K-Cups, Jobs Holding Strong

Chances are someone in your family got a one-cup coffee maker for Christmas—it was a hot appliance this season. That's good news for Knoxville's employment picture.

Green Mountain Coffee, which has a big production and distribution center at Forks of the River, does not appear to be hurt by the expiration of the patent on its K-Cup coffee makers. The company, which also produces the Keurig brand of one-cup coffee makers, reported strong fourth quarter earnings. Profits are up 22 percent and sales are up 33 percent.

Green Mountain has not changed projections for revenue in 2013, and the Wall Street Journal says—contrary to some analysts' predictions—brand loyalty and efficient production may hold off the introduction of competing generic single-serve coffee. Although the company's stock price bottomed out in July at a three-year low of $17.11, it crested $40 in December.