nd beverage equipment and beverage supplies directly to offices. The company also operates Websites and within social media channels that present its brands to consumers, and serve as e-commerce platforms. Research and Development For the September 26, 2015, the company’s research and development costs are expensed as incurred and amounted to $84.7 million. Intellectual Property The company owns various United States trademarks and service marks that have been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The company also owns other trademarks and service marks for which it has applications for U.S. registration. The company has registered or applied for registration of certain of its trademarks and service marks in the United Kingdom, the European Union, Canada, Japan, the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Taiwan and other foreign countries. The company holds U.S. patents and international patents related to its Keurig hot brewing and pod technology. The company owns patents that cover significant aspects of its products. It has pending patent applications associated with certain elements of hot K-Cup pod technology which, if ultimately issued as patents, would extend coverage over all or some portion of hot K-Cup pods, and has expiration dates extending to 2023. The company has patents associated with certain elements of its K-Cup pod technology issued in various countries outside the United States. Certain elements of Vue and K-Carafe pods are covered by patents which expire in 2021 and by others that are still pending. In addition, the company has various issued and pending patents that relate to the Keurig 2.0 beverage system, as well as to the Keurig Kold pod and beverage system. Seasonality The company’s business is subject to seasonal fluctuations, including fluctuations resulting from the holiday season. As a result, total inventory, and specifically, brewers and accessories finished goods inventory is typically higher during the last fiscal quarter than other quarters during the fiscal year (year ended September 26, 2015), as the company prepares for the holiday season. Due to the typical shift in product mix toward brewers and accessories in the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year, gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, is typically lower in the first fiscal quarter than in the remainder of the fiscal year. Historically, in addition to variations resulting from the holiday season, the company experienced variations in sales from quarter-to-quarter due to various other factors, including the cost of green coffee, competitor initiatives, marketing programs and weather. Competition In coffeemakers, the company competes against all sellers of coffeemakers, including companies that produce traditional pot-brewed coffeemakers and other single serve manufacturers, which include Bunn-O-Matic Corporation; Mars, Inc. (through its FLAVIA unit); Conair, Inc.; Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.; Jarden Corporation; Nestle S.A. (including its Dolce-Gusto and Nespresso brewing systems); D.E. Master Blenders 1753 N.V., controlled by JAB Holding Co. (including its TASSIMO and SENSEO brewing systems); Remington Designs, LLC (including its iCoffee brewing system); Euro-Pro Operating LLC (including its Ninja Coffee Bar); Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.; tarbucks Corporation (including its Verismo brewing system); and Whirlpool Corporation. History Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. was founded in 1981.
keurig green mountain inc
33 Coffee Lane
Waterbury, VT 05676
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