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Hanging in: even with the growth of single-serve, drip coffeemakers are holding on to their place in the market.

SINGLE-SERVE COFFEEMAKERS HAVE TAKEN A considerable share of the coffee market, so the natural assumption would be that drip coffee brewing is headed the way of the dinosaurs. Not necessarily.

Manufacturers of drip coffeemakers say the market is still there for their products. Many consumers still prefer this traditional way of coffee brewing, and innovations in these products have also helped to breathe life into the category.

That single-serve brewers have taken hold in the public imagination is undeniable. "The drip coffeemaker category is one currently struggling to grow bemuse of the single-serve category," said Michele Lupton, marketing communications director for Groupe SEB North America, parent of the Krups brand. "Consumers are switching to capsules because they are more convenient." That being said, Krups is maintaining its stake in the drip market. "Krups is still a firm believer that nothing is better than freshly brewed coffee at home," Lupton said.

The growth of single-serve coffeemakers has actually helped the drip category According to Matthew Ragland, vice president of marketing for Jarden's Mr. Coffee brand, single-serve has provided consumers with a greater variety of coffee choices, allowing them to experiment with new roasts and flavors. "Retailers have expanded assortments and focused more attention on their overall coffee categories," Ragland said.

Single-serve's growth has also spurred manufacturers of drip coffeemakers to raise the bar on innovation. Noting on how single-serve has nipped away at drip's market share, Mary Rodgers, director of marketing communications for Cuisinart, said, "The result has been increased innovation and new features among auto-drip models. Innovation in the category is currently related to faster brewing capability as well as all-in-one units that can make all types of coffee."

Lupton agreed, citing Krups' recently introduced Latteccino, with which "people who enjoy quality drip coffee will also now be able to enjoy gourmet cappuccinos and lattes from home, thanks to this two-in-one machine that will please the entire family's coffee preferences."

Vendors are working steadily at marketing drip coffeemakers. "Product-benefit communication on the products is important to the category," said Enrico Maso, senior product manager for De'Longhi USA. "For consumers, it can be difficult to see the differences in coffeemakers on the shelf so having easy-to-read communication tools outlining the key features and benefits makes it easier for the consumer to make an educated decision."

Engagement with consumers has proven to be crucial in marketing efforts, according to Ragland. "A multichannel approach is crucial in messaging out to the consumer, and engaging in two-way conversations" he said. He added that Mr. Coffee reaches out to consumers through digital and social media, and with television and radio

Krups has adopted an educational approach through its partnership with champion barista Charles Babinski, which includes demonstrations, educational videos, displays and brochures. "Krups believes it is important to invest in consumer education so that they know coffee, know how to brew, how to grind, etc.," Lupton said.

Retailers are a part of this effort as well. "This is a highly competitive category" Rodgers said, "and both vendors and retailers work diligently to promote it. In-store demos, signage and consumer promotions have increased in the category and I expect that to continue."

Vendors feel that their marketing is well worth it, because the demand is still there for drip coffeemaking. "We believe that there is still a market for traditional brewers, especially considering that the number of people who choose gourmet coffee is growing," Maso said. "Consumer level of sophistication is also growing, and people are more keen to choose fresh ground coffee."

Caption: The Cuisinart Extreme Brew drip coffeemaker. Competition with single-serve brewers has brought more innovation to the drip category. cuisinart.com

Caption: The Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew. Drip coffeemaker vendors are marketing the category through digital and social media, and engaging the consumer. mrcoffee.com
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Title Annotation:housewares
Author:Gill, David
Publication:HFN Home Furnishings News
Date:Nov 1, 2013
Words:632
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