THIS Major Move Signals Seltzer Is Here To Stay

Contributing Food Editor By Liz Moody
Contributing Food Editor
Liz Moody is a food editor, recipe developer and green smoothie enthusiast. She received her creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody is the author of two cookbooks: Healthier Together and Glow Pops and the host of the Healthier Together podcast.

Photo by Martí Sans

In a major move, PepsiCo has announced the purchase of SodaStream, the DIY-seltzer machines that have become a staple in any eco-conscious foodie's home (think of all the cans and plastic bottles saved!). The move is part of a new strategy, led by Indra Nooyi, the outgoing chairman and CEO of PepsiCo (Nooyi has announced plans to retire in October), to move the company toward more healthy options (including acquiring brands like KeVita kombucha and Sabra hummus and partnering with mbg on the Next Great Nutritionist competition). "[SodaStream is an] extraordinary company that is offering consumers the ability to make great-tasting beverages while reducing the amount of waste generated," Nooyi said in a statement. "That focus is well-aligned with Performance With Purpose, our philosophy of making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint. Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more sustainable planet."

It is, of course, a prudent business move as well, as consumers clamor for healthier, more eco-friendly options. Sales of seltzer have spiked 42 percent in the past five years (driven, in part, by the feverish popularity of canned, flavored seltzer LaCroix), and Coca-Cola acquired hipster-favorite sparkling water company TopoChico for $220 million in October of 2017. TopoChico and LaCroix, of course, differ from SodaStream in that the latter gives consumers a single refillable bottle and the option to make their own endless flavor combinations.

The move perhaps signals a return to soda's roots, according to the New York Times, which notes that from when soda entered the market in the 1700s until the mid-19th century, it was thought of as more of a medicine than anything else. It was served in soda fountains, or pharmacies, and, as with the SodaStream, the different medicinal syrups were mixed into the sparkling water to order. Such was the case for Pepsi as well, until the invention of vending machines created the soda-as-convenience item that is so pervasive today.

If you want to make your sparkling water into your own health-promoting drink, the easiest way is to add a dash of flavored bitters, which instantly transforms the flavor and can help reduce bloat and aid in digestion, which we've written about previously on mindbodygreen.

The ultimate take-away? When consumers support brands that adhere to their ideals—low waste, eco-conscious, health-forward—big companies listen, and incremental changes become sweeping ones. "PepsiCo is finding new ways to reach consumers beyond the bottle," noted Ramon Laguarta, the CEO-elect and president of PepsiCo, and we're all about that.

Want to make your own flavored sparkling water that's super good for your health? Here's how.

And are you ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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