SodaStream Partners With Welch’s Amid Recent Setbacks

Fox says no Coke and Pepsi talk for you, Scarlett.

Banned in media quarters, battered on the stock market, SodaStream has nevertheless soldiered on, today announcing an agreement to co-produce products with Welch Foods Inc., the grape juice company.

The trendy at-home soda kit company announced Wednesday morning that it will work with Welch’s to launch a line of sparkling drink concentrates that will be developed exclusively for SodaStream’s home beverage carbonation system. The products are expected to be available in the U.S. during the second half of 2014.

“This is a great opportunity to bring the goodness of Welch’s to more consumers in a fun and innovative way,” Brad Irwin, president and CEO of Welch’s, said in a joint release.

The news comes during a challenging month for SodaStream. On Jan. 13, Forbes reported that the company’s shares tumbled more than 20 percent to a 52-week low of $38.55 after the company announced its preliminary, unaudited 2013 earnings results. That number has since dropped to $36.99. In the announcement, the company also shared its net income of $41.5 million, which fell 23 percent short of the consensus estimate of $54 million, according to Forbes.

Meanwhile, things haven’t been much smoother on the marketing front. After receiving some encouragingly empathetic buzz as a result of a rejected ad for the 2013 Super Bowl, SodaStream can only hope for the same reaction from consumers this time around. USA Today reported Saturday that SodaStream’s original advertisement for the big game, which features actress Scarlett Johansson smooth-talking the words “sorry, Coke and Pepsi,” has been rejected, no refunds to be had. And just like last year, SodaStream will instead air a diluted version. SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told USA Today that the rejection likely stems from the partnership between Fox, the station that will air the game, and Pepsi, the sponsor of the halftime show.

“They’re afraid of Coke and Pepsi,” Birnbaum said, adding, “Which advertiser in America doesn’t mention a competitor? This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. I’m disappointed as an American.”