SodaStream Introduces Cooking Light-Branded Flavors

Time Inc. Magazine Trying to Expand Its Licensing Business

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SodaStream is rolling out two new flavors for its carbonated water, Passionfruit-Mango and Kiwi-Pear, that will be co-branded with the Cooking Light logo, the companies said.

The "fruit-based syrups" that use "all-natural flavors and sweeteners" are intended to flavor the carbonated water that SodaStream machines produce. Cooking Light, which is a part of Time Inc., vetted the flavors to ensure they meet its nutritional guidelines, the magazine said.

The new flavors are due in stores in the first quarter of 2014.

The licensing deal is the second for Cooking Light, which is seeking to diversify its revenue beyond print and digital advertising. In June, it rolled out a line of ready-made meals sold exclusively at BJ's Wholesale Club, a big-box chain along the East Coast.

"Our consumer marketing side of the business is strong, but the truth is it's a new world and we need to find new revenue streams," said Diane Oshin, Cooking Light's group publisher. "That's what this allows us to do, take the relationship we have with our customer and expand it to give benefits to our customer and, of course, additional revenue for us."

It's still early days on the licensing front, however, where the percentage of revenues is in the "low single digits," according to Ms. Oshin. "There's no question it will grow," she said, "but I expect it will take a while to catch up to consumer revenue and ad revenue."

Cooking Light's print ad pages are off slightly compared with last year, according to Media Information Newsletter, down roughly 1% through November. Its total paid and verified circulation is also down about 1% to 1,796,440 through June, according to its reports with the Alliance for Audited Media.

For SodaStream, whose machines let people carbonate water at home, the deal is part of an ongoing effort to build greater brand awareness in the U.S. So far, the company has found success partnering with a growing list of retailers and food brands.

"We are on a mission to bring familiar brands to our not-yet-so-familiar home soda system," said Yonah Lloyd, president of SodaStream International. "The Cooking Light brand is iconic and very trusted, and there is a tremendous national credibility to their name. Even people who don't read the magazine, know the name and trust it."

SodaStream has achieved mass appeal in Europe, where carbonating water at home is a common practice. In the U.S., however, it has faced the challenge of not only introducing a new product but a new behavior for most Americans.

This year, SodaStream ran a 30-second Super Bowl commercial -- directed by Alex Bogusky, co-founder of Crispin Porter + Bogusky -- that gained attention early because CBS rejected the first iteration of the spot. Mr. Lloyd said SodaStream is "seriously considering" running another Super Bowl ad.

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