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Can Scarlett's SodaCaps Save SodaStream?

By Rick Munarriz – Jan 15, 2014 at 9:24AM

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SodaCaps may be the key to SodaStream's turnaround.

This clearly hasn't been a good week for SodaStream (SODA), but Scarlett Johansson pitching the company's new SodaCaps flavor capsules may be just the ticket to sweeten things up.

Yes, SodaStream hit fresh 52-week lows on Monday and Tuesday after hosing down its holiday quarter. SodaStream now expects to barely break even on a 26% top-line pop. Any positive buzz from the announcement this weekend that Scarlett Johansson would be its first brand ambassador was gone in a flurry of cascading margins and renewed fears of stagnant sales of consumables.

However, we can't forget that Johansson filmed SodaStream's new ad last week. It will air during next month's Super Bowl. We don't know what the commercial will be about, but it's safe to say that SodaStream Caps will have a starring role in the spot. After all, the publicity still of the shoot put out by SodaStream is a shot of Johansson, a SodaStream machine, and three different SodaStream Caps capsules.

Source: SodaStream.

SodaStream Caps were officially introduced domestically just two months ago. Unlike the syrup bottles that are good for a dozen liter servings, these patent-pending capsules contain just enough syrup to flavor a liter of fizzed-up water.

SodaStream has never been able to shake its comparisons to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR.DL). They're both leaders in appliances that make popular beverages. They both sell their machines at or near cost, making most of their money on consumables. It's not an entirely fair comparison, though. Green Mountain's money is made on its flavors in the form of K-Cups. SodaStream sells flavors, but it's the CO2 canisters that are the real differentiators, since anyone can sell sweetened soda syrup.

Another big difference between Green Mountain and SodaStream is that Green Mountain's Keurig brewers only make single servings of coffee. SodaStream Caps is the closest thing to K-Cups, but that's still for an entire liter of soda. 

Promoting SodaStream Caps is the right move. They cost more -- per serving -- than the original syrup bottles, and that means an uptick in revenue at a time when SodaStream needs it the most. It also makes the already easy soda-making process even easier. Placing a SodaStream Cap on a fizzed-up SodaStream bottle and pressing down releases the syrup. Having Johansson increase awareness of the new way to make fresh sodas at home can only help.

The Caps are also made of 100% recyclable material, something that helps SodaStream keep preaching its eco-friendly message. The Super Bowl can't come soon enough for SodaStream. It needs a big score.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and SodaStream. The Motley Fool recommends Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of SodaStream. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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