I can't recall the exact day I stopped using my Nespresso machine at home, I think it was around about November last year. I can, however, remember the motivation that made me consign the machine to gather dust, or more accurately lack of motivation. I simply gave up on making the effort to source the capsules. I had long given up on having an aggressively pursued (by Nespresso) relationship with the Nespresso 'Club' to supply the capsules by mail and I never really bought into the whole idea of the Nespresso boutique. It always felt faintly ridiculous and overwrought but I would slip in to buy some capsules when supplies ran low. Looking back I suppose my attitude was based on the belief that I see Nespresso as a necessary staple and not a luxury. It's an at home coffee for goodness sake and it's really about convenience. So the retail safari in the context of being time-poor was not a winner, But I did persevere for a couple of years.
I reveal all of this to put recent news reports that Mondelez International are to start producing and selling an alternative to the Nespresso capsule into perspective. Others have done this, winning court rulings with Nestle along the way but the Mondelez move is the biggest threat to Nespresso's dominance to date.
Or is it ?
Dominance has allowed Nespresso to deliver massive profits to parent company Nestle but that growth has been slowing. I suspect I've not been alone in slowly falling out of love with my machine because I have been prevented from buying capsules at my usual grocery outlets. Soon I will have an alternative and Nespresso will not sit idly by - they will have had a twin track strategy, fighting in the courts AND preparing for competition at the same time. Their capsules will soon be sold alongside the new entrant - you can bet on it !
Competition will tear down a very manufactured wall and Nespresso will behave more like the mass premium brand it is rather that the luxury brand it is not.