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Single-serve coffee machines gaining traction

BY Ken Clark

Although automatic drip coffee makers tend to be the most popular choice for U.S. households, single-serve machines (also known as pod or capsule coffee makers) are growing in popularity, according to a study by the NPD Group. 

Key findings of “What’s Brewing in the Coffee Industry: The Impact of Single-Serve,” a survey completed in May 2012, show that 57% of U.S. households having an automatic drip machine. Pod/capsule machines are owned by 14% of households, while espresso makers, percolators and French presses own even smaller corners of the market (7%, 6% and 5%, respectively). 

Overall, automatic drip makers are most likely to be chosen as the primary brewer in the home. However, compared with what was being used previously, pod/capsule systems are making significant gains, increasing their share from 5% of households using a pod/capsule machine as their primary brewer in the past to 18% currently.

Most brewers are being used, with very few sitting dormant. The most used brewer is the pod/capsule brewing system, with 96% of the systems owned being used either by members of the household or by guests. 

Almost all users are very satisfied with their machines — 86% of automatic drip users and 90% of pod/capsule users’ state as much. However, pod/capsule users are extremely satisfied with their machines (57% versus 40% for automatic drip).

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Bosch recalls SKIL miter saws

BY HBSDealer Staff

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Robert Bosch Tool Corp., is recalling select models of the SKIL miter SkilSaw, a 10-in. compound miter saw. The lower guard on the tool can break and contact the blade during use, posing a laceration hazard to users. The firm has received no reports of incidents or injuries, however.

Approximately 22,149 units of the product, which was manufactured in China, were sold at Lowe’s nationwide and OC Tanner from January 2012 to April 2012.

Consumers should immediately stop using the miter saw and contact Robert Bosch Tool Corp. for a free lower guard replacement kit. For more information, visit skiltools.com.

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Retailer container traffic to see uptick in July

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 1.6% in July compared with the same month last year, and modest year-over-year increases are expected through the holiday season shipping cycle, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Whether consumers are going to have the confidence to spend during the next few months depends on what happens with employment, but retailers are being cautiously optimistic,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF VP supply chain and customs policy. “Sales can fluctuate from month to month, but these import numbers show that retailers are still expecting this year to be better than last year.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.34 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in May, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 4.1% from April and 2.3% from May 2011. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

June remained at an estimated 1.34 million TEU, the same as May but up 4.7% from June 2011. July is forecast at 1.38 million TEU, up 1.6% from last year; August at 1.44 million TEU, up 6.2%; September at 1.45 million TEU, up 6.8%; October at 1.47 million TEU, up 12.6% over lower-than-usual numbers last year; and November at 1.3 million TEU, up 2%.

The first half of 2012 totaled an estimated 7.5 million TEU, up 2.6% from the same period last year. The total for 2011 was 15.1 million TEU, up 0.6% from 2010. NRF projects 2012 retail sales will grow 3.4% to $2.53 trillion.

Numbers in this month’s report reflect the addition of Miami to the list of ports covered.

“Economists and commentators are talking the economy down,” Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. “Despite the mixed signals, we remain optimistic that consumers will remain in the market.”

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Long Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast.

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