso offers.

Douwe Egberts L'OR EspressO comes in four varieties: Delizioso, Decaffeinato, Splendente and Forza. All Sara Lee varieties are made with exclusively 100 percent Arabica coffee grown and harvested in a socially and environmentally sustainable way, following the UTZ CERTIFIED(R) program.

While I have not had these varieties, I have over the years had a fair amount of Douwe Egberts, and they are a serious coffee brand with quality that would come in at the high end of mass market roasted coffee here in the US.

Stay tuned.

More at Bloomburg

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Review: Nespresso Variations 2010 Flavored Espresso Capsules


UPDATE: 2012 Variations are out; See My Nespresso Variations 2012 Full Review

The popularity of the Nespresso system (They're on our Holiday Buying Guide) and the general holiday excitement combines most years to culminate in the Nespresso Variations flavored espresso capsule release. These limited time only capsules offer a little bit of year-end celebration offering experimentation and a little variety to your espresso day. Most people buy enough to share with friends and family during the holidays, while others are known to hoard the exceptional ones to keep a good supply going right through Spring.

This year, Nespresso brought back some Variations favorites; Almond, Caramel and Vanilla. These reissues were met with mixed emotions ranging from those who felt ripped off and cheated out of something new to try to the folks who loved them in the first place and welcome back the chance to try them again.

ASIDE: Nespresso, if you ever want to bring back something, please bring back Kazaar, that would be OK with me. You sold out before I could hoard them. (I am not alone - if you want to bring them back too; join the We Want Nespresso Kazaar Facebook Page

In tasting the flavors from Nespresso Variations 2010 again, I have to say that I welcome the chance to re-experience them and tend to fall back on and reconfirm my original impressions of them. They are good, lightly flavored and well balanced. I have to go with the original impressions of the Caramel and Almond. Since I didn't review the original Vanilla here on the Blog, I'll write it up now.

Tasting Notes and Review - Nespresso Variations 2010

Almond - A nice roasted almond that sits well as a stand alone espresso and combines well with the sweetness and milk flavors of a latte. Subtle, and lingering in flavor that doesn't scream ALMOND, nor does it risk a chemically fake flavor because of over dosing the flavor either.

Caramel - This is a subtle flavor, and does best with a little sugar and milk - I like caramel flavors and subtle hints in all kinds of ways. I could have used a bit more caramel coming through in the cup. The nose was good, and again, it's a subtle, roasted, browned flavor versus a sticky-sweet one.

Vanilla - A definite vanilla that has a bourbon type note and not a sticky sweet note that comes across as straight artificial vanilla. Complex. Again subtle that accentuates the sweetness of added sugar without over powering.

The Nespresso Variations 2010 are available at the Nespresso Club website, Nespresso Boutiques and at select retailers.

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December 15, 2010

Nespresso iPhone App - Find, Learn, Buy Nespresso on the Go


Nespresso not only has a loyal following, Boutiques and a great line of espresso capsules, it also has an App. So, while that used to offer instant street cred; it just has to live on its features these days. So far, this one is pretty good to have tucked away.


The App also includes some of the Nespresso produced videos to learn more about their capsules and brewing systems.

It's easy to search for locations where Nespresso espresso capsules are sold (beyond just the Nespresso boutiques), but you can also find out information on store hours and location. If all else fails, you can log in and buy your capsules right from the App. Oh, and it's Free.

If you aren't drinking Nespresso now, you can check out our reviews of the following machines including:  the super slim Nespresso Citiz, the Nespresso Essenza C-100 or the Nespresso Le Cube brewers, among others in their line.

at iTunes - Nespresso App

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