PepsiCo, SodaStream, and Starbucks: 4 Intriguing Product Stories

Last week's beverage industry headlines revealed some interesting product introductions for snack/beverage giant PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) , home carbonation system maker SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA  ) , and Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) . It's important for companies to keep coming out with new products in order to hold consumer interest. It also demonstrates lack of complacency and shows that these companies are on the move.

New Ruffles potato chips
PepsiCo recently introduced a new Ruffles brand "Classic Hot Wing Flavored Potato Chip" inspired by the company's new relationship with restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings. This represents the first co-branded product since PepsiCo announced its partnership with the restaurant chain in December, according to PepsiCo's press release. The release goes on to mention that this new potato chip will "pair perfectly" with its "new Ruffles Creamy Buffalo Ranch Dip." This highlights PepsiCo's expertise in selling beverages and snacks tailored to the appropriate occasions -- such as eating chips in a Buffalo Wild Wings while watching a game and waiting for the main course. 

Sunny D and SodaStream
SodaStream was really shown up by Keurig Green Mountain and Coca-Cola when they announced their partnership to create a homemade carbonation system of their own. However, that doesn't keep SodaStream from forging ahead and forming new partnerships of its own. Coca-Cola may have Keurig, but SodaStream wants to ensure it partners with everyone else. It recently partnered up with Sunny Delight Beverages to develop SodaStream versions of its flavors such as Original Orange and Orange-Strawberry. Now people can enjoy a homemade Sunny Delight carbonated beverage. 

Starbucks, the innovation machine
Starbucks recently announced several new products, including the Vanilla Macchiato in response to the popularity of its Hazelnut Macchiato and Caramel Macchiato products. According to the press release, the drinks are topped off with a drizzle "made with a mix of brown sugar, butter, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and a slight hint of salt." The drink comes in both hot and cold versions.  

Also, Starbucks introduced a new "Tribute Blend" comprised of all-time customer coffee favorites such as Sun-Dried Ethiopia, Aged Sumatra, Colombia, and Papua New Guinea. Finally, Starbucks came out with four new breakfast sandwiches: slow-roasted ham and swiss, vegetable and fontiago, egg and cheddar, and a "new and improved" reduced-fat turkey bacon.

Starbucks' voluntary recall
Not everything was smooth sailing for Starbucks, however. Schwartz Bros. Restaurants, which does business as Gretchen's Shoebox Express, recalled, on a voluntary basis, a small amount of Greek yogurt raspberry and lemon parfaits sold with the Starbucks label in the Seattle and Portland area, according to the press release on Starbucks' website. The affected products possessed the "enjoy by" date of March 5. The products didn't possess the proper labeling and didn't describe the presence of eggs, presenting a potential problem for people who are allergic to them. Starbucks, demonstrating its customer-centric attitude, took swift action and removed the products from area stores. 

Things to look for
In the future, look for PepsiCo to leverage its relationships with client companies such as Yum! Brands and Buffalo Wild Wings to come up with snacks and beverages to meet the appropriate social occasion for their customers. This will help sustain top- and bottom-line growth for PepsiCo. Look for SodaStream to continue its efforts to carbonate the beverage world by partnering with virtually everyone -- except maybe Coca-Cola. Speculation that SodaStream may partner up with PepsiCo is worth keeping an eye on. Expect Howard Schultz to keep complacency from knocking on Starbucks' door by introducing new products.

Feel free to add these companies to your Motley Fool Watchlist.

Feast on these stock picks
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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 March 18, 2014, at 8:56 AM, DennisStork wrote:

    SodaStream looks like a classic Fool play. And they will take off if they can do one thing: become cheaper than bottled soda. If I am going to do the work of bottling my own soda, I want to save some money. I think for right now you have only environmentalist that drink a lot a soda and want to save on bottles.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2014, at 9:02 AM, stockdissector wrote:

    Agreed Dennis. Until that happens I think SodaStream is going to continue boosting its market presence by partnering with as many companies as it can.

    Appreciate your readership!

    William Bias

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2872858, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/1/2014 10:54:23 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement