Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR)’s Worst K-Cup Yet: Unilever N.V. (ADR) (UN), Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)

Granted, tea is a new market to explore and expand in the United States. That’s certainly why Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) recently purchased mall-based upscale tea retailer Teavana to add to its Tazo tea product line. Tea comes in many forms, many artisan and even rare, and boasts health benefits such as antioxidants. It’s also not as jitter-inducing as its cousin, coffee.

Last but not least, Green Mountain’s K-Cups still aren’t easily recyclable. A K-Cup user would have to be a diehard to separate the two parts of the K-Cup that are easily recyclable, plus this action detracts from the convenience they’re known for. (Thankfully, Green Mountain’s pods for its Vue machine are easily recycled in places that take No. 5 plastic.)

It’s kind of nauseating to think of more K-Cups clogging up landfills when the majority of old-school tea bags are mostly biodegradable. A 2010 study showed most tea bags in the U.K. are only 70% to 80% biodegradable, but consumers are still encouraged to compost them, and that’s a lot better than used K-Cups’ destiny to hang around.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)’s stock has been on a roller-coaster ride over the past year or so, with many doubting the soundness of its business on many levels. Right now, investors view new licensing deals with consumer giants very positively. After all, heavyweights such as Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) are also entering the single-serve coffee market, giving Green Mountain a major run for the money in an area it long dominated.

Still, in the real world, some of these partnerships simply won’t do much for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) despite the fanfare. Getting excited about the growth possibilities related to the Lipton deal is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.

The article Green Mountain’s Worst K-Cup Yet originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Alyce Lomax

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Starbucks, and Unilever and owns shares of Starbucks.

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