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How Home Soda Making Devices Became the Next Big Thing Sales of a carbonation device go from flat to sparkling.

By Margaret Littman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Daniel Birnbaum was recruited by a private equity firm to become CEO of SodaStream International in 2007, he faced a challenge. Sure, the Israel-based company had customers for its at-home carbonation machines, but they weren't exactly bubbling over with excitement for the century-old brand.

"The product lineup was 10 years old, and consumers referred to it as a 'hospital' machine. They would hide it under the sink when people came over," remembers Birnbaum, who joined the company from Nike.

With Birnbaum at the helm, SodaStream--which sells carbonation devices for $79 to $199 and flavoring packs for $5 and up--rereleased the countertop appliances in five bright colors and required retailers to order the entire rainbow, not just a few favorites. By the end of his first year on the job, the revamped devices accounted for 60 percent of carbonation-machine sales.

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