Our newest Shining Light Company SodaStream is a bit outside of the box. Headquartered in Israel, SodaStream is known for its innovative and convenient home soda carbonation products, which can be purchased in retail stores across the country. The system carbonates water by adding carbon dioxide from a pressurized cylinder to create flavored soda water, a drink rising in popularity both in the United States and the rest of the world. While SodaStream is no longer a publicly traded company as a result of its sale to PepsiCo in late 2018, its Israeli heritage and commitment to environmental sustainability, personnel development and strong desire for peace make it a Shining Light Company worthy of spotlighting.
Surprisingly, SodaStream began in 1903 in England. However, after merging with Soda-club in 1998, Sodastream moved its headquarters to Lod, Israel where the company currently maintains 13 production plants. SodaStream went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in November of 2010 and was a highly successful enterprise on its own until being acquired by PepsiCo for $3.2 million in 2018. The company’s technological innovation and commitment to producing healthier drinking products made it an attractive addition to PepsiCo’s brand portfolio.
SodaStream’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) was the eighth largest ever for an Israeli company on the NASDAQ and it maintained one of the top-performing IPOs throughout all of 2010. The stock experienced rapid growth in 2012, with earnings per share growing more than 57%. While SodaStream struggled to maintain its fast growth rate in 2013 and 2014, PepsiCo’s acquisition allowed the company to regain its footing, ensuring this exemplary product would be available for consumers in the future.
The core vision for SodaStream is to reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills and oceans, as Americans alone dispose of 130 billion plastic bottles and cans each year. However, SodaStream’s home carbonation system is an effort to reduce packaging waste while simultaneously reducing pollution resulting from bottled drinks all around the world.
SodaStream partnered with the Israel Union for Environmental Defense in 2011 to launch an initiative promoting waste reduction and an improvement in the quality of tap water. The company also launched an international campaign in 2010 to simply raise awareness of bottle and can consumption. This advertisement included displaying large cages, each containing 10,657 empty bottles and cans to provide a visual aid of the epidemic that is waste and pollution from plastic drink-ware.
Recently, SodaStream partnered with characters from the popular show, Game of Thrones, in an advertising campaign to reinforce the belief that SodaStream can help eliminate unnecessary plastic waste. While the focus on environmental sustainability can become rather political, SodaStream has recognized a real problem that warrants action. It is the international consensus that the continued wasteful use of plastic bottles and the pollution that arises from its transportation can cause harm to the environment, an earth that God has entrusted humanity to steward.
SodaStream has faced much controversy in the past over their continued employment of both Jews and Arabs working together in the production process. However, the company has not backed down in the face of increased threats of boycotts and possible sanctions, instead choosing to focus on pursuing peace and harmony between Israel and Palestine. SodaStream product labels read “Made in Israel,” and add “This product is produced by Arabs and Jews working side-by-side in peace and harmony.” In an era and time period where threats of war, violence, and persecution are running rampant, SodaStream has established itself as a company that is committed to helping bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
SodaStream is likely the most unique Shining Light Company we have spotlighted to date. While the brand has become a household name for its innovation and convenience, the company’s desire to see peace reign in Israel and its commitment to properly steward the environment is what truly makes SodaStream a company worthy of emulation and respect.
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DISCLOSURE: Shining Lights companies are those companies we have identified as exemplary companies living out the Golden Rule and exhibiting the virtues of Integrity, Humility, Diligence, Caring and Courage. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.