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SodaStream is the name of a brand of home carbonation systems that was invented by Guy Gilbey in 1903. Later versions allowed the addition of concentrates to create carbonated flavoured beverages. It was popular in the 1970s and 1980s when there were a number of brand name syrups available, and, after the company merged with Soda-Club in 1998, it was relaunched with an emphasis on healthier drinks.Soda-Club is currently head-quartered in Israel.

In the UK (where it was first sold) the SodaStream machine is strongly associated with 1970s/1980s childhood nostalgia.


The SodaStream drinksmaker is a device which can force carbon dioxide gas (stored under pressure in a cylinder) into water, making it fizzy. The product includes a machine, a carbon dioxide cylinder, and one or more reusable beverage bottles (suitable for pressurizing). The bottle, filled with water, is threaded onto the machine, and with a button push, compressed CO2 from the cylinder is injected, creating sparkling water (also known as seltzer). Varieties of concentrated syrups are available, in order to create regular or diet soft drinks by adding a small amount of concentrate to the water bottle after carbonation. Once a cylinder is empty, it is returned to a supplier and a replacement cylinder is rented.

By using the appropriate variety of concentrate, different flavours of soft drink can be created. During its heyday, several famous brands were available in SodaStream concentrate form including Tizer, Fanta, Sunkist and Irn-Bru.

Milkstream was a variation on the SodaStream for making milkshakes, created by the same company. The ingredients (milk, ice cream and Crusha syrup) were mixed in a tall glass and inserted into the machine, so that the wand extended into the glass to froth up the shake.


Screenshot from 80s SodaStream ad
The forerunner of the machine, the "Apparatus for aerating liquids", was created in 1903 by Guy Hugh Gilbey of the London gin distillers, W & A Gilbey Ltd., and was sold to the upper classes (including the royal household). Flavoured concentrates such as cherry ciderette and sarsaparilla, were introduced in the 1920s, along with commercial carbonation machines, and the first machine for home carbonation of drinks was produced in 1955.The SodaStream was originally sold in the UKmarker, but later spread to other countries, including Australia, New Zealandmarker, and Germanymarker.

SodaStream machines were popular during the 1970s and 1980s in the UK, and are associated with nostalgia for that period. Their slogan, "Get busy with the fizzy", started as an advertising jingle in 1979 and proved so popular that they added it to their logo. They finally dropped it in 1996 after 17 years.

Whilst commercially successful, there was a general perception that some of the soft drinks produced by the machines were a poor approximation of their commercial counterparts.


Originally the company operated as a subsidiary of W & A Gilbey, Ltd.

In 1985, after various changes of ownership, SodaStream became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes, although it operated as an autonomous business within the group.In 1998 SodaStream was bought by Soda-Club, an Israeli company founded in 1991 by Peter Wiseburgh, who from 1978 to 1991 had been Israel's exclusive distributor for SodaStream, creating the world's largest home carbonation systems supplier. In 2003 Soda-Club closed the SodaStream factory in Peterboroughmarker, moving the company's gas cylinder refilling and refurbishment department to Germanymarker. Under the ownership of Soda-Club the brand has been relaunched in many markets with new machines, and new flavours, being available in the United Statesmarker, Belgiummarker, Swedenmarker, Denmarkmarker, Finlandmarker, Germanymarker, Norwaymarker, Icelandmarker, Australia, New Zealandmarker, Canadamarker and South Africa

Soda-Club still markets its drinks under the SodaStream brand in some countries, its application for the trademark "soda-club" having been successfully opposed in 1998 by Cantrell & Cochrane (Belfast) Ltd, owner of the trademark "club soda".

Instead of the soft-drinks approach of the past several decades, SodaStream today addresses the growing health awareness with a wide range of diet concentrates and is used as much for plain sparkling water as for soft drinks.


  1. "Tribute and Trash", TV Cream. Article retrieved 2006-11-13.
  2. "Soda Streams & Mr Frosty", Life in The 80's. Article written 2006-07-20, retrieved 2006-11-13.

Further reading

  • — Kinch comments on SodaStream, noting that the price of the "Alco2Jet" carbon dioxide bottles is between 10 and 20 times the price of refilling an ordinary tank of carbon dioxide, and stating that it is a "very expensive system to operate, both in principle and in being hostage to a single overpriced gas supplier".

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