SodaStream Has Been Around Longer Than You Think

Home carbonation may seem like a new trend, but SodaStream itself was founded in 1903. The head of a London-based gin distillery started the company after coming across a way to fizz up drinks just as pharmacy chemists were starting to dream up the top brand sodas that we enjoy today. SodaStream's original platform was limited to the affluent. It didn't have a viable home carbonation for consumers on the market until the 1950s. However, by the 1970s it had become a hit in the U.K. along with its catchy "get busy with the fizzy" campaign that continues to carry some retro charm. It may seem as if SodaStream is gaining momentum domestically, and a 36% surge in U.S. sales in its latest quarter bears that out. However, SodaStream's market penetration here is just 2%. Compare that with Sweden, where one in every four homes reportedly has a SodaStream soda maker. If there's anything that may keep Coca-Cola or PepsiCo up at night when it comes to SodaStream, it's that the small company can really move the needle if more countries wind up embracing the platform the way the Swedes have. SodaStream also has updated its actual maker, including newer models that eliminate the guesswork of deciding the level of carbonation by manual operation. There are also SodaCaps, which are single-serve flavor capsules that eliminate the need for pouring syrup out of a bottle. SodaStream is just getting started. It's been in development on everything from a solution for fountain distribution at retail food establishments to a solution that takes place beneath the sink so you can pour carbonated water straight from the tap. It really is the Willy Wonka factory of carbonation.