At any price, a home machine to create the same carbonated soft drinks you could buy for 99 cents in 2-liter bottle was a stretch. At $370 plus expensive ingredient pods, that stretch just snapped.
Keurig Green Mountain Inc. apparently discontinued the Keurig Kold home soda device this week and gave layoff notices to the 130 employees dedicated to producing the machine and its flavor pods. That announcement follows by a month or so Campbell Soup's decision to stop making soup pods for the traditional Keurig coffee makers, according to media reports.
An announcement on its website says, "The Kold drinkmaker is no longer available. Please continue to enjoy Kold beverages, now at a discount, while supplies last." One media report said the company was offering refunds to Kold machine owners.
Last September, Keurig Green Mountain launched the Kold system, which allowed consumers to make cold sparkling and still beverages at home from plastic pods, in similar fashion to the company's popular single-serve coffee machines. Coca-Cola Co. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group signed up as partners supplying their branded drinks.
Coca-Cola liked the concept so much it bought a 10 percent equity stake in Keurig for approximately $1.25 billion.
However, Keurig's fortunes began souring last year, and the public company was bought last December and taken private by an investment group led by private equity firm JAB Holding Co. for $13.9 billion.
Keurig also announced in 2014 plans to buy and renovate a 585,000-sq.-ft. building in Douglasville, Ga., to manufacture pods for the Kold system. Keurig hasn't returned our emails and calls yet on what became of that estimated $337 million project.