Is the U.S. ready for carbonated ice tea or lemonade? Kraft Foodthinks so. It announced a co-branding deal to produce a version of its Country Time lemonade and Crystal Light iced tea for Sodastream's home carbonation system.
Sodastream Chief Executive Daniel Birnbaum told CNBC Thursday the deal not only adds "sparkle" to some of Kraft's "iconic brands," it enhances Sodastream's business model. The company's machines carbonate tap water; adding flavors creates sodas and other drinks.
"We already saw what happened to the lemonade and the iced tea categories around the world when they started still and extended into carbonation, and consumer acceptance has been very very strong," Birnbaum said.
"So the fizz, the sparkle enhanced those segments around the world," he added. "The same happens in the states. There’s a lot of consumers that love the brands in America and they’ll love them when they’re fizzy."
Birnbaum said America, the "biggest soda market in the world," is becoming the company's largest region by sales after western Europe. European sales haven't flattened either, he said.