In hopes of turning around slowing demand for its coffee products, Keurig is looking to lift up sales with the launch of a new K-Cup venture: food.
Specifically, comfort food, in the form of hot chicken noodle soup, the company announced Wednesday.
The coffeemaker has teamed up with Campbell’s to create two flavors of brewable soup: “homestyle chicken” and “Southwest style chicken,” it said in a statement.
Using the soup mix cartridge is exactly the same as brewing coffee from a K-Cup pod, except customers will have to pour the broth over dried noodles. The companies are touting the product as a 70-calorie snack free from artificial coloring or flavoring.
To prevent coffee from seeping into the soup mix, Campbell’s has advised its customers to run a hot water cycle through the machine first, according to Fox News.
The product marks Keurig’s first venture into food, though some consumers will know that General Mills already produces Progresso soup and Nature Valley oatmeal pods that are compatible with the coffee machines. These are “not affiliated with Keurig,” reports CNN Money.
“Launching Campbell's into the Keurig hot system marks a milestone as our first expansion beyond beverages,” said Mark Wood, chief business development and partners officer at Keurig.
The soup pods are being sold in packs of eight on Keurig’s website and Amazon.
“The union of Campbell’s great taste and the speed and convenience of Keurig invites new consumption occasions and positions both companies to better meet the growing snacking needs of consumers in the US,” said Brian P. Kelley, President and CEO of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Keurig’s parent operation, to Fox News.
The product has long been in the making, as Keurig and Campbell’s announced a partnership two years ago, according to Bloomberg.
Keurig is seeking new sources of growth after tepid sales of K-Cups and a slow rollout for its new cold-drink machine forced the company to cut its forecast last month. The dim outlook sent its shares plummeting, erasing more than $3 billion from Keurig’s market value in a single day. In the most recently reported quarter, the company’s pod sales fell 1.4 percent to $815 million … Like Keurig, Campbell could use a boost. Sales at the company fell almost 9 percent to $1.69 billion last quarter.”
The companies are hoping this pick-me-up will appeal to the vast majority of its customers who tend to shop from both sides of the aisle, Michael Goodman, Campbell’s marketing director of innovation, told Bloomberg.
“We know more than 80 percent of people who buy Keurig pods also buy Campbell’s soup,” he said. “Bringing together two products people love in one handy kit is a winning idea.”