Sales growth of coffee pods in the U.S. has mirrored the market presence of the single-serve coffee brewers that use the pods, but now sales of pod-based brewers have fallen 39.1 percent to $12.6 million in the 52 weeks that ended Nov. 4, 2006, according to ACNielsen Strategic Planner data.
Phil Lempert, editor of Facts, Figures & The Future from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and AC Nielsen, said the category of pods, discs and individual cups of ground coffee made huge sales gains after the category launched - from less than U.S. $30,000 in 2003 to $41.2 million in food-drug-mass stores (excluding Wal-Mart) during the 52 weeks ending Nov. 4. As a share of the total ground coffee sales, the figure rose from 0.2 percent in 2004, to 1.6 percent in 2005 to 1.8 percent in 2006.
Lempert said flavored coffees are a rapidly growing part of coffee pod sales, in part because of consumers' more sophisticated tastes, but also because coffee pods, he said, "under-deliver on taste."
"For this category to reverse the trend, the focus needs to shift away from the convenience of making coffee and back to the taste and aroma of the coffee itself," Lempert stated.
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