Over the last 20 years, the state of Vermont has authorized more than $10 million in payments to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
The company, known for its K-Cup pods, is just one of many Vermont businesses that have used state incentive programs aimed at creating jobs. But exactly how much money Keurig received and what the company did with it is shrouded in secrecy.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters started out as a small coffee company in Vermont. In 1998, it started selling its coffee for the Keurig system, and took a minority stake in the company. In 2006, it acquired Keurig, and a few years later, Keurig beverage machines and K-Cups took off in popularity. That meant big profits and major growth. By 2014, the company was known as Keurig Green Mountain.
Along the way, the company received money from the state of Vermont, mostly through a program designed to create jobs called the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive, or VEGI.
Here’s how VEGI is supposed to work: A company like Keurig applies for state funds. If the application is accepted, the state promises to pay the company back over several years for specific investments the company can prove created new jobs.