Not to worry about special offers for K-Cups.
I noticed SBUX on sale in my local Publix (3 months ago) & asked the inventory manager about it.
She said they regularly offer discounts on K-Cups depending on what the home office allows.
When inventory gets unbalanced they are allowed by licensee's to do so.
The discounts are not steep & they still maintain margins.
I agree with your sentiment in regards to branded customer preferences.
You mentioned seeing a customer shift to a GMCR brand from SBUX & I believe this is not a unique event (indicating strong potential awareness of GMCR brands.)
I really like the packaging of the GMCR brands & believe they & other licensee's will continue to dominate!
As another poster stated; this board smells like shorts but we are gradually shifting the topic of conversation into a more positive vein.
The same thing will happen with the market value of GMCR.
I was in a BBBY store this weekend and noticed more attention being given to assortment packs. Yes, GMCR has always had these, especially coming bundled with a new brewer. But what I noticed was several different small assortments (12 K-cups I believe). You could get 4 different medium roast coffees or 4 different flavored coffees. Certainly encourages experimentation without a huge dollar commitment. And you don't get stuck with a whole box of something you might not like.