Single-cup coffee innovator Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR), hoping to curb the losses when its signature K-Cups go off patent this year, recently unveiled its follow-up product: a high-end machine dubbed “Vue.”
The new single-cup machine will cost about $250 and use different, more expensive packs than the K-Cups designed for use in the company’s signature Keurig machines. The Vue also has more options than the Keurig machines, such as temperature specification.
Bed Bath and Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) is expected to begin selling the Vue within weeks.
The Vue is an important offering for GMCR, which currently relies on its Keurig brewers and K-Cups for 90% of its sales. The company sells a wide variety of its own coffee blends in its K-Cups, but also has deals with Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) to sell their coffee brands in K-Cups.
However, once the K-Cup technology goes off-patent, other companies will be able to market their own coffee cups for use in the Keurig machines.
The Keurig machine’s popularity helped prop GMCR shares to a high around $110 last year, but the company lost about 60% through the end of 2011 after hedge fund manager David Einhorn criticized the company’s financial transparency. However, GMCR stock has climbed back up to about $70 this year.
– Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace.com Assistant Editor