In the midst of the test launch of its new Pepsi HomeMade line in Florida markets, SodaStream USA, Mt. Laurel, N.J., reports that consumer responses for the trial products have thus far been positive.
“Our existing SodaStream users are excited about the new flavors we are bringing to them through our PepsiCo partnership,” says Scott Guthrie, general manager of the Americas for SodaStream. “We’ve received an overwhelming response from users requesting the flavors in their hometowns, so we are looking forward to the test results and deciding on next steps.”
SodaStream first announced its partnership for the Pepsi HomeMade line with Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc. back in October. “Pepsi and Sierra Mist are popular beverage brands that consumers have enjoyed for years,” Guthrie explains. “At-home, make-your-own beverages represent an emerging category that has generated interest among consumers. SodaStream and PepsiCo both are exploring multiple emerging technologies in this space.”
The Pepsi HomeMade line allows consumers to make their own Pepsi and Sierra Mist beverages at home using SodaStream devices. The flavor lineup includes Pepsi’s and Sierra Mist’s previously available Pepsi, Pepsi Wild Cherry, Pepsi Vanilla, Sierra Mist and Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash flavors and also adds a new flavor — Sierra Mist HomeMade Peach — which is only available as part of the Pepsi HomeMade lineup. All of the flavors are available in a cap format that provides flavor for a 0.5-liter bottled of already-carbonated water. The flavor caps retail for $3.49 for a four-pack and allow consumers to make Pepsi and Sierra Mist flavors that are sweetened with sugar and stevia and offer about half the calories and sugar of a full-calorie soda, Guthrie says. “These new additions to our portfolio help us cater to our cola drinkers as much as our sparkling water drinkers,” he adds.
SodaStream also is offering Pepsi HomeMade 0.5-liter bottles for $4.99 for a two-pack to use with a SodaStream device to make Pepsi and Sierra Mist beverages.
During the trial period, SodaStream is focusing on a small-scale, limited-time product offering in the Tampa and Orlando, Fla., markets because of local resources that make them good “test-and-learn opportunity” markets, Guthrie says. In these areas, the Pepsi HomeMade caps and 0.5-liter bottles are available in Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond stores, which are part of SodaStream’s existing customer footprint. Both retailers agreed to participate in this control-store test, and other existing customers might offer the products in future tests, he adds.
Following the trial period, which runs through the end of the year, SodaStream plans to evaluate the test results and determine the next steps for the Pepsi HomeMade line. “It is hard to tell at this point until we complete the test and evaluate the results, but we are optimistic that these flavor caps will be welcomed by carbonated soft drink consumers.”