Bryan Welsh, SodaStream, U.S.

bryan welsh_sodastreamThe August 19 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 14th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld “People To Watch” are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Bryan Welsh, SodaStream, U.S., General Manager

CREDENTIALS: Consumer beverages are no stranger to Bryan Welsh. Since 2005, he has held several key positions within PepsiCo, which now owns SodaStream. These include senior director of category management, sales, strategy & planning at PepsiCo Canada and vp/gm of a Pepsi-Starbucks North American coffee partnership.

Now, as general manager at SodaStream U.S., Welsh is in charge of a division that has continued to show solid growth, but that has the potential for further expansion in the United States in the years ahead.

WHAT TO WATCH: Perhaps the most important thing to watch with Welsh’s tenure at SodaStream is how long he stays in the position. The company’s general manager spot has been a revolving door in recent years, but this could change under the watchful eye of PepsiCo.

Having continuity in the management ranks at SodaStream U.S. would prove to be beneficial and allow the company to continue to grow and further push its message to consumers. While SodaStream enjoys space on the shelves of key retailers such as Walmart and Target among others, there remains a big opportunity to reach more consumers.

The two messages that seem to have resonated with consumers in recent years is the positive impact SodaStream’s sparkling water makers can have on consumer’s health and wellness while also having a positive impact on the environment.

Encouraging consumers to drink more water daily is part of the company’s messaging. Doing so without using single-use plastic water bottles, which are becoming a big issue for those looking to protect the environment, is the other part of SodaStream’s marketing effort.

Maintaining a consistent message to consumers should lead to further sales growth and could encourage retailers to expand their assortments of SodaStream products.

PERSPECTIVE:The big opportunity for SodaStream could be down the road. Earlier in the summer, Canada announced it was banning “harmful” single-use plastics as early as 2021. Items being considered for banishment are water bottles, plastic bags and plastic straws. Should this ban create momentum in the U.S. either at the federal or state level of government, this could be a new selling opportunity for SodaStream.

2020 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):

Rich Krause, Capital Brands

Jill Soltau, J.C. Penney

Marcelo Borges, Tramontina USA

Ross Patterson, Robinson Home

Dave Albert, Spectrum Brands

Christopher Banning, Meyer Corp. U.S.

Kris Malkoski, Arc Americas

Bryan Welsh, SodaStream U.S.

Todd Wanek, Ashley Furniture

Mike Otterman, Lodge

Mike Bauer, Libbey

Corie Barry, Best Buy

Lee Bird, At Home

Ryan Ross, Williams Sonoma

Mark Eichhorn, The Oneida Group

Ravi Saligram, Newell Brands

Derek Miller, International Housewares Association

Arthur Zambelli, Bradshaw Home

Mads Ryder, Lenox Corp.

Jay Jordan, Home Meridian