LONDON Brewer Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) and coffee maker Keurig Green Mountain have teamed up to develop a countertop appliance that could dispense alcoholic drinks in the home.
The companies on Friday announced a research and development joint venture that will focus on the North American market with the aim of developing a system that could work with beer, spirits, cocktails and mixers.
Such a machine would be the first of its kind to deliver the convenience of one-cup dispensers, such as Keurig and Nespresso's coffee machines, but for alcoholic beverages. It also marks the first formal collaboration by the two groups.
The venture will build on the technology used in the Keurig KOLD machine, which was discontinued after disappointing sales. It will also make use of AB InBev's brewing and packaging technology.
The companies did not disclose financial terms for the venture or any other details about the machine, the drink brands to be used or any potential regulatory requirements.
Keurig is part of privately held JAB Holding, the investment vehicle of Austria's billionaire Reimann family. JAB has built a sizeable presence in the coffee sector through an aggressive acquisition spree over the past few years.
JAB Chief Executive Olivier Goudet is also the chairman of AB InBev, the world's largest beer maker with brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois.
(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by David Goodman)