Brewer Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) and coffee maker Keurig Green Mountain have teamed up to develop an in-home alcoholic beverage dispenser. The companies have announced a joint venture to create a system that could work with beer, spirits, cocktails and mixers.
The venture will build on the technology used in the Keurig KOLD machine, as well as using AB’s brewing and packaging expertise. Keurig KOLD, an in-home soda machine for sparkling and still beverages, was launched in September 2015 but discontinued less than a year later after concerns regarding its affordability for the average consumer.
With the surging popularity of smart appliances and the IoT, consumers are showing a growing interest in the at-home experience. There are already a number of companies operating in the non-alcoholic beverage market, such as Keurig’s own system for hot beverages, Nespresso coffee and SodaStream’s sparkling water makers.
However, the AB InBev and Keurig partnership would be the first of its kind to deliver the convenience of one-cup dispensers for alcoholic beverages. The companies did not disclose financial terms for the venture or any other details about the machine.
According to the Global Beer Market research report, the launch of new and innovative products by vendors looking to stay competitive is one of the most important drivers contributing to the growth of the market. It says “every business needs to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. The needs of consumers change continuously and vendors should respond to these changes by innovating their product offerings and services.” Beer is the highest consumed alcoholic beverage and the third-most consumed beverage after water and tea in the world. It is a market forecasted to grow 2.4% in revenue by 2020.
AB InBev are not the only company exploring opportunities in this area. French distiller Pernod Ricard recently announced its intention to push further into the Internet of Things (IoT) and focus on the at-home experience for drinkers. It unveiled its Opn System at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week.
Marketed as the ‘world’s first connected cocktail library’, the Opn system allows users to learn and customize cocktail recipes, adapting them to available ingredients. It includes coaching features to help users navigate recipes and techniques to build skills, as well as ordering spirits online for home delivery.
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