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Dec 6, 2013 07:27 AM

Tassimo Kosher T-Discs - will they ever make them?

Seems kind of odd to me that Tassimo has a competing product with the very Kosher (in comparison!) Keurigs, but they aren't doing anything about creating Kosher products to go with it.

A post online shows an email made to the company on February 21, 2007 was responded with "Please be advised at this time all Tassimo products are not currently certified Kosher." I just emailed the company and they again responded with "Unfortunately, Tassimo products are not Kosher. We would like to forward your suggestion. If this is acceptable please provide us with your complete mailing address."

Ignoring the fact that the address request is false hope (it's been 7 years!), I'm trying to get my head around the difficulties of making said product kosher. I can't imagine it would be. Can someone enlighten me? I bet they are almost 100% using kosher ingredients and simply need someone to certify. No?

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  1. No idea why, but I emailed them telling them it would be nice if they were kosher. Maybe if they get enough requests....

    21 Replies
    1. re: PotatoPuff

      They have been getting requests for 7 years. Then again, Doritos and Pop-Tarts and other brands I'd like to be Kosher have probably been getting requests even longer. I can't imagine the actual reason for NOT wanting to broaden these products' appeal... too small a group, maybe?

      1. re: tamarw

        Doritos and Pop-Tarts almost certainly have problematic ingredients that they would have to change. Tassimo is a different story.

        1. re: avitrek

          Or is that what we're simply suspecting?

          Either way, I'm well aware that the comparison is somewhat apples to oranges, but Doritos/Pop-Tarts also has the $$$ behind attempting a recipe adjustment. I don't think Tassimo is in the same boat.

          However, to me, it's offensive that their response after 7 years (which, by the way, I linked them to the online post that showed that others had the same concerns, and they said "well, we don't have any tickets from you from 7 years ago." That's neither here nor there. They obviously hadn't checked the URL I sent them.) is still the same. If we're suspecting that all they need to do is pay for certification, and they'd prefer to have Jews wanting product but not fulfilling their request, then I'm happy to see them losing to Keurig, considering how many kosher Jews have it/want a Keurig. I just wish there were adequate substitutions on the Doritos/Pop-Tart front...

          1. re: tamarw

            A couple of things . . .

            First off, what's so special about Tassimo? Isn't it just coffee? Why is it so important to you that it be kosher?

            Next: since Doritos and Kellogg's seem to be doing just fine without going kosher, I can't see why they would want to play around with what they probably are very happy with. I assume the Doritos have cheese in them, which isn't the most straightforward matter to deal with kosher-wise, and most of the Pop-tarts have gelatin, another problematic ingredient. I know that there have been many articles published about how it's more than just kosher-keeping Jews that buy kosher, but if you really look at the numbers, kosher-keepers are such a tiny minority in this country, that I can readily understand why Frito-Lay and Kellogg's don't want to mess with a good thing. (Approximately 1.3 million Jews keeping some kind of kashrut divided by the population of the US, which is 314 million = .004 percent of the country as kosher-keeping Jews. It's minuscule.) Look at the fact that Kellogg's, after all these years, still will not allow an actual hechsher on their cereal packages. They just don't seem to be all that interested in our business. Which, in my opinion, is fine. Look at what happened when Coke changed to New Coke back back in 1985. These major companies may not want to deal with such a severe change to their--already extremely successful--recipes.

            Finally: the Trader Joe's pop-tart product is pretty good. I can't really remember back to the Kellogg's I ate as a kid, but they certainly seem an adequate substitute.

            1. re: queenscook

              Doritos in Israel are kosher pareve, so I guess they found some way to adjust their recipe.
              Surprised none of the Israeli Doritos make it over to you folks in Chu'l.

              1. re: almond tree

                some companies have rules about what is allowed to be sold and where. elite which makes doritos in israel may not be allowed to cross borders. they may have the license to sell doritos in israel only. The same goes for wrigley products even though they are imported to the US. If wrigleys US knew about it they might prevent it,

              2. re: queenscook

                in discussing your figures, my son pointed out that it is .004, not .004%., but whatever, it is minuscule.

                1. re: queenscook

                  "First off, what's so special about Tassimo? Isn't it just coffee? Why is it so important to you that it be kosher?"

                  Tassimo isn't just a coffee maker. It brews a variety of beverages and the ones I care about (not coffee) are not Kosher.

                  And I agree about the other stuff. It's just a bummer that we're clearly excluded! I would have expected that if they actually spent some time on it, they'd have found a recipe replacement that would not necessarily alter the taste.

                  Nature's Way has a Kosher pop tart too. It's been a long time since I've had it.

                  1. re: tamarw

                    It's the phrase "clearly excluded" that I disagree with. I think many of us forget that we are simply the tiniest of minorities in this country and the world. It's easy to forget, especially when we are so wrapped up in our own issues,but in reality, I don't see why as many companies cater to us as actually do. Now I know that the label"kosher" does attract other folks, but some companies clearly don't care about that, and I think it's pretty self-centered to say that we are being excluded. There's a difference between "being excluded" and "not being included." Subtle perhaps, but a difference nevertheless.

                    1. re: queenscook

                      Fair point. When I refer to "exclusion," I refer to the fact that it's known to both companies that Kosher versions have been requested, but they're unwilling to waver and include us. The acknowledgement that we're not included, IMO, screams "exclusion," but I get your point.

                      But perhaps it's wishful thinking - I'd hope by the time I die, both will become Kosher.

                      1. re: tamarw

                        It's still not exclusion. It's the fact that going kosher is expensive even if nothing about the product has to change. If it requires changing recipes, this includes possibly having to break contracts with non-kosher providers which adds to the costs. This is all for a very small market.

                        Honestly, I'm surprised so many companies that started out without supervision go kosher at all.

                    2. re: tamarw

                      If you're looking for non-coffee beverages then why bother with these machines in the first place? There's little point in the expense of single serve teas or cocoas when they don't require brewing. We use our Keurig solely for hot water in those instances.

                      1. re: ferret

                        I didn't buy it. It was gifted to me. I'd like to use it and I'd like to patronize them too. I can't at this time.

                    3. re: queenscook

                      For what it's worth, I've found that Special K Pastry Crisps (strawberry) remind me a lot of how I remember Pop Tarts tasting, although they're not exactly the same type of product. They're OU-D (and made by Kellogg's, which also makes me wonder why they still only put a K on their cereal).

                      1. re: queenscook

                        For some people having this, or any other product, certified can make a huge difference in their lives. Let's say that you work in an office where they provide this, and only this type of coffee. Or you have some business function, and this is what's available. It could save a lot of awkwardness if someone invites you to coffee. Or if a non-Jewish friend gives you this as a gift.

                        1. re: PotatoPuff

                          Yup. I asked because it does apply to me directly - I am a newer owner of one. But I can't figure out how to use it if they can't make Kosher products.

                          They're doing an incredibly huge marketing push this holiday season. I've been seeing their marketing everywhere (and hearing it on the radio). It would be nice to see them invest a few thousand dollars in ongoing certification. Can't imagine the expense would be so high.

                          1. re: tamarw

                            But why did you buy one in the first place if their kosher offering is limited? Is there a specific flavor you're focused on?

                            1. re: DeisCane

                              > Or if a non-Jewish friend gives you this as a gift.
                              > I am a newer owner of one.

                              1+1 =

                              @bagelman01 - those were the same numbers I had in mind. In short, when I said "a few thousand dollars," I meant that we're not talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. And yes, maybe Tassimo can do the same thing that Keurig did.

                              They're small because no one knows about them. There are people (me, you, others on this thread) who do. Tassimo clearly does want to compete with Keurig, hence the marketing they're doing these days, but sadly, they're still not Kosher, so someone who WANTS to patronize them CAN'T. And I'm not the only one. Like I said in my first post here, this request has been around since 2007. Bummer.

                              1. re: tamarw

                                They're not just small because no one knows about them, they're small because people don't want Betamax/VHS wars. Keurig came out aggressively and their patent recently expired so you'll see lots more activity.

                                Tassimo has and will continue to have a hard time competing.

                                We bought a Nespresso last year and use that much more than the Keurig. Although it's yet another format they market primarily to espresso/capuccino/latte drinkers.

                            2. re: tamarw

                              not to pick a bone with you, BUT it would cost FAR MORE than a FEW thousand dollars to obtain kosher certification on a variety of coffees that was almost universally acceptable to kosher keeping American Jews.
                              As to not imaging the expense being so high, figure a minimum investment of $20K, even if no changes are necessary to the formula.

                              In the case of K-Cups for Keurig, Green Mountain was smart in using already under supervision coffees (many varieties) and just having to have packaging supervised. For the NON-Green Mountain owned brands, they are under assorted supervisions depending who is the manufacturer. I buy a French Vanilla for my olest daughter made in Montreal (Van Houtte) under Canadian suopervision. Main stream brands such as Maxwell House and Chock Full of Nuts (already kosher) pack Keurig compatible K-style cups.

                              Tassimo has a very small market share (compared to Keurig) and hasn't chosed to source their coffee pods from producers under supervision or set up a supertvised packaging operation.


                  Tassimo was developed by Kraft. Most of the machines are made by Bosch. Most of the pod brands are owned by Kraft.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: paulj

                    Which means they could do it if they wanted to.

                    1. re: tamarw

                      It's not a matter of wanting to/not wanting to, it's a question of how it will benefit their business vs. cost. Clearly it's not something that they perceive will enhance their profitability.

                      1. re: ferret

                        Yup. Of course I get that. "Want" would obviously take into account the benefits (or not) of having certification. With the particular Tassimo products themselves, however, I'd find it hard to believe that it was unreasonable or unrealistic to go Kosher. It's just coffee or similar, after all. I know that's a simple minded view. However, I can't imagine it being as complicated as other products. Maybe I just am uninformed. But as some have said, "coffee is coffee." Many of these products are derivatives of coffee. (On that note, why aren't all teas kosher? I don't know! These are rhetorical questions, btw.)

                        Kraft also makes Polly-O which recently went Kosher. I'd be curious to know about the profitability of that decision. Tassimo probably is pulling from a different budget, but like I said earlier, I'd love to see more products (Kraft, etc.) go Kosher in the coming years. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but companies have done it.

                        1. re: tamarw

                          Until probably 50 years ago, I'd guess all teas were accepted as kosher.