Home Café's single-cup coffee brewing system makes it unique in the industry, as does the business relationship that produced it.
The brewing system was brought to market through collaboration between leading U.S. coffee company Proctor & Gamble and coffeemaker producers Applica (maker of Black & Decker® brand coffeemakers), Krups, Sunbeam (Mr. Coffee® brand), and Hamilton Beach®.
Black & Decker and Krups worked jointly with P&G on the development of Home Café, while Mr. Coffee and Hamilton Beach joined in the commercial development of the product. P&G sells nearly 35 percent of all U.S. coffee and the four manufacturers together are responsible for approximately 75 percent of the US coffee appliance market.
Home Café features an exclusive pressure brewing system, forcing hot water through the ground beans at high pressure. The technique is commonly employed in coffeehouses; in the Home Café, the process is said to consistently produce a high-quality, single serving of coffee in about 1 minute.
The system uses individual pods containing measured portion of Folgers or Millstone brand coffee, and individual brewing is said to provide first-cup freshness with each serving. The pods also help make it easy to clean since it does away with loose coffee grounds, filters, and baskets.
The Black & Decker-brand Home Café coffeemaker (pictured) became available in May 2004. Appliances from the other manufacturers will follow. Suggested retail prices start at U.S. $59.99. Folgers and Millstone coffee pods will have a suggested retail price of $3.99 for a 14-18-count pack. P&G-brand coffees will be featured exclusively in the marketing of the system, which will launch with a $50-million promotional campaign.
"We're confident that Home Café will become the first choice among millions of consumers who would like to recreate the taste and aroma of coffeehouse-style coffee at home," said Mike Griffith, president of Procter & Gamble's Global Beverages.