Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) , the producer of the popular Keurig and single-serve coffee pods, has filed a trademark on the word “Karbon,” prompting expectations that the company is set to release a home soda machine some time in the future.
The move, first reported by Bloomberg, is Green Mountains’ latest attempt to expand its portfolio of beverage machines, fend off fierce competition, and spur growth for shareholders. Over the past year, the Vermont-based company has announced the a premium espresso maker called Rivo and several commercial-grade brewing systems. The Karbon, however, would be Green Mountain’s boldest move to date.
Green Mountain is yet to comment on the status of the Karbon, telling Bloomberg basically nothing about the device. “We are not going to comment on this specific trademark. As we continue to grow, we are likely to seek any number of trademarks.”
Because the Karbon won’t hit the market anytime soon, SodaStream’s (SODA) near-monopoly over the home carbonation market is safe for the time being. However, as an established and popular brand in the beverage industry, Green Mountain has the reputation and execution skills to grab a sizable chunk of the soda market.
Yet, heightened competition in the home soda industry doesn’t necessarily point to the demise of SodaStream, as growth metrics hint that there is probably enough room for both players to profit in the space.
SodaStream’s revenue has grown 34 percent year-over-year, including a 78 percent gain in soda-maker sales and 101 percent growth in gas canister refills. The company also has enormous overseas growth potential and has hinted at moving into industrial-sized tap water carbonators, primarily for restaurants. Thus, investors shouldn’t write off SodaStream as a potential growth play, even with another competitor in the space.
Since the trademark was announced, Green Mountain shares are up 1.8 percent, while SodaStream shares are trading lower by 7.74 percent.
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