20 Mar, 2019FORTUNE.COM
You may have heard of the new Drinkworks “drinkmaker,” an automated home bar system that makes cocktails, which will roll out in Missouri, Florida, and California this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Keurig Dr Pepper partnered with Anheuser-Busch InBev to develop the drinks machine and expand into more markets. Sales of the coffee machines fell in the last fiscal quarter of 2018, the Journal separately reported. Keurig Dr Pepper CEO Robert Gamgort said in an earnings call in February 2019 that fewer consumers were purchasing a new machine to replace a broken brewer, a case where perhaps improving quality hurt sales.
So, new markets it is--except the Drinkworks isn’t exactly new itself. Anchors on the Today show tested the results in November 2018. It’s also not the first expansion beyond coffee to be tested. Keurig and Anheuser-Busch were talking of a home beer machine in 2017 after an experiment with a do-it-yourself soda machine was a total failure.
Maybe the home cocktail system will work. Each pod will be larger than the current coffee ones because they use liquid-filled capsules that must hold the alcohol as well as any flavorings, to which the machine adds water. Some consumers might find it unfortunate that the companies can’t combine the two machines, with the adult beverage selections in the evening and coffee in the morning to help people get up and moving again.