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Having re-discovered Soda Stream recently, I now know what old is new again. Thanks to tech-reinvention, a bit of smart marketing and the realization that something so classic was also a good idea, deserving of a second life.
Back when I was a kid I remember going into Jewish delis and there sitting at a corner of a table was the seltzer bottle. You never lacked a good burp after a huge pastrami sandwich or potato pancakes becuase there was the bottle -- full of gas clearing carbonated water.
I was watching early morning TV and suddenly up pops -- so to speak -- a Soda Stream commercial -- advertising and in-home carbonation generating system at a reasonable price point. In a high-tech looking bottle and a range of flavors far beyond egg creams, there was my old Yiddische treat in a new 21st Century form.
I had first heard if this company and its concept when I saw it being demo-ed at some tech showcase -- I think it was a Pepcom event several seasons ago. At the time, I thought that’s quaint, let’s revisit seltzer bottles but wasn't sure I hadroom on my countertop at home.
Well lo those many years ago when the experience of having the seltzer delivered was common practice, there was no controversy about sugar-engorged soft drinks endangering the children of America.
Now i get it. Soda Stream offers a great way to get around pissing off Mayor Bloomberg, it can make mom and the dentists happy and keep us all safe from the ravagesn of white stuff by regulating the sugar content in soda.
The current generation of Soda Stream machines offer a range of flavors which can be genuinely natural so there’s a chance of something healthy slipping through while still serving the burp factor. What else is carbonation good for anyhow?
Now I admit i haven't asked for a model to bring home for my own evaluation, to really test and sample on an ongoing basis. But having watched the demo -- it didn’t seem too messy and it tasted pretty good if not a little strange to this Coca Cola lover.
And lately I've been fascinated by the story of Coke's origins as a fountain drink. Around the turn of the century an entrepreuneur approached Coke to get the rights to bottle the drink and sell it for a nickel. Since the soft drink's primary business was soda fountains where the secret formula was mixed on site with seltzer water, the let the bottle side of the business slip out of their grasp.
Eventually that fresh-seltzer based business was eclipsed by the bottling side of the revenue stream. But it offered the sentimental side of the coca cola story when the boy and girl met at the edge of soda fountain in some diner.
Now that whole fizz factor is finding a new life in a different form and possible a whole new generation of audiences by brings the fountain soda experience into the home and the 21st Century.
And nobody needs to buy a disposable water bottle ever again.
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