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Kenco Singles Capsules - A Typical Product Development Process

The Background

Kenco, one of the UK’s leading coffee brands, needed a system to deliver single cups of freshly brewed coffee from roast and ground ingredients held within a user handled capsule. This would have to surpass the quality, handling and performance of rivals in the marketplace, avoid existing IP and create a strong market position.

The Project

Warwick Design undertook basic research into the best methods to fast brew individual portions of coffee. We developed the unique ‘Singles’ capsule along with a specially designed processing system and vending machine capable of delivering high quality freshly brewed coffee and tea. This was enabled by encoding the capsule so that brewing parameters could be altered to provide the optimum flavour extraction. The capsule was then modified to create an identical exterior but to delivery powder products like hot chocolate drinks.  Our product designers then designed a mechanism to take in the capsule from the user, read the code, clamp the capsule and brew the tea, coffee or chocolate drink.

The outcome

From our concepts for both capsule and machine, came a robust new drinks system that created a highly profitable income stream for Kenco, with tens of thousands machines built and millions of Singles sold. A machine was then developed by Warwick Design that brewed just one capsule using manual insertion rather than automated handling. 

Since that initial undertaking, Warwick Design continues to support Kenco on dozens of widely varying hot drinks preparation related projects.

“Warwick Design’s ability to combine basic research and development, sound product design and high quality engineering has produced a durable, world class product.”

Kenco Engineering Manager

“Kenco” and the “Kenco Singles” trade names are the property of JDE

  • Fundamental research on flavour extraction
  • Machine building
  • Vending
  • Coin handling
  • Mechanism design
  • Water heating and handling
  • High volume moulding design
  • Design for patent infringement avoidance
  • Design for patent protection potential