COFFEE giant Starbucks is to launch its own home coffee machine – rivalling the likes of Nestle’s Nespresso brand, as advertised by Holywood heartthrob George Clooney.
The machine – which will initially be available in the US later this year, but is likely to be rolled out to the UK and other countries soon afterwards – is likely to shake up the fast-growing market.
Single-portion coffee brewers, which use refills known as cups, discs or pods, make up only 8 per cent of total worldwide coffee sales, according to data supplied by Euromonitor International in January.
However experts believe that percentage should grow as more people take advantage of its convenience.
Starbucks said that its high-pressure Verismo machine will make both brewed coffee and espresso beverages such as lattes and insisted that it would not affect cafe sales.
“The premium single-cup segment is the fastest-growing business within the global coffee industry,” said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive of the company.
Joshua Brown, vice-president of investments at investment advisory firm Fusion Analytics, said Starbucks’ move was inevitable.
“There was no way that Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts were going to see this niche coffee market take off and not want a bigger share of it,” said Mr Brown.
The system will be sold online, at select Starbucks shops and at speciality retailers.
A spokeswoman for the firm’s UK business said she could not confirm when the machine would arrive in the UK.
Nestle’s Nespresso brewers hold a 35 per cent share of the market worldwide, with a heavy concentration in Europe – while in the US, Green Mountain is dominant in the market.
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