The company behind the popular home-based soda makers is launching a new line of flavors sweetened by an all-natural plant-based sweetener called stevia. A dozen flavors will be offered. Beyond the obvious all-natural diet cola, orange, and lemon-lime syrups, some exotic flavors, including peach-pear and cranberry-apple, will be available.
The initial flavors will pack fewer than five calories per serving.
Europe will get fizzy with them first. A stateside rollout is slated for later this summer, which is just around the time when Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT ) raises SodaStream's profile by introducing Country Time and Crystal Light flavors for SodaStream system owners.
The move makes sense, since SodaStream has been taking subtle jabs at Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) for its high-fructose corn syrup sweetener solution. There are Coke fans who miss the days of sugar-sweetened Coke enough to pay a premium to import Mexican-canned Coke (which is still sugar-based).
The move comes at a good time for SodaStream. The company is coming off solid quarterly results last week. Revenue climbed 32% to $85.7 million, and adjusted earnings rose 21% to $6.7 million. The one letdown in the report was that start system unit sales were a little soft -- growing only in the single digits -- but the influx of new flavors should help spur sales. We're now looking at new flavors and an entirely new plant-based sweetener in the mix.
I've emphasized in the past that it's not fair to compare SodaStream to the more established Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' (Nasdaq: GMCR ) Keurig platform. However, Green Mountain obviously had strong sales gains last year as a few java heavies moved in. Clearly, flavor varieties are influential, and SodaStream is ready to pop things to a higher level.
Both Green Mountain and SodaStream have been dynamic recommendations to Rule Breakers subscribers, but this is now a great time to discover the next rule-breaking multibagger that the newsletter has unearthed. It's a free report. Want it? Get it.