Sodastream

Carbonation

SodaStream is the maker of a consumer home carbonation product based on the principles of making a carbonated drink as originally invented by Guy Gilbey in 1903. The device allows users to take ordinary tap water and carbonate it to create soda water (or carbonated water) to drink. With the addition of one of over 100 different types of concentrated syrups and flavorings produced by Sodastream, owners can create carbonated beverages. After the company merged with Soda-Club in 1998, it was relaunched with an emphasis on healthier drinks. It went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2010. Sodastream is currently headquartered in Israel, and has 13 production plants.

In its marketing, the company currently focuses on environmental attractiveness of using tap water and returnable gas cylinders. Sodastream has been involved in numerous environmental projects, including waste reduction, beach cleanup and reforestation.

The forerunner of the machine, the ‘Apparatus for aerating liquids,’ was created in 1903 by Guy Hugh Gilbey of the London gin distillers and was sold to the upper classes (including the royal household). Flavored concentrates such as cherry ciderette and sarsaparilla, were introduced in the 1920s, along with commercial carbonation machines, and the first machine for home carbonation of drinks was produced in 1955. SodaStream machines were popular during the 1970s and 1980s in the UK, and are associated with nostalgia for that period. Their slogan, ‘Get busy with the fizzy,’ started as an advertising jingle in 1979 and proved so popular that they added it to their logo. The slogan was initially dropped in 1996 after 17 years, but was reinstated in 2010 along with a new marketing campaign in the UK.

Originally the company operated as a subsidiary of W & A Gilbey, Ltd. In 1985, after various changes of ownership, SodaStream became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes, although it operated as an autonomous business within the group. In 1998 SodaStream was bought by Soda-Club, an Israeli company founded in 1991 by Peter Wiseburgh, who from 1978 to 1991 had been Israel’s exclusive distributor for SodaStream, creating the world’s largest home carbonation systems supplier. In 2003 Soda-Club closed the SodaStream factory in Peterborough, moving the company’s gas cylinder refilling and refurbishment department to Germany. Under the ownership of Soda-Club, and with CEO Daniel Birnbaum at the helm since 2007, the brand has been relaunched in many markets, with new machines and new flavors available in 41 countries around the world.

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