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Pepsi to test homemade colas with SodaStream

October 24, 2014: 2:25 PM ET
Will Scarlett soon be making her own Pepsi at home?

Will ScarJo soon be making her own Pepsi at home?

Want to make your own Sierra Mist at home? You soon may have the chance to do that.

Pepsi (PEP) said on Friday that it will be working with do-it-yourself carbonated beverage company SodaStream (SODA) on a limited test of homemade Pepsi-branded sodas later this year.

Shares of SodaStream popped more than 15% when word of the deal was first reported in the trade journal Beverage Digest. A spokesperson at Pepsi confirmed to CNNMoney that the details of that report are accurate.

Beverage Digest also said in its report that the trial would take place within the next few weeks in Orlando and Tampa, and that current SodaStream retail partners Wal-Mart (WMT) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) would sell the Pepsi-branded products.

The deal is a much needed victory for SodaStream. Its stock has plunged more than 50% this year due to concerns about slowing growth.

Some believe the product is more of a fad. There are also questions about whether or not the company is spending too aggressively on marketing and promotion. SodaStream ran a Super Bowl ad this year featuring actress Scarlett Johansson.

Related: Americans sour on SodaStream

The Israeli-based company has also been criticized by some because it operates a facility in the occupied West Bank territory. Johansson, a former Oxfam ambassador, has been swept up in the controversy as well.

There were some reports earlier this summer alleging unfair treatment of Palestinian workers at SodaStream's West Bank plant, particularly during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The company has repeatedly denied such claims.

So while SodaStream may finally be getting a much needed break with the Pepsi deal, it's still not clear if that will be enough to get the company's momentum back on track.

SodaStream has been the subject of takeover rumors ever since Coca-Cola (KO) announced plans to invest in Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) earlier this year. Keurig, most well-known for its K-cup coffee machines, is working on a cold beverage maker as well in conjunction with Coke.

Related: Soda wars! Coke beats Pepsi on Wall Street

The Coke-Keurig deal led to immediate speculation that Pepsi might want to purchase a stake in or buy SodaStream ... or at the very least, partner with it.

Starbucks (SBUX), Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS), and even beer giant Anhueser-Busch InBev (BUD) have also been cited as possible acquirers in takeover rumors. So have a host of private equity firms.

It's unclear if the Pepsi deal is a prelude to a possible investment in SodaStream or an outright takeover. SodaStream was not available for comment.

But the mere fact that SodaStream, which once featured exploding plastic bottles of cola in ads that directly called out Pepsi and Coke as being environmentally wasteful, now realizes that it may need one of its former rivals just goes to show how quickly the company's fortunes have turned.

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  • Should Coke buy Keurig Green Mountain?

    Coke already owns a 16% stake in Keurig Green Mountain. It might make sense to buy the rest of the K-Cup company.

    The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.

    Mark Twain allegedly said that you should write what you know. I MORE

    - Aug 5, 2014 1:06 PM ET
  • SodaStream pops on sale rumors

    SodaStream (SODA) is in the business of making things pop -- and that exactly what its stock was doing Thursday.

    Shares of the Israeli-based manufacturer of home soda devices jumped 16% after a Bloomberg report claimed that the company is in talks with a group of investors to go private.

    According to the report, which cites anonymous sources, the deal would value the company at $40 a share, up from its current price MORE

    - Jul 24, 2014 1:43 PM ET
  • SodaStream fizzles as buyout rumors fade

    SodaStream lost some of its fizz Thursday after PepsiCo debunked rumors that it might buy the soda maker.

    Earlier this week, shares of SodaStream (SODA ) rallied on chatter that Coca-Cola might be interested.

    If either panned out, it would be somewhat ironic. Earlier this year, SodaStream's Super Bowl ad, which touted its reusable bottle in a diss to Pepsi (PEP) and Coke (KO), never aired.

    JPMorgan analyst John Faucher said it was MORE

    - Jun 6, 2013 11:25 AM ET
  • SodaStream pops on strong outlook

    SodaStream shares jumped 13% Tuesday, as investors welcomed the company's upbeat outlook and analyst upgrades.

    "Our goal is to be a billion dollar company by 2016," said CEO Daniel Birnbaum, at SodaStream's very first analyst meeting. That would nearly double the $550 million the company expects to rake in this year.

    The optimistic CEO suggested that he thinks the company could hit the milestone even earlier, as consumers continue to embrace the MORE

    - May 14, 2013 1:44 PM ET
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