What does a Name Change for this Coffee Company Really Mean?

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR  )  will officially change its name to Keurig Green Mountain. In essence, the company will change its name to match its core offering, the Keurig beverage maker. Green Mountain competes with major coffee retailers Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) and Dunkin Donuts (NASDAQ: DNKN  ) . However, Green Mountain doesn't just sell coffee.

More than just regular ol' coffee
Green Mountain has a portfolio that includes coffee, tea, and other beverages. Brand innovation remains at the heart of the company. As part of this, Green Mountain plans to enter the cold beverage market in 2015. The beauty of this is that the cold beverage market is even bigger than the hot beverage market.

Green Mountain plans on offering a beverage maker that will deliver carbonated beverages. The company will also enter the water purification market. Bringing innovation to the single-brew market, Green Mountain launched Rivo, which is a brewing system for single-cup espresso.

The next big leg for Keurig is to tap the food-service industry. Keurig brewers are in less than 1% of food-service establishments. Enter the Keurig BOLT brewing system, which is a brewing system for pots of coffee. Green Mountain believes that over 65% of coffee brewed in the office setting is still brewed in coffee pots.

The competitive environment remains heated
The problem is that Green Mountain is now competing directly with other coffee retailers in the home. It's no longer a matter of whether consumers will choose to brew their coffee at home or stop by Starbucks, now it's whether they'll use a Keurig or Starbucks' Verismo at home.

Dunkin' is taking a different approach as it looks to grow its retail market share. It has some 7,500 stores in the U.S and this number could hit 15,000 over the long-term. Dunkin' has also turned to marketing and social media to increase awareness about its products.

This includes the company's #MyDunkin campaign, which includes TV spots that use customer experiences which are communicated via tweets. Dunkin's other major campaign, Field Pass, allows people to send questions to Monday Night Countdown analysts. 

Starbucks believes that premium coffee makes up over 50% of the total U.S. grocery coffee market. This is a big positive for Starbucks. That's because Starbucks has some 25% of the U.S. market share for premium coffee sold in grocery stores and similar channels.

What's more is that premium single-cup coffee makes up nearly 30% of total coffee sales in grocery stores. As mentioned, Starbucks made a splash in this area during 2012 with its single cup machine, Verismo. Starbucks also offers K-Cups. Also in 2013, Starbucks extended its partnership with Green Mountain to nearly triple the number of Starbucks products designed for Keurig brewers. 

Bottom
Green Mountain still has a relatively low price-to-earnings to growth ratio of 1.4 thanks to its robust expected earnings growth rate of 15%. The company's growth prospects, such as its entry into the cold beverage market, should help it meet expectations. Meanwhile, Starbucks is also a compelling investment with a 1.2% dividend yield and growth opportunities in China. Dunkin' has a big opportunity to expand in the western U.S., but it also appears to be a bit expensive for now as it trades at over 35 times earnings.

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