September 22, 2012

Primo Flavorstation for only $35?

I wondered when the Sodastream knockoffs would show up.  Enter the Primo Flavorstation. 

I'm not sure why I'm getting livingsocial deals to my inbox for the Washington DC area, but apparently for the next seven days you can get a Primo Water Flavorstation 100 for only $35 from livingsocial. It looks to be identical to the Sodastream, but only does 16.9 ozs (0.5 liter for you across-the-pond types).  I guess I can't knock it until I've tried it.  But I've long lamented the SodaStream's puny 1 L capacity, so the point of a half liter is sort of lost on me. 

One thing that Primo has going for them is their wide range of different appliances.  While the Sodastream folks have found different shapes of the same thing, including one designed by the legendary Yves Behar, Primo has actually come up with soda makers that perform different functions.  They have some that run off of 8g CO2 cartridges, some that run off of 12g, a number that are compatible with Sodastream's cylinders, some that have 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 L bottles (this is definite progress), something called a turbo system, something called a Smart Wall, something called a Smart Wall with music (emblazoned with the slogan, "Sparkle & Dance" because who doesn't dance when making beverages), some that carbonate two bottles at a time (this is again, definite progress), a system that incorporates a water filter (I'll +1 that!), and then a couple that apparently dispense it straight into your glass and use little flavor cups much like the keurig coffee gadgets. 

So at first I was thinking this Primo Flavorstation business was just a "me, too" copycat.  Now I'm wondering who's the copycat now.  There's definitely some forward thinking and some solid R&D going on at Primo, no Yves Behar needed.  But, I'm not sure there's much necessity in having a soda maker that plays music, or in having the machine add the flavor for you (particularly for the still setting on that one, do you really need a machine to add water to flavor, really?).

Anyway, so I thought I'd throw that out there.  For $35, it may very well be worth a shot.

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