The Rise and Fall of Another SodaStream "Killer"

By Markets Fool.com

If you were hoping to buy a Keurig Kold, you're out of luck.Keurig Green Mountainhas quietly discontinued the overpriced beverage-making platform, as one can see by hopping over to the Kold website.

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Image source: Keurig Green Mountain.

It's easy to see why the company behind the popular Keurig coffee-brewing platform wouldn't be shouting about its failure in the carbonated market. It also doesn't have to. Keurig Green Mountain was acquired by privately held JAB Holding in a$13.9 billion transactionback in March.

There was plenty of hype surrounding the product's launch well before its actual rollout, including Coca-Cola hopping on as both an investor and a provider of Keurig Kold flavors. Coca-Cola took a 10% stake in Keurig Green Mountain in early 2014, eventually bumping its position to 16% for a total investment of roughly $2 billion. Keurig Green Mountain stock took off from the news, soaring 26% the day Coca-Cola's initial purchase and the Keurig Kold were announced.

SodaStream's stock also moved higher the day that Coca-Cola's investment was announced, but more on the speculation that a rival carbonated soda giant or kitchen appliance titan would snap up SodaStream in response. No one did, and by the time the stock bottomed out last summer it had shed more than two-thirds of its value.

Kold case

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Keurig Kold ran into some production hiccups delaying its release, but it finally saw the light of day in the fall of last year. It seemed destined to be a colossal flop. I singled out the five reasons why it was going to fail.

  • It's not convenient, as it needed to be powered on for at least two hours to serve up a chilled beverage.
  • It cost too much -- at nearly $400 out of the gate.
  • The flavors weren't cheap. Coca-Cola wasn't going to give its larger canned and bottled operations a dirt nap.
  • Soda consumption in general has been fading for years.
  • It rolled out with limited availability, never allowing it to gain traction through major retailers.

It's fitting that Kold should fail just as SodaStream is starting to grow again. SodaStream's sales turned around in Western Europe -- its largest market -- late last year, and now its total revenue is on the upswing. SodaStream's revenueclimbed 10% in its latest quarter, its first period of year-over-year growth in more than a year,accordingtoS&P Global Market Intelligencedata.

Kold never amounted to much of a threat for SodaStream's market leadership position. The same can be said of Bevyz, Flavorstation, and the Kickstarter-funded SPiZZi. It's a niche that doesn't seem to have enough room on the podium for silver medalists, but Keurig Green Mountain certainly didn't do Coca-Cola, JAB Holding, and ultimately itself any favors with this costly contraption that was doomed from the start.

The article The Rise and Fall of Another SodaStream "Killer" originally appeared on Fool.com.

Rick Munarriz owns shares of SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool owns shares of SodaStream. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.