NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Hoping to add a caffeine-like jolt to its profits, beverage giant Coca-Cola ( KO) is offering calorie-cutters the ability to make eight-ounce glasses of cold Coke-brand soda in the comfort of their own homes.
But consumers will have to pay a hefty premium for the luxury. Coca-Cola and partner Keurig Green Mountain's (GMCR) "Kold" machine, which is available starting today at major retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) , costs $369.99, almost five times the price of the competing devices from Sodasteam (SODA) .
The main difference between the two machines is that the Sodastream uses CO2 canisters to supply the carbonation, whereas Keurig has developed individual pods, the top half of which contain carbon dioxide beads. A four-pack of pods, each of which produces one eight-ounce soft drink, will cost $4.99, or about $1.25 per pod. By contrast, a 12-pack of Diet Coke currently sells for $5.08 on Walmart.com -- about 42 cents per 12-ounce can.
The price may pose a major hurdle for Coca-Cola and Keurig in getting enough machines into homes to recoup the significant investments they've already made in product design and marketing. Keurig alone is spending $100 million this year to manufacture the machines and pods, and it plans a similar amount of spending for 2016.
At an event held in New York City Monday evening, Coca-Cola and Keurig debuted the counter-top gadget that allows people for the first time to make a glass of trademark Coke themselves. Flavors from Coke available at launch include regular Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Fanta.
According to a Coke spokesman at the event, which was attended by TheStreet, the company will also be debuting Vitaminwater and energy drinks in the not-too-distant future. Other flavors include craft sodas using real cane sugar created by Keurig under the brand name Red Barn, a sports drink called Flyte (also developed by Keurig) and Canada Dry (made by Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) ).