Food & Beverage

Sodastream CEO: We welcome competition

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Sodastream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said Friday he not only welcomes the entry of Keurig-maker Green Mountain Coffee and Coca-Cola into the at-home carbonated beverage business, he believes the sector needs more competition to succeed.

"If you look at the coffee category, the single-serve coffee business, it really took off when competition happened," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"It wasn't Keurig alone. It was Nespresso, and Gusto, and Tassimo, and Varismo. When all of them came in, that's when everyone needed to have their single-serve coffee maker."

Green Mountain and Coca-Cola recently entered the market jointly with the Keurig Kold, a carbonated drink appliance that retails for $399.99. Sodastream devices cost $79 to $199.

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The Keurig Kold also chills drinks and does not require the CO2 cartridges Sodastream machines use to carbonate drinks. Birnbaum said a Sodastream device that will serve cold drinks is in the works.

But the main distinction between the products, said Birnbaum, is that Sodastream is a sparkling waters company and Coca-Cola is a sugared soft drinks company.

"The consumer has to decide, what do they want? Do they want Coke at home, or do they want healthy sparkling waters at home?"

To be sure, the website for Keurig Kold promotes a range of beverages that can be made with the device, including soda, iced tea, seltzer, flavored water and sports drinks.

Sodastream also has a partnership with PepsiCo to sell Pepsi-branded flavorings, though Birnbaum said they contain half the calories of store-bought beverages.