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 Tapping into the single-serve market does not require a substantial investment or special knowledge of the industry. This introduction and quick guide is designed to help to you refine your needs and find the best solutions for producing private label pods.

INTRODUCTION – Single-serve continues to be the fastest growing segment of the coffee market, with recent reports indicating that single-serve coffee now accounts for nearly 40% of ground coffee sales in the US. Other beverages including tea, hot cocoa and cider have also experienced tremendous growth. Innovations in sustainability and new higher quality beverages are emerging while single-serve brewers continue to sell in record numbers. With more than 3o+ million brewers in households across the United States and abroad, the opportunity to tap into this growing market is certainly worth exploring.

ENTERING THE MARKET – In the past, very high minimums and costs along with the fact that only a few large companies had production capabilities posed major barriers to entering the market. At Intelligent Blends we’re working to change that. For the past two years, we have made it our goal to make entering into single-serve market with your own private label pods available to roasters, brands and companies of all sizes. Low minimums coupled with flexible options and available packing configurations, makes it quite easy to create your own private label single-serve pods. In fact, we’ve produced hundreds of varieties of coffees, teas and other private label pods for dozens of brands and we’re just getting started.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS – With an estimated 15 billion pods to be consumed in 2014, the industry needs Eco-Friendly Solutions. Recyclable capsules are available and some are offered at no extra cost. Innovative companies like Intelligent Blends are pioneering sustainable solutions and quickly bringing them to marketplace. Since introducing Recyclable “Eco Pods” in March of 2014, we’ve packed 10+ million capsules for clients all over the United States and abroad.


WHY PRIVATE LABEL? – While single-serve pods are perhaps most well-known for use at home, we’re also seeing offices, hotels, stadiums and even restaurants adopting and using them more than ever. However, with a relatively high cost per cup even for the largest buyers, private label single-serve pods have become an increasingly popular option. In addition to branding and consumption benefits, private label allows for higher quality “batch roasted/blended” coffees and teas that are closing the gap between the convenience of single-servings and quality of fresh specialty coffee. Imagine getting fresher single-serve pods branded with your own logo and graphics at a lower price per cup then you’re currently paying. Additionally, Intelligent Blends offers #5 Recyclable capsules at no extra cost. If you’re choosing from our 12+ available varieties of 100% premium Arabica coffees and/or fine teas, you’re guaranteed to be serving up high quality cups for a great value.

IS IT FOR YOU? – Since joining the team at Intelligent Blends, I’ve enjoyed seeing coffee roasters small to large, brands and companies, clients in the hospitality industry and many more emerge in single-serve capsules. Low minimums and a high annual capacity has opened us up to a broad range of clients from across the United States and abroad.

Finding the Best Single-Serve Coffee Solutions

Now that you know how easy it is to enter the single-serve market, exploring and understanding your options is the next step.

When it comes to private label pods there are several options to consider. If you’re unsure of exactly what you’re looking for start by asking yourself these questions:  I’ve grouped questions below into three (3) main sections that are designed to help you to refine your private single-serve pods needs.

1. Using your own ingredients and understanding other options.

Ingredients in Private Label K CupsTruly perfecting taste profile in single-serve capsules is an art and science as we attempt to optimize extraction to enhance flavors and produce a rich cup in a short period of time. Whether you’re supplying your own coffee, tea or other ingredients or choosing from an existing selection of coffees and teas, this initial phase is important. A sampling process is typical both for clients choosing to use our coffees and teas and those using their own ingredients. It’s actually a really fun process! Once you’ve made your selection(s) or locked in your desired taste profile(s), the formulation becomes your blend and we can scale up for a production run.

  • Are you looking to use your own coffee, tea or beverage ingredients?
  • If so, do you have the formulation or do you need help creating it for single-serve capsules?
  • Are you interested in taking advantage of existing blends of coffee and tea that can be made available to you?
  • Do you want help to develop your own varieties of coffee and tea?

2. Assessing the number and types of blends or varieties you want to offer.

Type and Variety of Private Label K CupsThe sky is the limit when it comes to roasts and varieties of single-serve beverages. Unfortunately for most of us, we don’t have limitless funds to produce as many types as we can imagine right out of the gate. Prioritize your needs based on demand and start where you feel comfortable as each variety will be subject to at least a small minimum. Whether you’re looking to offer a flavored coffee, light roast “breakfast blend” a medium “house blend” or a bolder dark or all of them plus more, the total number of private label k cups will ultimately determine your overall cost per capsule. Consider whether there are any other specific requirements such as Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, etc. Intelligent Blends production facilities are certified for all of these and more, but if you’re shopping around be sure to inquire about plant certifications and even verify them online.

  • How many blends of coffee/tea/other products are you hoping to offer and what types? (Light, Medium, Dark Roasts, Decaf, Flavored, Black tea, Green tea, Herbal tea, etc.)
  • Are there any requirements to consider? (Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher, Allergen Free etc.)

3. How you intend to sell / distribute your single-serve product.

Retail Private Label K Cups in Retail and Bulk Packaging

Retail Private Label Pods in Retail and Bulk Packaging – Bulk Pods for Office & Hospitality

When it comes to packaging there are several options to consider. How you intend to distribute your finished products will allow you to choose the most appropriate packaging solutions. For example, if you’re planning to sell into retail channels, then our upgraded retail 12-count and 18-count boxes are perfect. With your own custom graphics and impressive re closable lids, customers are sure to notice them on the shelves. Selling to offices or using private label pods in your hotel rooms? Perhaps bulk packages of 100 capsules are the way to go and you’ll also save even more money not using retail packaging. Flexible machinery allows us to offer some of both by switching from retail to bulk configurations during most standard production runs.

  • Would you like to produce private label single-serve pods for retail in custom 12-count or 18-count packages?
  • Are you looking for bulk packaging for use in food service, hospitality, office coffee or another application?
  • Or are you interested in exploring both retail and bulk package options?

OK! Gather your answers to the above questions and I’m sure that you can also come up with some of your own questions and let’s start a conversation. Tapping into the single-serve market, which is worth close to $1 Billion annually in the US alone, does not require a substantial investment or inside knowledge of the industry. The reality is that many customers with private label single-serve pods are paying less for their own brand of single-serve cups and experiencing the opportunities they provide.


Learn more about Private Label single-serve pods (non customer supplied) and Our Coffee & Tea Offerings

Intelligent Blends offers comprehensive and flexible Private Label single-serve podssolutions. With a growing variety of gourmet coffees and teas to choose from, we easily accommodate most taste preferences. Our private label line of k-cup compatible capsules are all made in the USA from #5 Recyclable plastic and eco-friendly materials.


About Intelligent Blends

Working passionately to create some of the best single-serve beverages emerging in the marketplace today, the team at Intelligent Blends enjoys sharing information and educating people. Leveraging our innovations and offering relevant, flexible solutions helps us to fit the needs of our clients and their end users. With an annual capacity of 100,000,000+ capsules and another production line on the way, doubling capacity to 200mm, Intelligent Blends is well positioned to support clients small to large and continue to grow with the single-serve market.


Post by: Josh Cohen, VP Business Development at Intelligent Blends

Single-Serve Solutions

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