The scientific and technical path to PῧrPod100™ had many elements as Claudio Gemmiti, Senior Vice President of Innovation and Strategic Growth at Club Coffee tells us.
Q. What kinds of challenges did you face?
A. Have you got a couple of hours? We were going down a completely new path, so there was no roadmap, there were challenges in every direction but a lot of them start with having to work within the realities of a single serve brewer. The pod has to withstand boiling water and exposure to the natural acids in coffee grounds. It has to allow water to flow through just the right way to produce the consistent, high-quality cup of coffee that a consumer expects. And it has to do all this at a price that consumers see as fair.
Another issue is that we are still in the relatively early days of bio-resins, so everyone involved was breaking new ground in research and development from top to bottom.
Q. People have noticed the unique brown rings. Was it just a question of changing from petroleum-based plastics to bio-based ones?
A. There were a lot more steps on that path. Even with the breakthrough material science R&D that came out of the University of Guelph behind the bio-based resin, there were a lot of trial and error tests around getting the resin properties right in order to support the injection molding processes. The rings have to be precisely the right size, every time, thousands and thousands of times a day. When you are producing millions of them per year, there are details of many kinds as you ramp up production. Even a difference of fraction of a millimeter can make a difference in terms of how well it runs on our lines and how it integrates with the filter or the lid. In this kind of innovation you often learn a lot from what doesn’t work. It points out details or elements that you need to go back and rethink. However, we knew where we wanted to be and where consumers want to be, so that made the difference.