Cut the cost of your Nespresso habit by £130

Nespresso users rejoice: a French ruling means cheaper coffee capsules will
soon be on the shelves. But you can already save 30pc…

Sit down with a fresh brew and savour the news: a ruling by the French
competition authorities on September 4 means there are likely to be more
alternative, cheaper coffee capsules that fit Nespresso machines in a
supermarket near you. Soon.

Nespresso was told to share information about its coffee machines so that
rival firms could more easily make compatible coffee capsules or pods. And
the company has agreed to comply not just in France but around the world.

Nespresso is Britain’s most popular home coffee-making system. It’s cheap by
comparison with Starbucks or other shop-bought coffees (£2.50 for a drink-in
Americano is typical) but at an average 30p a go, Nespresso coffees are
still more expensive than quality instant or cafetierre-made drinks.

A household drinking three cups a day would be paying £330 a year for
Nespresso capsules.

But you can cut costs. Despite Nespresso’s repeated attempts to quash rival
capsule makers over the years, other coffee firms have been muscling in on
the act.

Big rivals now selling Nespresso-compatible pods through supermarkets include
London-based Cafepod (available in Tesco, Waitrose) and Carte Noire (online
and at Tesco). Bellarom is the German Nespresso-compatible brand being
introduced by Lidl. Other brands are available online.

Nespresso’s own pods cost an average 30p, with the cheapest being around 27p
and the most expensive – usually “limited editions, for those who
want them – up to 38p.

These are the alternative coffee pods available to British buyers right now:

Shop Brand Number of flavours Price
Tesco Carte Noire 2 £2.79 for 10 = 28p
Tesco Cafepod 4 £2.75 for 10 = 28p
Waitrose Cafepod 5 £2 for 10 = 20p (until October 1, then £2.75)
Lidl Bellarom 3 £1.79 for 10 = 18p
Amazon Caffesso 6 £16.49 for 60 = 27p

So, switch from Nespresso to Lidl’s Bellarom brand and the cost for a
three-a-day habit drops to £200 per year – a saving of £130.

Following the French ruling earlier this month, though, competition could heat
up and costs fall even further.

Which? the consumer lobby group welcomed the development and said: “Buying
capsules for Nespresso coffee machines could soon be cheaper.” It
explained the implications of the ruling, saying: “Nespresso will
provide manufacturers of coffee capsules with technical information before
implementing changes to their existing machines…. and will also let rivals
test their coffee pods on prototype Nespresso machines.”

What about my Nespresso machine: will it still be guaranteed if I use other
types of pod?

One of the aspects of the French authorities’ criticism of Nespresso was that
the wording of its warranty encouraged customers only to use Nespresso pods.
This wording will change.

As long as users meet all the terms of their warranty it won’t matter whose
capsules are used, Nespresso confirmed to Telegraph Money.

What about recycling and the environment?

The genuine Nespresso pods are made of aluminium. Most of the cheaper rival
capsules, like those from Cafepod or Lidl’s Bellarom, are plastic. Nespresso
says that recycling matters to its customers, and that the aluminium is
easily and fully recycled at a centre in Congleton, Cheshire.

But Peter Grainger, one of the founders of Cafepod, said: “Our plastic
pods are reclycleable along with all your other household plastic waste,
through normal collections. The advantage is that you’re not having to ship
it specially for recycling.”

Just how low could prices go?

Mr Grainger believes coffee drinkers who have splashed out on a Nespresso
machine – a Magimix CitiZ model, such as the one pictured, above, costs
about £150 – are prepared to pay for coffee and in fact would be put off by
“very low prices”. He said: “My gut feeling? Coffee is a bit like wine.
There is a perception of quality being related to price. People do want to
feel like they are getting value for money. But they are also conscious of
quality. Would they want to pay £1 for a box of 10? Somehow I doubt it.”

Nespresso has been careful to build a brand around its pods and other
merchandise, to draw customers into the “experience”.

This appears to have worked, with many customers joining to the Nespresso
“Club” where they are offered discounts and special offers. The fact that
the Nespresso pods aren’t available in supermarkets – just online and in
upmarket boutiques (mainly in London) has created this “relationship”,
according to Nespresso’s UK boss, Brema Drohan. She told Telegraph Money:
“In our boutiques we are finding that although our Club Members might have
experimented with alternative capsules, they continue to choose the
authentic quality of Nespresso coffee and the personalised service we offer.

“Competition is always around and we believe what it has done for us is focus
us more on our existing strategy, which is to deliver the highest-quality
coffees to our Club Members with the best possible service.”

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