New player emerges in home soda machine melee

by Monica Watrous
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STAMFORD, CONN. and SLIEMA, MALTA — Competition continues to brew in the category of home beverage makers. SodaStream and Keurig Cold face a new challenger in the ‘Cuisinart powered by Bevyz’ Multi-Drink System, a countertop platform that produces single-serve hot, cold, still or sparkling beverages.

Equipped with an internal boiler, carbonator and cooling system, the machine reads sensors on flavor capsules to precisely dispense hot or iced tea, hot chocolate, coffee, juice, sodas, cocktails, soups, sparkling water and more.

'Cuisinart powered by Bevyz’ Multi-Drink System


Through a partnership between Stamford-based Cuisinart, a leader in kitchen electrics, and Sliema-based Bevyz, a manufacturer of beverage systems, the product debuted in March at the 2014 International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago and will be distributed through Cuisinart’s retail channels in North America. Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

“This is an exciting and innovative expansion for Cuisinart in the beverage maker category,” said Ron Diamond, president of Conair Corp., Cuisinart’s parent company. “At-home beverage makers have been consistently gaining in popularity and market share over the past several years, and the introduction of this product represents a significant leap forward in the technology and convenience available in the category. We are proud to bring this to the market and believe it will resonate very strongly with consumers.”

Indeed, home soda machine sales are bubbling in an otherwise flat soda category. U.S. 2013 retail sales of home soda machines increased 30% compared to the previous year, according to The NPD Group, a global information company. Dollar sales of syrups and mixes for the machines increased 83% when compared with 2012.

The Cuisinart and Bevyz system offers previously untapped innovation in home beverage machines. For example, the system includes an internal carbonator, while SodaStream machines require CO2 refills for carbonation. And while Keurig Cold, the forthcoming beverage system from Keurig Green Mountain and the Coca-Cola Co., has internal carbonation, the machine produces only cold beverages — a deliberate decision based on consumer research, said Brian Kelley, president and chief executive officer of Keurig Green Mountain.

“If you look at the spectrum of a kitchen having five appliances, one for hot beverages, one for cold, one for alcoholic beverages, one for other beverages, it’s not likely consumers want that, but on the other hand they don’t necessarily want, they’ve told us, one machine that does them all because they don’t trust that it does each of them with perfection,” Mr. Kelley said during a Feb. 5 call with analysts. “They don’t believe that you can get the perfect brewed coffee or the perfect brewed soda unless you have a machine that’s distinct. Could we over time offer a very expensive machine relative to what we price it at today that can do multiple? Perhaps, but that’s certainly not in the short term.”
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