It appears as if capsule-based single-serving drink machines are here to stay. Keurig has made a name for itself by creating a machine that offers single-serving hot drinks, and the company recently announced a new machine that makes single-serving cold drinks. Now, according to Reuters, appliance makers Whirpool have teamed up with AB InBev — one of the world's largest beverage distributors — to create the first all-in-one single-serving drink machine.
Called the B.blend, it makes hot, cold, and carbonated non-alcoholic drinks. Essentially it combines the features of the hot and cold Keurig machines, as well as the Soda Stream, into one very pricey device: A B.blend — which is currently only available in Brazil — will run drink enthusiasts $1,150, plus the cost of drink pods. Vice president of new business at Whirlpool Latin America Fernando Yunes notes, "There are rivals that make coffee or soft drinks, but nothing like this."
Whirlpool has apparently spent four years developing the machine, which launched in Brazil on Tuesday. Whirlpool has produced 500 B.blend machines for its first run, which are "aimed at early adopters who want a role in designing new drinks." Executives say there are plans to expand internationally "depending upon demand."
The introduction of a new single-serving drink device is surprising considering that Keurig has received an incredible amount of backlash. Many have called the capsules wasteful and pricey. Others note that the capsules are responsible for an enormous amount of landfill waste. Even the inventor of the K-Cup regrets ever creating the thing.