NEW YORK — The Keurig was launched in 1998. It was one of the first machines developed to make a single cup of coffee at one time.
Nearly two decades later, Keurig racks up about $4 billion in annual sales, and the brand has become synonymous with in-home coffee makers.
Keurig’s ‘K-Cup’ system — basically individually filled coffee pods — eliminated the need to grind your own beans and did away with pouring half-empty coffee pots down the drain.
Others are now replicating this convenient, single-serve model, not just with coffee but with other inventive uses.
Here are a few examples of companies that are putting their own unique spin on the Keurig model. Most of these are still in development but are available for pre-order on their websites.
Baby Brezza: The Keurig for baby food
Put your powdered baby formula into the Baby Brezza, add water, press a button and boom, you have all your baby’s nutritional needs in a bottle. It’s even heated to the perfect temperature. It launched in early 2014 and retails for $159.99.
Flatev: Instant fresh tortillas
¡Get your fiesta on! Insert the dough-filled pod and Flatev presses it into a fresh tortilla. That’s it. Pre-order for $249 next year.
Synek Draft System: The Keurig for beer
Insert your favorite beer cartridge. Brew. Enough said. Pre-order price: $299.
Root: Your indoor home garden
Root allows you to grow everything from lettuce to cherry tomatoes to weed. Choose your plant root, insert it into the planter, and add water with the pre-packaged nutrients. Finally sync your phone with Root to set the auto-watering function and LED light to grow your plants. Pre-order for $299.
Bartesian: Put the bartender in your kitchen
The Bartesian makes six different drinks from cartridges of pre-mixed liquid. Add your own alcohol and water and it will mix your cocktail to perfection. Pre-order for $299 on Kickstarter.