Keurig K-Cup Coffee vs Nespresso

Posted by | March 31, 2012 | Marketing Advice | 71 Comments

Brief Updated 5/27/2014

(The original post I wrote in March of 2012. Until the Spring of 2014, Nespresso machines only produced American-style espresso. Now with the release of their latest model: VertuoLine, they are producing an 8oz cup of coffee and an espresso.)

I have yet to meet a person who has not tasted a Keurig K-Cup coffee within the last few years. You’ve seen the fancy coffee makers with several different flavors of coffee pods to try, right? What is the word on the street regarding its taste and overall functions? Do people like the K-Cups? It is a resounding YES. These machines are still selling like hotcakes. I attended a few paint conferences and both had Keurigs with enough coffee pods to keep us awake for weeks. Now, the big question: Have you ever heard of or tried the Nespresso CitiZ? What about their new VertuoLine? Probably not.

Nespresso has been known for many years amongst the elite group of fine coffee drinkers for making quality espresso machines. The general coffee drinkers out there still stuck on Folgers or Costco’s 3 Lb bag of Kirkland would never have known about Nespresso or its automatic coffee and espresso machines. Keurig tried to get the general coffee drinkers to step it up a notch when they introduced their K-Cup coffee makers. They catered to the busy lifestyles of most Americans and introduced a simple way to make a less messy and consistent cup of coffee. Nepresso saw the success of the coffee pod business and introduced the CitZ with its coffee capsule. However, they were just a little too late to have the success Keurig has had the past few years. Keurig has become the “Kleenex” of the pod coffee business. It is becoming a standard household item.

What is Better?

I am a coffee snob, so to be honest I’ve never liked the way Keurig coffee has tasted. To me the pods of coffee are not fresh, and I can never get the cup of coffee to taste the way I want. That was until I stepped into William Sonoma Christmas 2011. I was introduced to the Nespresso CitZ with its tiny little capsule. At first I laughed and thought, “Oh great Nespresso is coming out with pod coffee!” I did not like pod coffee and didn’t think it would ever work with elite and coffee snobbers like me. Boy was I wrong! Nespresso is selling their product to people who love good coffee. Their market, so far, is not the Keurig folks. Their capsules are a fraction of the size of a Keurig K-Cup pod. Why? So it can hold “freshly” ground coffee in an airtight capsule. It is air that is the single reason coffee begins to age and lose its fresh taste. I was told (by a sale people at WS) Nespresso roast, grinds and packs its coffee into capsules and quickly ships them to the consumer’s home within 1-2 days (as one commenter pointed out, this is probably a myth). The coffee taste is 10x better than any cup of Keurig I’ve had, because Nespresso uses a completely different method of brewing and producing it’s coffee. Their machines use the espresso style and pump system, rather than the traditional drip method. In laymen’s terms, Nespresso produces more of an Italian espresso-like cup of coffee (rich and strong with more crema). Have I wet your appetite to try a cup of Nespresso? The cost isn’t much different. You can purchase a Nespresso CitZ for around $200 (VertuoLine for $300) where a Keurig ranges from $120-249.

Three Reasons Why I Wrote A Post About Coffee on a Marketing Website

1) I write about what I love. I love marketing, technology and coffee among other things. I’ll use a blog for an excuse to write about coffee any day.

2) I am impressed with how Keurig has dominated the market in so little time with their K-Cup coffeemakers. They were innovative thinkers. They thought carefully about what Americans wanted next when it came to coffee. Nespresso did too, but they were just a little late to make a dent. The marketing lesson I’ve learned from Keurig is to always be innovative in your business. Continually be thinking how your business can be better and produce something that is different than your competition. Nespresso is a competitor of Keurig, and it is only a matter of time before Nespresso may just be able to make their name a household item. Since I first wrote this blog, I’ve seen more and more people switch to the Nespresso brand and become more like me: a snob. (I have two machines: Nespresso Citiz and a Miele Espresso Machine

3) I want you to go into William Sonoma sometime and ask for a sample cup of Nespresso’s coffee. My guess is your eyebrows will raise just a little and it just might make you donate your Keurig to charity. There is no turning back once’s you’ve had a good cup of joe. It truly is that much better.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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