SodaStream Sweetens the Pot

SodaStream's (NAS: SODA) growing with what it's got, but it's still thirsty for more.

The company behind the popular home-based soda makers is launching a new line of flavors sweetened by an all-natural plant-based sweetener called stevia. A dozen flavors will be offered. Beyond the obvious all-natural diet cola, orange, and lemon-lime syrups, some exotic flavors, including peach-pear and cranberry-apple, will be available.

The initial flavors will pack fewer than five calories per serving.

Europe will get fizzy with them first. A stateside rollout is slated for later this summer, which is just around the time when Kraft Foods (NYS: KFT) raises SodaStream's profile by introducing Country Time and Crystal Light flavors for SodaStream system owners.

The move makes sense, since SodaStream has been taking subtle jabs at Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) for its high-fructose corn syrup sweetener solution. There are Coke fans who miss the days of sugar-sweetened Coke enough to pay a premium to import Mexican-canned Coke (which is still sugar-based).

The move comes at a good time for SodaStream. The company is coming off solid quarterly results last week. Revenue climbed 32% to $85.7 million, and adjusted earnings rose 21% to $6.7 million. The one letdown in the report was that start system unit sales were a little soft -- growing only in the single digits -- but the influx of new flavors should help spur sales. We're now looking at new flavors and an entirely new plant-based sweetener in the mix.

I've emphasized in the past that it's not fair to compare SodaStream to the more established Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' (NAS: GMCR) Keurig platform. However, Green Mountain obviously had strong sales gains last year as a few java heavies moved in. Clearly, flavor varieties are influential, and SodaStream is ready to pop things to a higher level.

Drink up
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At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, SodaStream International, and Coca-Cola.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a lurking gator position in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Green Mountain. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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