MISSISSAUGUA, ON, Canada -- Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee has agreed that the needs of consumers are best served by free and open competition, an argument being made by TreeHouse Foods Inc.'s lawsuit charging that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, maker of the Keurig brewer, has a monopoly on the portion packs used in single-cup systems. Mother Parkers makes RealCup single-cup capsules that work in present Keurig brewers.
TreeHouse filed its suit against Keurig Inc. and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. on Feb. 12, alleging anticompetitive acts to unlawfully maintain a monopoly over the packages used in single-serve brewers. | SEE STORY
Keurig's K-Cup patents expired in 2012, and since then independent manufacturers have invested heavily in the development of compatible products to expand the single-serve market, according to Mother Parkers.
"The patents have expired, and consumers have declared that they want choice," said Mother Parkers vice-president of business development Bill VandenBygaart. "In our opinion, this action by Keurig, as well as the pattern of anticompetitive activities described in the complaint, will continue to hurt the category."
VandenBygaart underscored the coffee company's position that open competition leads to product innovation, improved quality and greater consumer value. "Coffee drinkers should decide which coffee they will brew, not Keurig or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters," he said. "We support efforts to keep the single-serve business open to competition and believe that competition will deliver a better cup of coffee or tea."
Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee