Change is brewing at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The company wants to change its name to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
"We wanted to reflect the reality of the company," said Brian Kelley, the president and CEO.
That reality is that Keurig makes up a major portion of the business and coffee does not. In 2013, 92 percent of net sales were Keurig single-cup brewers, K-Cup portion packs and related accessories. The other 8 percent came from bagged coffee and other items.
We spoke with Kelley on the phone. He says brand names will stay, you'll still find Green Mountain Coffee at the store and Keurig products will keep that name. This is just a corporate name change.
"It reflects who we are today," Kelley said. "It reflects the Keurig system has been extraordinarily successful and Green Mountain brand of coffee is most powerful brand in that system."
St. Michael's College business professor Robert Letovsky says the name change means flexibility down the road for the company, but customers could stop thinking of it a Vermont business.
"Now, Green Mountains are the second and third words; people might drop it off," Letovsky said.
As of last September, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters had around 6,300 employees, one-third of them are based in Vermont.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Dropping coffee out of the name is that a sign you're moving away from that side of the business?
Brian Kelley: Umm, no. It's a reflection of the fact that the Keurig system is coffee, plus tea, plus cocoa and we'll continue to expand the beverages.
The Keurig system is partnered with more than 35 brands currently. Green Mountain Coffee has partnered with Campbell's Soup and plans to come out with new soup products later this year.
"Its business model could change," Letovsky said. "And if it changes to selling manufactured products, someone is going to say is the centrality in the state of Vermont the best business decision?"
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters told WCAX News the name change will not have any impact on Vermont, saying it's headquartered here and will stay here.
We wanted to know what you think, and on our website poll we asked if it's a smart move to change the name to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. As of 5 p.m., 83 percent of people who responded said no.
We also got a big response to this story on our Facebook page with close to 1,000 comments as of 5 p.m. Like our web poll, most comments were against the change.
Here are a few:
Laura Washburn: I don't care for the new name. Doesn't flow well. Maybe they should've held a contest so their loyal customers had a chance to pick the name.
Karen Hathaway: As long as they keep brewing coffee I don't care!! I love the coffee and my Keurig!
Carey Jordan: Instead of picturing a green mountain....now I picture tons of wasted one time use disposable plastic cups clogging up the earth....YUCK
Cecile Constant Phillips: It works! The Company has grown into more than just coffee for retail with teas, soups, hot chocolate, etc. I applaud the change.
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