The partnership will begin in the second quarter with the rollout of Kraft -branded flavors Crystal Light and Country Time for the home soda-making system, the two companies announced today. The deal pairs Sodastream with one of the nation's biggest marketers. For Kraft , the partnership marks an entry into carbonated beverages.
"The carbonated market is an exciting segment for us," Doug Weekes, Kraft VP-beverages, said in a statement. "It's a perfect marriage of our iconic brands and SodaStream's breakthrough technology."
SodaStream's rapid growth propelled it onto Ad Age 's list of America's Hottest Brands last year. The soda makers, once only available in high-end retailers, are now sold in nearly 9,500 U.S. stores, up from 2,500 in fourth quarter 2010. The company began its move into the mainstream in 2010 with a successful test at Bed Bath & Beyond. Its retail roster now includes Sears, Kohl's, JC Penney, Costco and Target .
"We are excited to welcome these delicious Kraft drink mixes into our SodaStream portfolio," Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, said in a statement. "Adding our sparkle to these popular flavors should attract a new audience to both Kraft and SodaStream, and increase awareness of the soda-making category."
SodaStream, headquartered in Israel, does not work with ad agencies, but uses SS PR and Fenton Communications for consumer PR and green marketing. Kraft Foods is the nation's 32nd-largest advertiser with a budget of $1.01 billion, according to the Ad Age Data Center. The food giant backed Crystal Light with $46 million in measured media in 2010, but barely spent anything on Country Time , according to Kantar Media. Crystal Light, which just launched a new campaign, is handled by Dentsu's McGarryBowen. Country Time 's agency is WPP's Ogilvy & Mather.