Purchase, NY — PepsiCo’s $3.2 billion acquisition of the Israeli-based seltzer maker SodaStream International continues its push into healthy beverages and also rides the wave of resistance to plastics in the wastestream.
SodaStream’s products, marketed as a healthy alternative to sugary sodas, fit Pepsi’s goal of “making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint,” outgoing Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement announcing the deal. “Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more sustainable planet.”
Nooyi, who was instrumental to Pepsi’s diversification into better-for-you products has announced she will step down as CEO on Oct. 3. Under her tenure, the company organized itself into three units in keeping with consumer trends — offering products that are Fun for You, Better for You and Good for You. Sales grew 80% during Nooyi’s 12-year tenure.
The deal is expected to close in January. It drew applause from environmentalists.
“This acquisition creates an opportunity for Pepsi to go beyond recycling and commit to a significant reduction in the amount of plastic bottles it’s putting on the shelves,” said Jacqueline Savitz, North America chief policy officer for Oceana, in a statement from the ocean conservation and advocacy group.
“The imperative to reduce single-use plastic at the source has never been as clear as it is today, and the solution – alternative delivery systems like SodaStream – is literally at our fingertips,” she added.
While Coca-Cola bought a stake in Keurig Green Mountain and ended that effort after two years because of dismal sales, author Darcy O’Neil, an expert on the history of beverages, speculated that hipster culture may make mix-your-own sodas more successful this time.
“There’s this idea that cooking and doing your own thing is better than just getting prepackaged stuff,” she said In an interview with The New York Times. “Now we have all the resources to research how to make it, and SodaStream has made the carbonation process really easy, so I guess it’s just a natural extension of the trend toward doing things yourself.”
SodaStream officials said the company will stay in Israel.