If You Thought K-Cups Were Bad, Wait Until Pods Come to Soda

Despite the fervor over third-wave coffee bars and National Coffee Day freebies — that would be today, Sept. 29, if social media hasn’t informed you yet—we as a nation don’t drink all that much java. The average consumption amounts to less than a cup a day per capita annually, far less than, say, the nearly 2.5 cups a day enjoyed in the Netherlands—the world leader in coffee consumption.


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The new Keurig Kold drink maker. (Photo: Facebook)

That hasn’t stopped our coffee consumption from racking up some major waste, thanks to the popularity of Keurig coffee machines and the nonbiodegradable pods they utilize: Enough of the plastic pods were sold in 2014 to encircle the globe 10.5 times over.

RELATED: Why the Man Behind Keurig’s Coffee Pods Wishes He’d Never Invented Them 

Now, Keurig is expanding to a different caffeinated beverage — one that Americans consume in far greater numbers. The company’s new soda machine, Keurig Kold, swaps soda syrup packet for coffee grounds, allowing those who are willing to drop $369.99 on one to make their own single servings of Coke, Diet Coke, Dr Pepper, and other sodas with the push of a button. Each eight-ounce portion will hover around 100 calories.

In 2013, Americans were drinking 15 ounces of soda a day per capita — and that is historically low soda consumption in the United States. Back in 1998, when our national soda obsession peaked, we were slugging back 58 gallons a year, compared with 44 gallons in 2013.

Soda consumption is continuing to fall in the U.S., with the most recent data from Gallup showing that 61 percent of Americans are avoiding soft drinks, compared with 41 percent in 2002. But despite a nearly two-decade-long slump in soda consumption, we still drink more of it than we do coffee.

Meanwhile, Keurig’s recyclable pod won’t debut until 2020.

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