We are the office refreshments experts: we sell Flavia, Keurig, Tassimo, and all of the single-cup office coffee solutions. We turn a huge volume of Mars Drinks filterpacks and K-Cups through our warehouse — tens of millions of each per year — so we are equipped to handle any customer need.
However, our experience with single-cup coffee brewers has led us to conclude that the Flavia system is the better solution for most situations. Here are some reasons why:
1 ) Cross Contamination The Flavia system brews your drink inside of the filterpack, and dispenses directly into your cup without any contact with the brewer. In contrast, other single-cup systems allow cross-contamination in the brew chamber. If you brew a flavored coffee K-Cup and then a regular coffee K-cup, the 2nd cup of coffee may contain some residual flavor taste. If you brew a hot chocolate K-Cup and then a tea K-Cup, the cross-contamination will be significant.
It is recommended that after a hot chocolate brew, you run water through the Keurig brewer to help cleanse the system. Tassimo recommends a daily cleaning cycle, especially if you are brewing milk-based drinks. For your Flavia brewer, these actions are not necessary.
2 ) Taste Even ignoring the cross-contamination issue and comparing perfect brew to perfect brew, we are confident that the Flavia system will equal or beat both Keurig and Tassimo in a blind taste-test. Green Mountain K-Cups may have had the advantage in the past, but the new Alterra Coffee Roasters coffees and Bright Tea Company teas (reformulated and available since Fall 2010) in Flavia filterpacks represent a tremendous step forward in quality. If you tried Flavia in the past but have not yet tasted the new Alterra Coffees and Bright Teas, we strongly urge a taste test. For hot chocolate drinkers, Mars Drinks’ Dove Hot Chocolate is a delicious treat.
3 ) Two-Pack Drinks
A wide variety of K-Cups are available, but each is a standalone drink. The Flavia system introduced the “two-pack drink” concept. The special Cappuccino Swirl and Milky Way Swirl filterpacks are only meant to be brewed in combination with a coffee or tea packet, using one of the two-pack drink options: Cappuccino or Latte. Select one of these brew options and the machine will adjust its brew volume accordingly, and prompt you when to load your coffee or tea filterpack and when to load the “indulgence” filterpack. Two-Pack drinks add dozens of additional drink options to Flavia’s repertoire. Among them: Cappuccino (which can be made with any coffee packet plus Cappuccino Swirl), Chai Latte, Raspberry Truffle, and countless more. Experimentation is encouraged!
The Tassimo system also has double-brew options with milk-based T-Discs, but it requires daily sanitizing. No sanitizing is necessary with Flavia brewers due to the unique design of their filterpacks.
4 ) Offer Greater Variety In Your Pantry
In terms of variety, K-Cups appear to hold the edge over both Flavia and Tassimo, with over 100 offerings. However, three considerations narrow the gap between Keurig and Flavia, and even tilt the comparison in Flavia’s favor: brand overlap, two-pack drinks, and space requirements.
Firstly, there is significant overlap among the various K-Cup brands — as an example: Diedrich, Green Mountain, Timothy’s, Tully’s, and Wolfgang Puck all offer a French Roast K-Cup, and you are unlikely to want more than one version of French Roast. So in effect, the Keurig’s “variety” is less impressive than it initially seems.
Secondly, two-pack drinks multiply the variety of drinks that your Flavia machine can brew. Each of the 17 Alterra Coffees and 10 Bright Teas can be combined with Cappuccino Swirl to create a unique Cappuccino or Latte.
Thirdly, no matter how many different K-Cups we have available for sale, there is a limit to how many you can actually offer on your limited counter space. A typical K-Cup rack accommodates eight different boxes of K-Cups (8 different blends), while a Tassimo rack houses 12 different sleeves. In contrast, a standard Flavia merchandiser, with approximately the same footprint as a K-Cup rack, has 18 drawers. Using split drawers, one merchandiser can offer all 30 Mars Drinks and accommodate all two-pack drink options. It would take four K-Cup racks (and four times as much space) to offer as much variety.
5 ) Less Space Required
A case of K-Cups contains fewer drinks (96) than a case of Mars Drinks filterpacks (100), and takes up more space. In an office environment — especially in Manhattan — space is at a premium. An 8-box Keurig rack holds 192 drinks (8 boxes of 24), while an 18-drawer Flavia merchandiser holds more than 800 drinks (40 coffees per drawer or 80 teas per drawer).
A case of Flavia measures 4.9 inches high by 6.3 inches wide, while a case of K-Cups is 8.5 inches tall and 9.2 inches wide. They have similar depths.
Bottom line: whether you consider displaying drinks to the end user or storing extra cases of product in your cupboards, Mars Drinks are packed much more efficiently than K-Cups. T-Discs, packed 16 per wrapped sleeve and 80 per case, are also packed less efficiently vs. Flavia.
6 ) Smaller Carbon Footprint
Related to #5: since Mars Drinks filterpacks are packed much more efficiently than K-Cups, they not only take up less space in your pantry, but they also take up less space on the tractor trailers that deliver to our warehouse, as well as on our trucks that deliver to you. A smaller space requirement translates to more product packed per truck, and therefore fewer trucks on the road and fewer gallons of gasoline burned.
To translate this into numbers, it is important to understand that at our high volume of sales, we always purchase Mars Drinks filterpacks and K-Cups by the full trailer load. Contrast:
- Full trailer of K-Cups: 22 pallets * 105 cases per pallet * 96 drinks per case = 221,760 drinks per trailer
- Full trailer of Mars Drinks: 24 pallets * 300 cases per pallet * 100 drinks per case = 720,000 drinks per trailer
- Tassimo: We do not sell enough volume to warrant full trailer loads
Not only does it take more than 3 trailers of K-Cups to deliver as many drinks as 1 trailer of Mars Drinks filterpacks, but those trailers are driving a much longer distance. From Green Mountain in Waterbury, Vermont to our warehouse in Garden City Park, New York is a distance of over 330 miles. From Mars Drinks in West Chester, Pennsylvania to CDC is just over 140 miles. The net result of less efficient packing and greater travel distance is over six times more fuel consumption (and carbon dioxide emissions) in the delivery process.
7 ) Greener Equipment
The newest Flavia brewers — the C400 large-office and C200 small-office models — come with two key energy-saving features that give Flavia a tremendous energy-efficiency advantage. The net result is that these Flavia brewers use almost 40% less energy than their Keurig counterparts.
Its energy-saving mode reduces Flavia’s energy usage significantly during dormant periods (such as night time) with only a minimal “wake-up” time requirement when the machine is brought back online at the touch of a button. The new Flavia brewers also have a two-tank heating system — it takes much less energy to heat only the water that is immediately needed to optimal brew temperature, than it would take to heat all of the water in the tank. Best of all, the end-user is not affected, as Flavia machines can still brew multiple drinks in succession. Convenience and energy efficiency — the best of both worlds!
8 ) Commercial Brewer Only; No “Shrinkage” Flavia machines are no longer sold in retail stores as Mars Drinks has decided to concentrate on the commercial market, while Keurig is widely available through conventional retail outlets. Around the holidays, you have probably seen Keurig brewers appear on the cover of countless catalogs.
Why does this matter? Every clerk, janitor, and visitor to your office is a potential K-Cup home user, who may feel a strong urge to pocket a K-Cup or two for the road. This “shrinkage” can add up to a significant added cost of the K-Cup system, versus Flavia packets which are useless outside of your office.
9 ) Less Expensive Not only does the Flavia system deliver a higher quality product, more consistently, in a more eco-friendly manner, but it is also less costly. When comparing costs, always remember that K-Cups are packed 96 per case and T-Discs are packed 80 per case, while Alterra Coffee and Bright Tea is packed 100 per case. When you compute the per-drink cost, the Flavia system will win.
Contact us today to learn more! If you have an office in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, we would love to set you up with a free trial!