Pepsi to test homemade colas with SodaStream

Will Scarlett soon be making her own Pepsi at home?

Will ScarJo soon be making her own Pepsi at home?

Want to make your own Sierra Mist at home? You soon may have the chance to do that.

Pepsi (PEP) said on Friday that it will be working with do-it-yourself carbonated beverage company SodaStream (SODA) on a limited test of homemade Pepsi-branded sodas later this year.

Shares of SodaStream popped more than 15% when word of the deal was first reported in the trade journal Beverage Digest. A spokesperson at Pepsi confirmed to CNNMoney that the details of that report are accurate.

Beverage Digest also said in its report that the trial would take place within the next few weeks in Orlando and Tampa, and that current SodaStream retail partners Wal-Mart (WMT) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) would sell the Pepsi-branded products.

The deal is a much needed victory for SodaStream. Its stock has plunged more than 50% this year due to concerns about slowing growth.

Some believe the product is more of a fad. There are also questions about whether or not the company is spending too aggressively on marketing and promotion. SodaStream ran a Super Bowl ad this year featuring actress Scarlett Johansson.

Related: Americans sour on SodaStream

The Israeli-based company has also been criticized by some because it operates a facility in the occupied West Bank territory. Johansson, a former Oxfam ambassador, has been swept up in the controversy as well.

There were some reports earlier this summer alleging unfair treatment of Palestinian workers at SodaStream’s West Bank plant, particularly during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The company has repeatedly denied such claims.

So while SodaStream may finally be getting a much needed break with the Pepsi deal, it’s still not clear if that will be enough to get the company’s momentum back on track.

SodaStream has been the subject of takeover rumors ever since Coca-Cola (KO) announced plans to invest in Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) earlier this year. Keurig, most well-known for its K-cup coffee machines, is working on a cold beverage maker as well in conjunction with Coke.

Related: Soda wars! Coke beats Pepsi on Wall Street

The Coke-Keurig deal led to immediate speculation that Pepsi might want to purchase a stake in or buy SodaStream … or at the very least, partner with it.

Starbucks (SBUX), Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), and even beer giant Anhueser-Busch InBev (BUD) have also been cited as possible acquirers in takeover rumors. So have a host of private equity firms.

It’s unclear if the Pepsi deal is a prelude to a possible investment in SodaStream or an outright takeover. SodaStream was not available for comment.

But the mere fact that SodaStream, which once featured exploding plastic bottles of cola in ads that directly called out Pepsi and Coke as being environmentally wasteful, now realizes that it may need one of its former rivals just goes to show how quickly the company’s fortunes have turned.

Reader Comment of the Week! I tweeted earlier this week about how amazing Apple (AAPL) earnings were. But one follower was more interested in how another consumer electronics company was doing.

I hope you didn’t get in too high with GoPro (GPRO)! This stock can’t be a Hero forever.

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The Buzz — Investment and Stock Market News

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284 thoughts on “Pepsi to test homemade colas with SodaStream

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