This fall, PepsiCo will start rolling out SodaStream Professional, a stand-alone beverage dispenser intended for workplaces, college campuses and travel hubs. The company plans to introduce 300 units by the end of this year with more scheduled for 2021.
Leaning into the trend of personalization, the machine offers more than 100 combinations of flavor, temperature and carbonation levels. The device also connects to a mobile app, available for iOS and Android, that allows users to save their preferences and track how much water they’re consuming throughout the day.
“We’ve learned that people can get a little bored with water, and certainly different people have different preferences, so we’ve designed as much flexibility and personal choice into the platform as possible,” said Scott Finlow, CMO of PepsiCo’s food service business.
Part of the push behind SodaStream’s new smart dispenser is to help tackle waste. As outlined in PepsiCo’s 2019 Sustainability Report, released today, the company aims to reduce its virgin plastic use across its beverage portfolio by 35% in the next five years. PepsiCo also estimates that by the end of 2025, its SodaStream brand will help prevent consumers from discarding 67 billion single-use plastic bottles.
The SodaStream Professional, according to Finlow, is a big step toward reaching that goal.
“We’re facilitating and essentially helping people accommodate their existing reusable-bottle behavior,” he said.
Last October, environmental group Break Free From Plastic named PepsiCo, along with rivals Coca-Cola and Nestle, among the world’s biggest contributors to plastic pollution.
In February, the nonprofit environmental group Earth Island Institute filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle and others arguing that the CPG manufacturers should be held accountable for plastic packaging found in California’s oceans and rivers.
The American Beverage Association, which represents PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, responded with the following statement: “America’s beverage companies are already taking action to address the issue by reducing our use of new plastic, investing to increase the collection of our bottles so they can be remade into new bottles as intended, and collaborating with legislators and third-party experts to achieve meaningful policy resolutions.”
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