Written by Phineas Upham

The SodaStream really began in 1903, when Guy Hugh Gilby created an “apparatus for aerating liquids.” The device was sold almost exclusively to upper class households, and it came with a variety of syrups. Cherry was most popular, but sarsaparilla was another house favorite as well.

Commercial carbonation machines rose to prominence in the 1920s, and by the 1950s, soda had officially become a trend. In-home soda making machines were sold, which is where SodaStream entered the market. Originally sold in Europe, and later to Australia and Germany, the SodaStream is often associated with nostalgia for the 70s and 80s. Many Europeans from those eras will remember the slogan “Get Busy with the Fizzy,” which went from being a jingle to part of the company logo.

The company was originally a spinoff of another investment firm, but it was purchased by Cadbury Schweppes in 1985. It was sold again in 1998 to Soda-Club, an Israeli distribution company founded by a man named Peter Wiseburgh.

In many ways, SodaStream is a great example of how to revive a brand. Each time SodaStream has changed ownership, it has found a new market to break into. The current revival is happening mostly in America, but Europe is also getting a taste. The new line of SodaStream machines is designed for sustainability, which earned the company a Seal of Approval from the Good housekeeping Institute. New flavors are also being sold in partnership with the companies that make drinks like Kool-Aid and Country Time lemonade.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phineas on his Phineas Upham website

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