- SodaStream is inviting users of its sparkling water machine to become at-home wine makers with its new limited edition Sparkling Gold alcoholic concentrate, according to FoodBev Media. By mixing one part concentrate with five parts sparkling water, consumers can enjoy a 10% ABV holiday beverage that tastes similar to a riesling.
- Each 200ml gold-tinted glass bottle can produce 12 champagne flutes of bubbly wine. The beverage is exclusively being sold at the SodaStream Germany online shop.
- “Fun and exciting concentrates give more users the opportunity to enjoy and even indulge in festive beverages this holiday season,” SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told FoodBev.
SodaStream has been riding a fizzy water wave of success. Revenue increased 13% to $139.8 million compared to a year ago, according to the sparkling beverage maker's most recent earnings report. As soda's popularity wanes, SodaStream has profited by picking up consumers abandoning the sugary drinks.
According to the earnings report released Nov. 1, sales of refill CO2 cartridges were up 9.3% from the year ago period to about 8.4 million. However, the company's sales of water flavorings — allowing consumers to make their own soda — were down almost 7% compared to last year.
Despite the lack of interest in water flavorings, the wine concentrate has a fair chance of boosting SodaStream’s sales in Germany. It will likely be an affordable way to enjoy a glass or two of sparkling wine without opening a new bottle. In addition, Sparkling Gold would likely appeal to millennial drinkers, who tend to experiment with new flavors and types of booze.
Considering the U.S. and Germany have varying policies when it comes to alcohol sales, it’s unclear if Sparkling Gold will ever make it stateside. That said, if food manufacturers can put booze in chocolates and 7-Elevens can sell wine, it shouldn’t be too great a leap to allow SodaStream’s wine concentrate to be sold online, with the condition that someone over 21 must be present to sign for the delivery.
The novelty of this new "make-it-yourself" sparkling wine will likely be enough to get curious drinkers to buy an initial bottle of concentrate. If they like the taste — likely sweet if it’s similar to a riesling — and are OK with an ABV that may be lower than bottled equivalents, they may become repeat customers.
American consumers, who are accustomed to buying wine in a bottle or even a box, may raise a cautious eyebrow when introduced to Sparkling Gold. If they already have the SodaStream machine, they may look past its unconventional nature and see it as a risk similar to buying an unfamiliar bottle of wine.