Will the new Verismo coffeemaker be Starbucks’ biggest competition? Officially available today in more than 5,000 Starbucks retail stores in the United States and Canada, coffee addicts will now be able to make Starbucks-quality espresso, cappuccino and latte beverages at home.
As one of those addicts, I purchase a Grande Mocha every morning at a cost of $4.34 each. Considering the cost of the basic Verismo unit at $199, and an additional $1.83 for the milk and espresso pods, it would cost me nearly $5.00 a day for one equivalent drink at home. That price would drop after the first year to just about $4.20.
Now if you need to have the $399 big daddy Verismo your daily Grande Mocha will cost $5.84 at home during that first year.
Starbucks could officially launch the system by using the Verismo at local stores. It would be a wonderful way to get consumers to trial the product and see if the at-home pod system is equivalent to the in-store purchase. Like many other consumers, I am curious if the quality will be comparable.
Using such an approach could also make for an interesting story of the barista vs. the machine. Starbucks would need to be careful, so the barista would not look replaceable. But there is some earned media attention here from both the PR and social space with such an event.
Will the Verismo be successful? I imagine it will be. Starbucks has not seen a drop in sales with their VIA packets. And I doubt you’ll see a drop of in-store traffic just because you can brew at home. People will still come into the stores for the atmosphere and to order the drinks they can’t get at home. Pumpkin Spice Latte anyone?