Don't get me wrong weewillie08, I have owned and will likely own KO in the future. However, most of my personal investing capital was devoted to SODA for 2012 and early 2013 before it hit my price target. I earned a return greater than 75% with SODA over the last 12 months based on all the research I have done on the company and our firm's coverage of the stock. My participation here is just to support the topic thread on a factual or forward looking basis with some speculating thrown in for good measure as much of investing takes relative speculating. So TASTE?
When it comes to taste I would have to agree with you hands down, KO is the undeniable taste test leader. But let's put this into the proper perspective kindly. The company has had over 100 years to develop this taste and the opportunity for consumers to adapt to the unique KO taste over this period of time. As they say when it comes to certain foods and/or beverages, "its an acquired taste". When gauged under this context, whose to say how SodaStream flavors, which will soon be available in the U.S. in small pods and syrup bottles, will be "acquired" over the same span of time. Additionally, SodaStream will be bring Stevia flavored syrups to market in the U.S. this year and Stevia as we all know is rapidly becoming the diet sweetener of choice with regards to taste.
Lastly, as it pertains to what's not to like about a winner, KO vs. SODA in 2013 from an investor standpoint was not a competition as SODA was the clear winner. KO is a great core performer YOY for the long haul, but in the most recent sprint SODA came out on top. My fear for KO regards recognition and the scale of the company to adjust to shifting consumer trends. If KO can do this successfully I stated a moot point, if not then my point is valid, but only time will tell. Good luck guys and I look forward to hearing other opinions and insights.