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SodaStream launches ‘mixologist’ competition as brand sags

on 47 Comments


Yesterday SodaStream launched the Ultimate Mixologist Contest, challenging customers to create a “custom cocktail or mocktail recipe” along with a demo video. SodaStream of course produces seltzer-makers in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank; and I’m thinking of variations on a Bloody Mary– since Kat Stoeffel coined “Bloodbubbles” and “blood cocktails” in a brand-slaying article in New York Magazine. 

SodaStream sure needs something. Six weeks ago Barclays cut SodaStream’s rating to “underweight”, predicting that the company would be selling for as little as $35 a share within a year, and slimming down in a hurry, the stock price has already shed a hair less than 5 more points since then.



Starbucks Fizzio (photo: Starbucks website)

Starbucks Fizzio (photo: Starbucks website)

“The second half of the year resembles a nightmare” reports an analyst at Motley Fool; “earnings fell off a cliff looks like a classic boom and bust story”.

And what ever happened to that possible deal with Starbucks? Ouch. Looks like Starbucks decided to come out with its own seltzer maker– the Fizzio– rather than risk the perils of picket lines from teaming up with an apartheid product produced on stolen land.

There’s speculation in the business press that Fizzio might be “a Nail in SodaStream’s Coffin :

The competitive landscape is starting to chip away at SodaStream, and it’s only going to get more difficult now that Starbucks has tossed its hat into the ring. Importantly, Starbucks’ Fizzio machine has a unique feature that distances it from SodaStream.

Brighton's Ecostream store has closed down after a two year campaign of demonstrations, street actions and direct action. (photo:Corporate Watch)

Brighton’s Ecostream store has closed down after a two year campaign of demonstrations, street actions and direct action. (photo:Corporate Watch)

Speaking of coffins, after two years of persistent street protests from UK activists, SodaStream’s flagship UK refill store Ecostream in Brighton is closing up shop for good. Reports Corporate Watch: 

Ecostream issued the following statement this morning: “SodaStream confirms that the EcoStream store, located on Western Road in Brighton, closed earlier this week. Following the two year test period, the company has decided to focus its business efforts on other channels, specifically on retail distribution partnerships.”

[Retailer] John Lewis have also informed Corporate Watch today that they will no longer be stocking Sodastream products. According to John Lewis’ Senior Press officer: “John Lewis has stocked Sodastream for the past four years but in light of declining sales we’ve taken the decision to no longer stock the range”. Campaigners have demonstrated repeatedly outside John Lewis stores calling for the chain to discontinue its Sodastream range and for consumers to boycott Sodastream products.

With all this negative news lately, it seems like the perfect time to whip up some new recipes for blood cocktails by entering SodaStream’s mixologist contest (send us your videos!).

And is anybody else wondering Where’s Scarlett Johansson? You’d think she’s the perfect “mixologist” poster girl to promote this effort. So far, not a peep out of SodaStream’s global ambassador.

(Graphic Stephanie Westbrook)

(Graphic Stephanie Westbrook)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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47 Responses

  1. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger on July 3, 2014, 12:55 pm

    squirt, squirt, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is (to see you go, that is)!

    (sorry alka seltzer!)

  2. hophmi
    hophmi on July 3, 2014, 12:59 pm

    I’d say it’s a great time to buy an undervalued stock.

    • annie
      annie on July 3, 2014, 1:06 pm

      that’s also being promoted. not a lot of bites tho. and i’m not so sure it’s undervalued.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 3, 2014, 6:49 pm

        don’t you think this whole hype about fizzy water was just a bunch of bubbles in the first place? i mean really-a product totally geared towards already obese Americans and uber-cool euros is bound to be a boom and bust story. I feel badly for the people that will ultimately lose their jobs but according to you, its in their best interests. As much as I like to support companies like SS I simply cannot bring myself to buy a fizzy water maker. such clutter. If my attiude is any indication-i can’t see that SS is any great stock bargain now. At least wait. And by NO MEANS should people take advice from motley fool. Those slick marketing ‘geniuses’ found a “way to beat the markets at their own game” the way I found a load of Spanish gold under my old outhouse.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on July 4, 2014, 12:47 am

        “And by NO MEANS should people take advice from motley fool.”

        Gosh, DaBakr, thanks! I bet your financial advice is just as good as your political, ethical and moral thinking.

        Or is there some reason you feel essentially equipped to give fiduciary counsel?

    • pjdude
      pjdude on July 3, 2014, 1:19 pm

      how do you know its undervalued?

    • amigo
      amigo on July 3, 2014, 1:44 pm

      “I’d say it’s a great time to buy an undervalued stock.”hophmi

      Here,s one very over rated stock to stay away from!!.

      Apartheid Israel Ltd.

    • ritzl
      ritzl on July 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

      Yep. Buy, hophmi. Buy more. Sell the house. Tell your friends. Tell your friends to sell their houses. If SODA doesn’t go belly up, you all could win big.

      Or spend a buck on a lottery ticket.

    • Dutch
      Dutch on July 3, 2014, 6:44 pm

      @ Hophmi
      ‘I’d say it’s a great time to buy an undervalued stock.’

      No, it’s Game Over for the mixperados. The stains on the brand are permanent. Release your shares, man, before they go up in bubbles.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on July 4, 2014, 12:34 am

      “I’d say it’s a great time to buy an undervalued stock.”

      It’s good to know your value as a stock prognosticator is about the same as your value as a commenter on IP issues.

  3. Kay24
    Kay24 on July 3, 2014, 1:20 pm

    It seems BDS UK has a better success rate at getting these occupation loving companies shut down. If I remember right, they were able to shut down an Ahava store in the UK too. Good for them.

    As for soda stream, it sounds like the big fizz is gradually losing it’s power, and this last hurrah might be an attempt to appear effervescent and bubbly, when stocks are plunging down to flatness. BDS works.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr on July 3, 2014, 6:57 pm

      i wouldnt use SS as a gauge for power of bds. fizzy water is just bubbles and kitchen real estate. Ahava and Max Brenner are doing fine. And if you really want to be depressed….just take a look at who the biggest cosmetic makers in the world are and how much product they sell to Arab, Asian and African markets at the same time being big-time Zionist supporters.
      Though I wouldn’t deny that the ‘little funny soda company’ definitely did not benefit from the hay made from Ms. Johanssons big public campaign. Its not that her career will suffer-its that she did the SS company no good and possibly harm. Its not really her problem-its SS’s problem.

      • Kay24
        Kay24 on July 4, 2014, 8:16 am

        We are not talking about Israel here, but the ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS, Here is something that may depress all apologists:

        “Twelve members of the European Union have published warnings over the past day urging their citizens to refrain from engaging in business, economic activity and investment in settlements or bodies connected to the settlements.

        The announcements stated that the settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights are illegal and economic activity on the part of individuals or businesses carries legal and financial risks, as well as risks to their reputations. So far 17 EU nations have published such warnings.

        “Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognized as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory,” said the statement.

        The wave of such warnings came after France, Italy, and Spain published their own warnings a few days ago, joining Germany and Britain, which had already published such warnings a few years ago.

        “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible,” the statement read. “The EU and its Member States will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties,” it stated.

        The Portuguese Foreign Ministry published its own warning on Wednesday and 11 other nations quickly followed suit on Thursday: Austria, Malta, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, Belgium and Croatia.” Haaretz

        Eventually it hits the occupier. It is just the beginning.

  4. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby on July 3, 2014, 1:25 pm

    Put a firecracker and some tomatojuice in the tube, there you have the IDF version.

  5. concernedhuman
    concernedhuman on July 3, 2014, 3:51 pm

    Cheers !!
    WOW !! It took two years of activism to close a illegal settler stream in UK .

    Congratulations UKactivists ,thanks Annie .

  6. Kay24
    Kay24 on July 3, 2014, 4:18 pm

    Here is another article about it. I am impressed with the British activists, and how much they achieve. Good job. I guess unlike over here, folks are not afraid of being labeled “antisemitic”.

    • annie
      annie on July 3, 2014, 5:05 pm

      that is a great article! thanks kay.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on July 3, 2014, 5:41 pm

        Well, we’re not doing that well. Our churches would be serious competitors in the evasiveness and damp squibbery World Cup. BDS can operate only on the fringes. The Universities and Colleges Union, to which I belong, received some years ago a legal opinion, I think from someone regarded as an architect of our ‘equalities’ legislation, saying that BDS would constitute illegal discrimination against a nationality. Everyone concerned knows this and it would be a brave organisation that took the risk – and it would come close to risking existence – of proceeding in spite of that sort of opinion from that sort of authority.

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz on July 4, 2014, 5:57 am

        “BDS would constitute illegal discrimination against a nationality”

        I wonder how would you enforce it without giving up on a basic tenet of capitalism which is competition. I would not buy sewage contaminated vegetable for example, and I could argue that the products and services I don’t want to use smell to me of a moral decay and I have a gagging reflex I cannot control.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on July 4, 2014, 6:34 am

        I too, Eva, wonder if this opinion would survive the test of public debate and litigation. One thing that puzzles me is that it would seem – the law not having changed as far as I know – to imply that the former boycott of apartheid SA was all along not a lawful protest against discrimination but itself an illegal act of discrimination. But then I’m not a lawyer or in any responsible position.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 4, 2014, 9:25 am

        Attacking BDS legally as forbidden discrimination invites the legal defense that BDS seeks the end of Israeli occupation and ethnic cleansing & collective punishment. Bring the law suits on! More publicity for what’s happening in US taxpayer supported Israel and its OT.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 4, 2014, 7:38 am

        Two years ago a French criminal court criminal court near Paris ruled that it cannot be deemed “incitement to discrimination” to call for the boycott of a state, as opposed to a specific population group.

        BTW, don’t people generally have the right to buy and not buy consumer goods for personal use?

      • Citizen
        Citizen on July 4, 2014, 7:51 am

        OTH, since then other French courts have ruled against BDS; and in the US BDS is constantly threatened with discrimination law suits:

      • Djinn
        Djinn on July 4, 2014, 10:04 am

        I get better legal advice if I were you. Attempts to class BDS support as illegal discrimination have failed in the UK and failed badly.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976 on July 4, 2014, 11:02 am

        Well, I’m not sure that the basic legality of BDS in UK law has really been tested, though perhaps you know better than I. I would have thought it would have been really big news among us were it so. It is true that a preposterous attempt to sue the Universities and Colleges Union for some pro-Palestinian attitudes in spite of, not because of, its ‘punctilious’ (I remember that word from the Tribunal judgement) respect for the legal advice it has received from Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC, failed miserably and left some people (but very much not Lord Lester) somewhat discomfited. I would have said ‘excessive’ rather than ‘punctilious’. But it is clear that BDS in our part of the world is still seriously hampered by the fear that this advice has struck into many hearts.
        I would quite agree, having mentioned that I find Lester’s opinion odd when we remember South Africa, that the time must come when some other respected authority on UK law re-analyses things. But anyone in that world of senior lawyers would run into serious difficulties were the word to get around that (s)he was even borderline ‘anti-Semitic’.
        The Church is another important arena. Successive Archbishops of Canterbury have been co-Presidents (I think that’s the title) of the strongly Zionist Council of Christians and Jews and if one day one holder of that office were even to resign that presidency there would be major ructions.

  7. just
    just on July 3, 2014, 4:31 pm

    heh, heh, heh. Congratulations!

    “Company officials denied rumors this week that it was planning to relocate the West Bank facility to southern Israel, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

    Sarah Colborne, director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which organized the protests against John Lewis and EcoStream, said on the group’s website: “The news that SodaStream is closing its main UK store and that John Lewis is taking SodaStream products off its shelves is a major success for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. …

    She added: “And UK retailers should note John Lewis’ decision to ditch SodaStream, and take heed of UK government business guidelines which warn companies of the potential reputational damage of trading with settlement firms.”

    Such warnings have been issued in recent weeks by Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands and Portugal, and 12 more EU countries have recently followed suit.

    The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said on its website that it would continue pressuring other British retailers to stop selling SodaStream.

    Regarding the EcoStream closure in Brighton, Simon Cobbs of Sussex Friends of Israel, which staged counter-protests in front of the shop, said, “EcoStream should have never opened in lefty-liberal Brighton in the first place, but it should have been given a chance.”

    A year ago the shop was reporting a 40 percent increase in sales, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

    “Of course it’s disappointing,” said Cobbs. “People are very upset. The shop was never given a chance of fair trade.” ”

    “lefty- liberal Brighton”, “fair trade” LOLOL!

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka on July 3, 2014, 4:46 pm

      “The shop was never given a chance of fair trade.”

      LMAO. The irony of an Israeli or its supporters complaining about “fairness.”

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on July 3, 2014, 4:53 pm

      I hope those who showed us false bravado that they did not care about BDS, and that it is not affecting the Israeli economically, continue to be amused. Heh.
      Slowly but surely BDS.

  8. jon s
    jon s on July 3, 2014, 4:32 pm

    Sodastream is constructing a huge new facility near Rahat in the Negev ( I drove by there today). Supposedly it will provide jobs for hundreds of Bedouin men and women.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka on July 3, 2014, 5:32 pm

      “Supposedly it will provide jobs for hundreds of Bedouin men and women.”

      None, no doubt, in management.

    • talknic
      talknic on July 3, 2014, 6:47 pm

      @ jon s

      Uh huh, seems BDS made a point! Rahat is actually IN Israeli territory.

      Say, did you have one? A point that is!

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr on July 3, 2014, 7:03 pm

        still not buying one. dumb idea imo. i will bet owner of SS will offer jobs to those losing out in the industrial park plant if (and when seems more likely) plant closes. And kay24 has a point, nodenying

      • talknic
        talknic on July 4, 2014, 5:38 am

        @ DaBakr Uh huh. And how will they get to work from the West Bank?

      • Eva Smagacz
        Eva Smagacz on July 4, 2014, 6:03 am

        “@ DaBakr Uh huh. And how will they get to work from the West Bank?”

        talknic, talknic, talknic, he was not thinking of bonded labour – you see it will be replaced by another bonded labour. He was talking of real people, people who matter, J-positive blood people (sarcasm) who are of correct ethnic-religious category when he was thinking of those poor souls loosing out on work in the industrial park plant.

  9. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich on July 3, 2014, 4:37 pm

    Introducing the Brand New ‘BYM [Blow Your Mind] cocktail.’

    2 dead Palestinians
    3 3/4 uprooted olive trees
    1 demolished home
    1/2 imprisoned without charges jail occupant
    5 tons of crushed hope
    2 states and 1 lie

    Shake until you hear no more opposing voices and serve around midnight raid time.

    L’chaim Mazzel Up yours.

    Sponsored by – SS, lifeless bubbles without a fuzz fizz.

  10. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich on July 3, 2014, 5:27 pm

    Let’s not hear any rationalizations about “Israeli occupation” or “settlements” or “building in settlements.”

    I get it.

    Hush, hush.

    See no evil, hear no evil….


  11. libra
    libra on July 3, 2014, 5:39 pm

    The Hasbarito

    Pour a large slug of mean spirit into a glass

    Add a long, long squirt of sparkling Kool-Aid from your Sodastream

    Stir in a spoonful of Ziocaine

    Garnish with a Cherry Tomato

    • Penfold
      Penfold on July 3, 2014, 8:27 pm

      I also note that if you add a touch of sour grapes and some ice you get a Netan-Yahoo on the Rocks

    • Mooser
      Mooser on July 4, 2014, 12:41 am

      “Stir in a spoonful of Ziocaine”

      It’s not a real Hasbarito without it! If you are fresh out of Ziocaine, use mercury, arsenic, lead or any other easily available neuro-poison. It won’t have quite the same zest, but the effects are similar.

      Good gosh, “Ziocaine” turned out to be a handy word. I wonder what moser coined it?

      • Taxi
        Taxi on July 4, 2014, 3:06 am

        You mooser coined ‘ziocaine’, and Taxi here coined ‘hasbarado’.

      • libra
        libra on July 4, 2014, 7:22 am

        It’s not a real Hasbarito without it!

        Indeed not but make sure its genuine Ziocaine. Be on guard especially if your smiling hasbarista sports a spotless white T-shirt and has an Israeli accent. It’s not unknown for some to substitute a cheap generic knockoff and pocket the difference. The effect can often be quite violent; you might suddenly find yourself rushing over to another table and grabbing the olive off some poor innocent’s martini.

  12. Citizen
    Citizen on July 3, 2014, 6:21 pm

    Looks like Zionist vandals have arrested anti-SodaStream Artwork in California:

    • ritzl
      ritzl on July 4, 2014, 1:46 am

      Interesting article, Citizen. I like the idea and courage of the exhibition to include an Israel boycott as part of and alongside all the other boycotts in history.

  13. Nite_Owl
    Nite_Owl on July 3, 2014, 10:18 pm

    I remember something like this around in the 70’s in Canada and it was just a flash in the pan then. The market is already flooded with cheap soda making it not worth the trouble of buying an expensive machine and then assembling the required ingredients. Time is money too.

  14. Taxi
    Taxi on July 4, 2014, 3:07 am

    Oh bubblyboobs soda stream is belly-up – oh please say it isn’t so!

    LOL! Bravo BDS!

  15. libra
    libra on July 4, 2014, 10:23 am

    The Chomsky Wallbanger

    3 shots Imperial American Whiskey

    3 shots Absolut Truth Vodka

    Top up glass with Cola – 100 parts Coke or Pepsi to 1 part Sodastream

    Serve on pedestal

    Swallow in one

    Warning: excessive consumption can damage the Parietal Lobe resulting in back-to-front logical processing, particularly relating to geo-political analysis.

    • Sumud
      Sumud on July 5, 2014, 3:12 am

      You forgot a vital ingredient, a few drops of Finkelstein Bitters to give the drink some bite.

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