SodaStream might be in some trouble. According to The New York Times, sales for the DIY carbonated-water and soda machine have declined since reaching a peak in 2013. Overall sales fell 13 percent in the quarter that ended September 30, while sales of the soda makers themselves dropped 60 percent. SodaStream recently unveiled a line of fruit flavorings in collaboration with New York City chef Paul Liebrandt in the hope that chef-y flavors like green apple and cucumber and sea buckthorn might boost the company's culinary IQ — and possibly its sales.
So just how have the fortunes of this once-promising device taken such a hit after being on top of everyone’s Christmas wish list a mere two years ago? SodaStream’s main problem lies in the fact that its high-cost products have had to compete in the increasingly crowded, relatively low-cost bottled-water market (which, in another ominous sign for the company, has experienced growth over the past year). The requirement of having to buy additional canisters for carbonation has also discouraged prospective buyers.
Moreover, the company has had difficulty convincing existing soda drinkers to use its products. Soft drinks remain inexpensive throughout the country, and the company’s homemade versions of sodas like Pepsi and Sierra Mist have not tested well. Consumers find them less flavorful than canned products and do not find the extra time it takes to do it themselves to be worthwhile. Once a major threat to soda giants like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, SodaStream has ultimately been unable to present itself to a wide audience as a viable alternative — its planned SuperBowl commercials were rejected two years in a row. Additionally, overall soda consumption in the U.S. is already on the decline. According to the Times, the company’s machines have sold better in Europe, where soft drinks are more expensive and consumers are more conscious about the impact of packaging on the environment.
It remains to be seen if the likes of pomegranate açai, green-tea lychee and yuzo mandarin can help reinvigorate SodaStream in time for this year’s Christmas lists.
Read more about SodaStream on Food Republic: