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SodaStream Had Better Not Let Coca-Cola Get Away With This

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Does Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) really have the gall to play the environmental card?

When SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS  ) opens the new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin ride at SeaWorld Orlando on Friday, it will do so with a proprietary soda.

The leading beverage giant and the marine life theme park operator will be teaming up to introduce Vanilla South Pole Chill as a carbonated vanilla-based soft drink that will only be available inside the penguin-themed habitat and attraction.

An important aspect of the drink will be the unique refillable penguin character cups. They're not cheap at $10 apiece, but they come with RFID chips that measure the carbon dioxide being spared when going for a refill in a reused cup. Coca-Cola and SeaWorld claim that 27 grams of CO2 are saved this way, and the two are hammering home the green message by donating $1 from each "Cup That Cares" to the park's not-for-profit conservation fund.

Really? Just wait until SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA  ) hears about this.

SodaStream has made it a sport of calling out Coca-Cola in the past for the anti-environmental nature of canned and bottled pop. One of SodaStream's selling points is that the beverage system that turns still water into carbonated soda can save 2,000 cans and bottles of soda a year for a typical household. It's at the very heart of the SodaStream television commercials, with soda bottles bursting, that have been airing since late last year.

Even though SodaStream specifically called out Coca-Cola and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) in the banned Super Bowl commercial that's been running these days, it's been Coca-Cola that has publicly fought back. Coca-Cola threatened to sue SodaStream for a traveling cage exhibit that showcases the number of bottles and cans thrown out annually by a typical family. SodaStream used the cease-and-desist threat to amplify its message.

SeaWorld has no shortage of activists rallying against the theme park's killer whale habitats, but the environmental message -- or the conservation fund -- doesn't necessarily seem hypocritical. It is strange, though, to see Coca-Cola tied to the preservation message.

What's the point, anyway? Are park guests being encouraged to go with reusable cups for future soda consumption? Doesn't that mean that SeaWorld and Coca-Cola are actually doing SodaStream's marketing here?

SodaStream wins again, and it hasn't had to lift a single finger this time.

Pop goes the world
SodaStream's carbonation technology sounds simple, but this razor-and-blade company offers an intriguing opportunity for growth that could very well disrupt the soda industry. The Motley Fool's premium report on SodaStream explains the opportunities as well as the risks in the company. The report comes with a year's worth of updates, so just click here to get started.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 22, 2013, at 8:23 PM, Njja wrote:

    SODA has been hyped to death, it's not a concern for KO or PEP. It's a stock bubbles are built with, based out of Israel.

    I'll stick with my US companies thank you.

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Rick Munarriz
TMFBreakerRick

Rick has been writing for Motley Fool since 1995 where he's a Consumer and Tech Stocks Specialist. Yes, that's a long time. He's been an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and a portfolio lead analyst for Motley Fool Supernova since each newsletter service's inception. He earned his BBA and MBA from the University of Miami, and he now lives a block from his alma mater.

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Related Tickers

9/3/2015 4:00 PM
KO $39.16 Up +0.26 +0.67%
Coca-Cola CAPS Rating: ****
SODA $14.59 Up +0.10 +0.69%
SodaStream CAPS Rating: **
PEP $92.13 Up +0.49 +0.53%
PepsiCo CAPS Rating: *****