Can SodaStream find its niche after being purchased by PepsiCo


PepsiCo just announced its purchase of SodaStream. Can the carbonated beverage maker finally find its niche?

SodaStream has gone through many iterations over the years. Flavored water, soda alternative or environmental conscious have been various themes. The concept of creating a customized carbonated beverage has its appeal. Unfortunately, the concept keeps changing its target audience. Could the PepsiCo partnership give the household product a new life?

Over the years, SodaStream has tried different campaigns to entice consumers to ditch the convenience of the disposable soda bottle. While the piles of trash are visually disturbing, the beverage maker didn’t covert a lot of soda drinkers.

MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 20: A SodaStream product is displayed for sale on a store shelf on August 20, 2018 in Miami, Florida. PepsiCo Inc. announced it plans to buy SodaStream International Ltd. for $3.2 billion. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

In today’s PepsiCo announcement, it appears that the food and beverage company will focus on the environmentally conscious aspect of the beverage maker. PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said, that the business partnership aligns with PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose. That philosophy focuses on the company “making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint.” The goal is to focus on a “healthier, more-sustainable planet.”

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While that message and purpose is commendable, the beverage needs to taste great or consumer won’t want to change their ways. Some people didn’t like the soda because it didn’t taste like their favorite beverage. Sure, there was a cola beverage, but it didn’t exactly taste like a Pepsi. If the authentic flavors of consumers’ favorite beverages can be duplicated, the beverage alternative maker could add to its market share.

Also, this beverage maker often tried to offer the alternative drink to traditional sodas. The idea that a carbonated, flavor water is a healthier alternative to soda hit a few stumbles over the years. Recently offerings tried to focus on elevated flavors and even master mixologist flavor formulations.

At this year’s International Home and Housewares Show, SodaStream offered several cocktail options. While this idea may not draw new users, it does show that this kitchen essential has versatility. No one wants to purchase another kitchen item only to have just a single use or have it collect dust in a cabinet. Given this new PepsiCo partnership, the cocktail aspect might slowly fade away. But, that versatility aspect needs to stay in the conversation.

Over the years, I have owned several SodaStreams. While the soda aspect was never the draw for my household, the carbonated water was. I like my carbonated water with extra bubbles, something that I couldn’t find in a bottled water variety. This beverage system allowed me to create the beverage that I wanted, when I wanted it.

Also, I was able to customize that carbonated water. From a simple lemon to tropical fruits, the flavors kept water from being boring. Still, I have the space in my kitchen for this gadget, which is helpful. While I didn’t stop buying bottle soda, I did buy less. This result is the part of the targeted message from both brands.

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Do you think that the SodaStream and PepsiCo partnership will be a good one? Do you think that your house might change the way you drink beverages?