SodaStream (Nasdaq: SODA ) knows where it has to go to achieve mainstream success.
Finally rolling out its home-based soda makers, carbonators, and flavored syrups in Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) last month was a major step toward reaching the masses, but true ubiquity won't be achieved until there are SodaStream syrup bottles stocked at your local grocery store.
SodaStream's got a plan, and it doesn't want to rush the evolution.
CEO Daniel Birnbaum told Bloomberg this week that his company's plan is to start testing supermarket and drugstore distribution next year, but the real rollout won't happen until 2014.
Birnbaum wants to wait until there is "enough velocity to justify the shelf space," which basically means that the soda system has to penetrate the market deeply enough to the point where the inventory of the SodaStream consumables is turning over quickly at the store level. It's all about hitting a point where it's cost-effective for both SodaStream and the grocer.
This would be a huge step for the company. Folks hit grocery stores on seemingly a weekly basis. The same can't be said for the department stores, office supply chains, and home goods retailers that currently carry SodaStream's wares.
Visibility also translates into validation. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' (Nasdaq: GMCR ) Keurig K-Cups are common sightings at grocery stores these days, but they were limited to the same houseware retailers and office supply stores that are SodaStream retail partners today.
One can argue that SodaStream is already nearly there. Wal-Mart and Target (NYSE: TGT ) stock SodaStream products, and both discount department store chains have spent the past few years ramping up their grocery selections.
However, it's not just supermarkets and pharmacies that are on SodaStream's to do list.
Birnbaum tells Bloomberg that SodaStream plans to enter Greece and India next year.
It doesn't seem to matter that Greece is ground zero for Europe's austerity crisis or that India's rupee has gotten hammered. SodaStream wants the world -- and it's willing to wait for it.
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