K-Cups for booze? Budweiser owner, Keurig’s single-serve cocktail machines officially roll out

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Mojitos via a pod?

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That will soon be a reality for customers in three states across the country.

Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA are moving forward with its plan to launch a home bar pod system after piloting the program in St. Louis, Missouri last November.

The new machine, which is in partnership with Drinkworks, is officially rolling out throughout Missouri and Florida in the coming months as well as California in 2020.

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The Drinkworks machine works by using liquid-filled pods to prepare cocktails, brews and ciders with a touch of a button, just like coffee.

Each pod contains a shot of alcohol along with its flavorings and is then fused with either water or carbonations to serve up drinks such as a Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned or beer. The companies said its drink portfolio already includes more than 24 different recipes. The machine is being sold for $299 on preorder and is currently on sale in St. Louis for $399.  A four-pack of pods are around $15.99.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the news of the expansion.

The move also comes as both companies have been grappling with declines in recent quarters. AB InBev has seen sales of its iconic Budweiser and Bud Light brands decline in the U.S. for several months, while Keurig Dr Pepper announced last month that sales of its namesake coffee-brewing devices have declined in the fourth quarter. However, its CEO Rober Gamgort offered good reason for the decline, saying its machines are lasting longer.

“Fewer people are buying to replace a broken brewer,” Chief Executive Robert Gamgort said in a conference call with analysts last month. “The quality of the brewers is up significantly. You can see that by going online on Amazon or Walmart or anywhere else and look at the star ratings of the brewers and how much higher they were than those in the past.”

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Drinkworks CEO Nathaniel Davis said the company is working on developing a lock for the new machine to avoid consumption by children. He also said the pods are designed so they can't be opened by hand.

The new machine will also have some competition soon. French spirits maker Pernod Ricard SA said its planning to launch its own home-bartending assistant this year called Opn that dispenses spirits such as Absolut Vodka and Jameson Whiskey from flasks shaped like books in a library, according to the Journal.