PepsiCo Buys SodaStream

The beverage market is in a fight to maintain – and grow – market share of soft drinks. And, as sales of soft drinks slow, the beverage industry has been looking for new paths. One recent deal concluded by Coca-Cola was to buy U.K.-based coffee company Costa, giving it entry into the hot drink market. And now PepsiCo has announced that it is buying do-it-yourself carbonation company SodaStream International.

Unlike sugary soft drinks, SodaStream has taken advantage of the growing market for seltzer beverages. Consumers like that seltzers do not have sugar and are calorie-free. This gives consumers drinks that are healthier than the traditional soda drinks. Plus, the do-it-yourself carbonated drinks can be tailored for individual tastes with different fruits and flavors added to the drinks.

According to Beverage Marketing Company, sales of seltzer has increased nearly 42% in the past five years, while soda consumption is at a 31-year low (according to Beverage Digest). SodaStream now has 12.5 million customers, up from 4.5 million in 2012, and sales have increased 31% this year. The product appeals to consumers who are looking for healthier, more environmentally friendly types of drinks.

The beverage war continues. What will happen next?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show a brief video about the purchase: https://youtu.be/Idmv5onpbSs
  3. Have students view PepsiCo’s product assortment: https://www.pepsi.com
  4. Show SodaStream web site: https://sodastream.com/
  5. Which strategy is PepsiCo using by purchasing SodaStream?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market SodaStream.
  7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Washington Post, New York Times, Fortune, CNBC, TIME, and other news outlets

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