Keurig Just Got a Devastating Reality Check

February 3rd 2016

Laura Donovan

Coffee company Keurig is in big trouble again.

The brand, which is reliant on strong holiday sales, saw a 7 percent dip in holiday sales in 2015, making it the sixth straight quarter of decreased sales, Keurig Green Mountain reported on Monday. With lower unit sales and price mark downs, brewer and accessory net sales have fallen more than $60 million "during the period compared to a year ago," BuzzFeed News reported.

In the three months ending on December 26, Keurig sold 4.1 million brewers, a drop from 4.5 million during the same time frame in 2014. In its most recent corporate filing, the company wrote that "increasing competition among pod manufacturers may result in price compression and the loss of licensing or manufacturing rights to brands."

Keurig quarter sales

As ATTN: has noted before, however, Keurig has come under fire in recent years for the well-known environmental threat its famous K-cups pose. Last year, Keurig machine owners took to the internet to heavily criticize the Keurig 2.0 device, which wasn't compatible with My K-Cup refillable pods, a cost-saver that enables customers to buy coffee grounds from other brands and not just Keurig authorized brands. Reusable pods are also better for the environment.

Last March, The Atlantic published an extensive piece on Keurig that revealed billions of K-Cups end up in landfills annually. K-Cups are recyclable, but the process is complicated and many consumers don't even realize recycling them is possible. It is estimated that the number of K-Cups used in 2014 could circle the world more than a dozen times.


John Sylvan, who created the Keurig and was bought out of the company nearly a decade ago, told The Atlantic that he regrets his invention because of its negative environmental impact. Sylvan also said that he doesn't even own a Keurig, as "they're kind of expensive."

"Plus it’s not like drip coffee is tough to make," he added.

Others are voicing how damaging Keurig cups can be to the environment. In January 2015, Eggs Studio CEO Mike Hachey made a video titled "Kill the K-Cup" showing a K-Cup monster hurting people and overtaking an entire city. The clip is meant to be light-hearted but also show just how damaging K-cups can be.

"If you ever find yourself throwing out a K-Cup, and then you remember that 13 billion went into landfills last year, do you feel okay contributing to that?" Hachey said in an interview with The Atlantic. "That's what it comes down to."

Keurig's coffee brand Green Mountain has claimed to work toward sustainability in the brand and even vowed to create a fully recyclable product within the next four years. Until then, however, K-Cups will continue piling up in landfills — as long as people keep buying them.

RELATED: Why Americans Are Slowly Breaking up With Keurig Coffee Cups