A leading startup that was looking to popularize a K-Cup cocktail machine is closing its doors and offering to reimburse customers who have already purchased its countertop device.
Drinkworks, a joint venture between Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.
and Anheuser-Busch InBev HER,
will no longer sell its automated cocktail machines, the company said in a statement on its website dated Dec.15.
“We made the difficult decision to shut down Drinkworks with sales of Drinkwork machines stopping immediately,” said Nathaniel Davis, Managing Director of Drinkworks.
Cocktail pods and accessories will continue to be sold through its website or at retailers until the end of March or while supplies last and customers have until February 28 to request a refund, did he declare.
Drinkworks’ Home Bar Classic machine, launched in October, sold for $ 299 while a premium version sold for $ 349. Its cocktail pods are priced between $ 4 and $ 5 a drink.
AB InBev has looked beyond beer for growth as the world’s largest brewer grapples with a shift among American drinkers from beer to spirits.
“We continue to invest heavily in our innovations, both in beer and beyond beer, to meet the needs of consumers on different occasions,” said an AB InBev spokesperson, adding that the company continues to review its portfolio to ensure that its resources are behind high growth brands. .
Keurig, meanwhile, tried to replicate the success of his namesake single-cup coffee brewer.
In 2016, Coca-Cola Co.
and Keurig has entered into a similar partnership to sell single-serve machines for cold non-alcoholic beverages. Companies ditched the Keurig Kold after the home soft drink machine failed to spread. Many consumers were hesitant about the price of the machine, which initially cost $ 369. Pods were also expensive, costing $ 1.25 to make an 8-ounce drink. And the machine took about 60 seconds to prepare a single serving, much longer than it took to get a can of soda from the fridge.
Drinkworks introduced the Drinkmaker in St. Louis in 2018 as part of an early access pilot program and has expanded to other states in subsequent years. It was available nationwide in June of last year.
“Our Drinkworks joint venture with Anheuser-Busch allowed us to explore the possibilities of a single-serve alcoholic beverage system. We look forward to applying the knowledge gained to new beverage innovations across our core business, ”a Keurig spokesperson said in a statement.
Write to Kimberly Chin at [email protected]
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Appeared in the print edition of Dec. 18, 2021 as “Startup Ends K-Cup Cocktails”.