PepsiCo’s Purchase of SodaStream Says a Lot About What the Consumer Wants

published Aug 20, 2018
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(Image credit: Zety Akhzar)

Indra Nooyi announced that she was stepping down as CEO from PepsiCo just two weeks ago, but before she ends her 12-year reign officially on October 3, she’s doing one more big thing for the Fortune 500 company: buying SodaStream.

It was announced today that PepsiCo is buying the DIY sparkling-water giant, SodaStream, for $3.2 billion. Nooyi says the purchase aligned with the PepsiCo’s “philosophy of making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint.”

For the past 12 years as CEO, Nooyi has made sweeping changes to pivot PepsiCo away from sugary drinks. PepsiCo now owns popular brands like Tropicana, Aquafina, and Naked juice. In 2016 the company also purchased KeVita, a growing leader in the probiotic beverage category. And this year the company launched their own LaCroix rival, Bubly, which comes in eight different flavors and doesn’t include any added sweeteners or artificial flavors.

It’s no surprise that PepsiCo would want to get in on the boom of seltzer. Sparkling water is the fastest-growing category in bottled water, and is estimated to hit $3.1 billion in sales by 2022, and SodaStream’s stock has increased by 320 percent in the last two years, according to CNN Money. Everyone is trying to get in on that LaCroix magic, and SodaStream stands apart with its environmentally-friendly DIY approach to sparkling water.

This purchase cements Nooyi’s legacy as CEO for PepsiCo, and also clearly shows the wellness trend in food and beverage companies. Consumers want better-for-you drinks — like sparkling water! — and they also want to take small, actionable steps to help the environment (as the death of plastic straws this year clearly indicates). SodaStream manages to achieve both of these objectives, and PepsiCo will bring its global reach and marketing to the brand.