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Hit-Or-Miss

Country Time Lemonade & Crystal Light – New Flavors For SodaStream

With the proliferation of soda and carbonated beverages, from the 100 Drink Soda Bar being slowly implemented at Fast Food/Fast Casual Chains like Del Taco and Boston Market to uFlavor, the online marketplace for user-generated drinks, consumers now have hundreds if not thousands of fizzy options. And this is BEFORE major brands vested themselves into DIY soda-at-home. The power is shifting to the consumer who will decide not only the size and flavor of their beverage, but the ratio of carbonation and syrup as well.

Kraft Foods announced earlier this week that two of its well-known beverage brands, distributed at grocery stores and retailers nationwide, will make the jump into the DIY soda-making with SodaStream. That’s right folks, starting as early as April 2012 consumers will have the option to carbonate Country Time Lemonade and various flavors of Crystal Light. This is an interesting play for Kraft since its not only taking name brand beverages to a new market but its also choosing traditionally non-carbonated beverages for the push.

Will Country Time and Crystal Light be the first of many major brands to jump into DIY soda-making? Do you think consumers might start making their own Pepsi or Coke at home? Time will tell…

And don’t forget how the FOODBEAST crew likes to carbonate traditionally non-carbonated beverages as well. Check out the FOODBEAST TV video of us carbonating coffee, milk and whisky:

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

uFlavor — The iTunes of the Beverage Industry?

Could uFlavor be the iTunes to the beverage industry? That’s the magnitude behind the goal of new Indianapolis-based company uFlavor, that allows users, in a social setting, to create their own soda flavor and label and have it up for sale in the uFlavor Marketplace. Let’s explore this idea further — an online beverage marketplace for user-generated drinks.

Imagine sitting in a boring business meeting, and you’re struck with a flash-in-the-pan idea for a new soft drink flavor idea. You bring up the website, use the uFlavor system to digitally mix the ingredients, add a few more dashes of this, a hint of this, a whole LOT of that, change the carbonation level, change the color of the liquid, design a dope label, and then order a couple bottles to taste.

Magical, right?

Before you know it, your pineapple cranberry Mountain Dew-colored drink with a rainbow on the label not only satisfied your own taste buds, but was also purchased by a hundred other interested soda enthusiasts.

The social end of the system allows a person visiting a uFlavor-associated vending machine and pick up a creation you made from the comfort of your couch, or the backseat of your mom’s minivan.

uFlavor spoke to FastCompany about their prototype, and the sheer possibilities behind their model — if it works. The company’s prototype flavor printer currently “mixes 42 different ingredients at 300 gradiations,” and within six months “they’ll have a full manufacturing run of heir complete 100-flavor print-head, which will produce ready bottled drinks at their factory, and ultimately in vending machines.”

From a business angle, the model ambitiously positions itself like iTunes, theoretically making “drink developers” out of consumers, allowing serendipitously successful recipes to potentially create notable paydays for future mixologists.

Could your drink be the next Angry Birds of this user-generated beverage marketplace?

[via FastCompany]