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KJ Fallon

Coffee for One: How the New Way to Make Your Morning Brew Became a Tempest in a Coffee Pod

Interview with KJ Fallon

March 23, 2018

Sign Up. Full interview.

About KJ Fallon

KJ Fallon is a former reporter with Time magazine who currently works as a freelance writer for numerous media outlets and as a nonfiction and fiction book editor.

Interview Summary

Not only has coffee-drinking gained the status of a morning ritual for most Americans, but admirers of the invigorating beverage are increasingly opting for gourmet variety. Whether at home or in the office, coffee machines are ubiquitous, and their latest version has, in fact, arrived home via office.

In Coffee for One, author and reporter KJ Fallon chronicles the rise of single-serve machines and the fierce competition between companies and entrepreneurs battling for supremacy in offices and in retail stores. While expensive single-serve machines have been around for nearly three decades, the rapid growth in Silicon Valley provided a new and growing market for these appliances.

Keurig was the first to spot and ride the rising office demand for the machine, solving many technical challenges along the way in lowering the cost. Along with Keurig, Nestle, Kraft, and Sara Lee battled to gain the attention of retail customers, each with its own differing strategies. However, in the end it was Keurig that led the market with a unique approach.

Although the spectacular rise of Keurig rivals the success of iPhone device made by Apple, Inc in the last two decades, many still fail to realize the impact the single-serve coffee brewer has had on our lives. 

Key Topics

  • Why do Americans love coffee and cherish their morning brew?
  • What led to the development and acceptance of single-serve coffee machines?
  • What is a single-serve coffee maker and why did Silicon Valley employers begin to love it?
  • How did the K-Cup become the industry standard?
  • What were the early technical and financial challenges in developing Keurig’s coffee maker?
  • What retail and distribution strategy led to the dramatic success of Keurig?
  • Who were the other single-serve coffee makers and why did the lag?
  • How has the massive rise of coffee pods led to environmental quandary?
  • What’s next for Coffee for One?
  • How did coffee machine makers piggy-back on the roasters halo for distribution?

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