As the third OCS regional account manager hired by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, it didn’t take long for Miguel Gonzalez Jr. to realize how big the revolutionary single-cup format would ultimately become. Gonzalez now sees the same potential for Güdpod®, a fully compostable Keurig-compatible coffee pod that could eliminate the environmental concerns surrounding Keurig plastic pods.
Keurig – not exactly sustainable
“People love Keurig, the convenience, and the variety. Of course, the idea of sustainability is out the window with Keurig and even their own recycling program is cumbersome – a multi-step process,” said Gonzalez, chief sales officer at Güdpod. “Twenty years ago, we never fathomed that more 15 billion pods would be ending up in landfills every year. At Güdpod, we intend to reverse that trend.”
Gonzalez said that OCS operators will be well positioned to capitalize on the opportunity of offering a fully compostable, Keurig compatible alternative. “We are bringing to market the first compostable pods for Keurig and Nespresso which have a true multi-layer oxygen barrier and a hard bottom, unlike some who have attempted to introduce this type of product in the past,” he added. “OCS operators who work with Güdpod will enjoy a significant competitive advantage.”
Güdpod – proven technology
Güdpod’s partner, Imper SpA, based in Garbagnate Milanese, Italy, has invested more than $214 million dollars to perfect the technology over the past eight years. “The technology is proven and widely scalable,” Gonzalez said. “Lavazza is already successfully selling millions of the fully compostable Nespresso compatible pods in Europe leveraging Imper’s patented and innovative technology.”
Growing product line
Following a June launch in North America, Güdpod currently offers two varieties of Keurig compatible pods, one dark roast and one light roast, under the Mitaly brand, roasted in Milan. Gonzalez said that Mitaly’s product line will be expanding to flavored coffee, decaf and an organic - with eight varieties by April.
Mitaly – 100% arabica
“The Mitaly brand is excellent quality, premium Brazilian single origin, 100% arabica coffee,” Gonzalez explained. “It offers operators an opportunity to launch a compostable pod early in the game, to differentiate themselves in market, and deliver a sustainable solution that their clients are strongly demanding.”
A successful model
Gonzalez predicts that after the initial product rollout, Güdpod will grow using the same model that was successfully employed by Keurig. “We know that once regional and national roasters see the impact of a compostable pod, they will jump on board, just as Newman’s Own Organics did as the very first brand that ever signed a royalty agreement with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters back in 2003. Then the floodgates opened and the rest is history. Now, there are hundreds of brands in the network, both regional and national,” he said. “National brands may be on board sooner than later – it’s that big.”
Gonzalez and his team are confident that the demand for compostable, Keurig compatible pods will be strong. He points to a McKinsey & Co. survey that said “60% to 70% of consumers said they will buy more products with sustainable packaging if those products did not cost more than conventional packaged ones.”
The compostable pods decompose in 90 days," Gonzalez said. “The pods fully biodegrade similar to other commercially compostable products." Increasingly, workplaces are offering compost bins, making the office environment an ideal location for compostable pods.”
Consumer and workplace distribution
Güdpod intends to drive sales to the consumer market as well as the OCS channel. “There are over 33 million Keurig machines and 7 million Nespresso units in homes,” Gonzalez said. “Consumers will drive demand for Güdpod at the office, once they have tried it at home. We are on social media and we are establishing a strong retail presence that will come to fruition in the coming weeks and months.”
A level playing field
Gonzalez is quick to point out that Güdpod intends to be mindful about operators by ensuring that there will be a level playing field when it comes to pricing. “We are not going to make the same mistakes that have happened in the past, making it difficult for OCS operators to remain competitive and profitable,” he said. “Our suggested retail will be in line with the price you currently see for premium Keurig compatible brands.”
Growing OCS interest
According to Gonzalez, several OCS companies have already contacted Güdpod with interest in bringing Gudpod compostable pods to their existing locations. “We expect to make some important announcements about operator relationships in Q1 of 2022,” he said.
Güdpod is here to stay
Gonzalez has a clear and confident message to OCS operators. “Gudpod is a reliable product that is here to stay. We are creating a huge opportunity for OCS operators because the demand is clearly there,” he said. “We want to hear from operators who are interested in a sustainable solution for Keurig that will absolutely be a differentiator and a strong profit center, especially when there are multiple, notable coffee brands in our network.”
To learn more about Gudpod, contact Miguel Gonzalez Jr. at [email protected] or (786) 332-7578.
About the Author
Industry consultant and VendingMarketWatch.com contributor Bob Tullio is a content specialist who advises operators in the convenience services industry on how to build a successful business from the ground up and advises suppliers on how to successfully connect with operators. Tullio’s YouTube channel, b2b Perspective, is designed to “elevate your business in two minutes.” Tullio is currently developing an online course, Leverage the power of LinkedIn to grow your business. Visit tullioB2B.com to learn more about VMW's contributing editor and his b2b services.