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Keurig: From David to Goliath: The Challenge of Gaining and Maintaining Marketplace Leadership

Kellogg School of Management Cases

ISSN: 2474-6568

Publication date: 20 January 2017


From 2002 to 2011, coffee-machine manufacturer Keurig Incorporated had grown from a privately held company with just over $20 million in revenues and a plan to enter the single serve coffee arena for home consumers, to a wholly owned subsidiary of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., a publicly traded company with net revenues of $1.36 billion and a market capitalization of between $8 and $9 billion. In 2003 Keurig had introduced its first At Home brewer. Now, approximately 25 percent of all coffee makers sold in the United States were Keurig-branded machines, and Keurig was recognized as among the leaders in the marketplace. The company had just concluded agreements with both Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks that would make these retailers' coffee available for use with Keurig's specialized brewing system. The company faced far different challenges than when it was a small, unknown marketplace entrant. John Whoriskey, vice president and general manager of Keurig's At Home division, had to consider the impact that impending expiration of key technology patents and the perceived environmental impact of the K-Cup® portion packs would have on the company's growth. Whoriskey also wondered what Keurig's growth potential was, and how the new arrangements with Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts could be leveraged to achieve it.



Anderson, E.T. and Anderson, E. (2017), "Keurig: From David to Goliath: The Challenge of Gaining and Maintaining Marketplace Leadership", Kellogg School of Management Cases.



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