A small California-based coffee company is taking on Goliath.
Rogers Family Co. recently partnered with a national supermarket chain Safeway to manufacture a line of discounted, private label coffee pods compatible with Keurig brewers, Reuters reports.
This small company might be the first of a few companies eying the single-serve coffee market—which so far has been dominated by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a large Vermont-based company that owns patents for the popular Keurig coffee-pods (called K-cups).
The catch? Two patents that give Green Roasters an edge expire in September.
Although Green Mountain sued the family-owned company for patent violation, Roger’s president, Jon Rogers, told Reuters that his mesh cups differ significantly from the plastic K-Cups, and he feels confident his company will win the patent fight.
Safeway started selling Rogers’ pods through its private label brand, Safeway Selects—for $2 less per 12-pack than Green Mountain K-Cups.
Kroger Co., the largest U.S grocer, announced that it will also launch its own private-label coffee pods, according to Reuters.