Keurig Coffee Share Grows-So Does Environmental Controversy

March 17, 2015 11:42 AM
Keurig Coffee Share Grows-So Does Environmental Controversy
" LINCOLN, Calif. (AP) — One measure of how heated the environmental battle has become over coffee giant Keurig Green Mountain’s $5 billion-a-year, single-serve plastic pods is how often the company’s opponents resort to galactic comparisons.

Keurig, the single-serve coffee industry’s leader, produced enough plastic coffee pods last year to circle the earth more than 10 times, according to one analyst’s estimate, often cited by Keurig’s critics. A YouTube parody depicts aliens that look like the company’s plastic pods invading Earth.

After the company introduced a new coffee-maker in time for Christmas that only allowed its pods, the battle heated up again, spawning parodies featuring Star Wars-style rebels challenging the “Keurig Empire” by hacking a machine to accept more environmentally friendly pods made by rivals.

More than a dozen coffee manufacturers and other businesses are suing over what they claim is Keurig’s unfair efforts to shut out rival pods.

“We’re under siege,” said Jon Rogers, patriarch of a California-based family coffee company whose soy and corn byproduct-based pods are among those that the new Keurig machine is engineered to reject "

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