Tuesday, 15 December 2009


80’s favourite, “SodaStream” makes a comeback

Back in the days of fluorescent odd-socks, cycling shorts, stonewashed denim, Bros and Rainbow Brite, a fizzy drinks-making machine took the nation by storm……
If you remember SodaStream, you were either one of the lucky kids who had one – or the one who didn’t and dreamed of your very own fizzy-drink factory.

Comedian Tommy Cooper had appeared in SodaStream’s ads in the 1970s, showing you could make fizzy drinks ‘Just like that’. A decade later, almost everyone seemed to be getting 'busy with the fizzy.' and every kid was begging their parents for their very own soda maker.

Well, now Sodastream is back, to give a whole new generation of fans the chance to ‘get busy with the fizzy’ and make their own soda in a range – or combination – of different flavours.

An exclusive SodaStream Pop-up Shop will open in Central London in mid-December selling limited-edition products. SodaStream is priced at £59.98 for the soda making unit, with flavours and gas canisters starting from £2.99. You can also buy SodaStream via sodastream.co.uk and selected stores (listed on the website).

The 80s favourite has had a sleek makeover and is available in a range of designs and colours, including chrome, red and white; whilst flavours are now all low-sugar or no-sugar and flavours include Cola, Lemonade, Tonic and vitamin-rich ‘Energy’.

Follow SodaStream on Twitter @sodastreamuk.

Mark Wyatt, the man behind bringing SodaStream back to the UK, says “We hope the nation will enjoy getting busy with the fizzy all over again.”

More information:
Frank PR - 020 7693 6999 / getbusywiththefizzy@frankpr.it


• The ‘home carbonation’ system that preceded SodaStream was invented in 1903, by Guy Gilbey of London Gin Distillers

• He sold the machine, which added sparkle to tap water via a pressurised carbon dioxide cylinder, to Britain’s wealthy households

• They were seen as so fashionable by the upper class that even the Royal Household had one!

• In the Twenties, flavour concentrates were introduced, such as Cherry Ciderette and Sasparilla and its popularity really took off

• The following decade the firm launched its Vantas model, also known as 'The Penny Monster', which was sold to shopkeepers to make drinks for their customers.

• SodaStream became a cult of the 1970s and 80s. Its popularity later spread to other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Germany

• Milkstream was a variation on the SodaStream for making milkshakes, created by the same company. The ingredients (milk, ice cream and Crusha syrup) were mixed in a tall glass and inserted into the machine, so that the wand extended into the glass to froth up the shake

• Milkmen were even recruited to sell products door-to-door!

• Lenny Henry appeared in ads to promote a new flavour range in the 1990s

• SodaStream is now owned by Israeli-based company, Soda Club, which offers a variety of more healthy soft drink flavours (such as diet drinks) alongside original syrup flavours

How it works:
• Just fill the carbonating bottle

• Screw the bottle into the drinksmaker

• Press the button until you get the famous SodaStream buzz (3-5 times depending on how fizzy you like it)

• Add your flavour concentrate

• With no batteries or electricity, the new SodaStream is a highly energy-efficient small appliance. The power supply comes from Alco2Jet Cylinders which are refillable

• Did you know that every one litre bottle of SodaStream you make saves three aluminium cans? That means that over 3 years, a family of four could slash their soft-drink-related packaging usage by over 90%

- -



Drinkaware launches nationwide review of festive drinking habits

At least 602 million units of alcohol will be consumed at festive celebrations in December according to new research launched today (10th December) by alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware*. The equivalent of 265 million pints, 602 million shots of vodka or 286 million glasses of mulled wine will be guzzled on Christmas Day and work Christmas parties, with nearly half (47%) predicting they will drink more than the recommended daily unit guidelines.**

To determine the extent of British festive drinking, Drinkaware is today unveiling a live examination of the nation’s drinking habits. A seven square metre screen in Covent Garden in central London will link to a festive version of the charity’s unit calculator on the Drinkaware website*** available at www.drinkaware.co.uk, allowing people to enter what they’ve had to drink in the last 24 hours, compare their drinking to the rest of the nation and see how their calorie intake from alcohol fares against other festive food treats. Similar events in Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham will make it easy for people across the country to take part in what is believed to be the largest-scale interactive assessment of the nation’s drinking ever undertaken.

According to Drinkaware research, one in seven GB adults (14%) drink more than they mean to over Christmas while one in six (16%) say December is the one month of the year they can drink and not feel guilty. More than one in three Brits (36%) will go to three or more festive-related events and more than half (53%) say they will drink alcohol at most or all festive parties they attend. More men are expected to drink over their unit guidelines during the festive season (54%) than women (41%).

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says: “For many people, December and the festive season is a time for getting together with loved ones and celebrating over a drink or two, or even more! It might feel like party time, but it’s still really important to keep track of how much you’re drinking - the long term effects of drinking to excess can last for much longer than Christmas.

“Although it seems an enormous amount, it’s likely that 602 million units is actually an underestimate of how much alcohol we’ll slug over the festive season. Conducting an experiment to find out what Britain is drinking this Christmas will encourage people to think about how much they’ve had to drink over the last 24 hours and help to educate them about units at the same time.”

Information gathered from the live screen in Covent Garden and other events across the country will be captured on the Drinkaware website with a rolling average for each day. The survey will run for a month, the screen in Covent Garden will be live for one week while Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham activity will run for five days. Results of the Drinkaware interactive survey will be reported in early 2010.


For further information, including interviews with spokespeople, please contact:

020 7693 6999/07890329191, drinkaware@frankpr.it

Drinkaware – 020 7307 7465 or 07827 971744, smccann@drinkaware.co.uk

Notes to Editors:
*Unit equivalents calculated by multiplying the average number of units consumed at festive occasions in December by the average number of occasions attended and extrapolated to the wider population of adults of drinking age. ICM interviewed a random sample of 2010 adults aged 18+ in GB from its online panel between 27th-29th November 2009. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk
**1 pint of 4% beer = 2.27 units; 1x175ml glass of mulled wine (12%)= 2.1 units; 1x25ml shot of vodka (40%)= 1 unit.

Drinkaware advises men to stay within the recommended guidelines of 3-4 units of alcohol per day (equivalent of a pint and a half of lager) and women to stay within 2-3 units per day (equivalent of a 175ml glass of wine).

***The unit calculator will be a focal point of the Drinkaware home page ‘takeover’ for December and will also be placed as an MPU on third party-sites such as MSN and Yahoo throughout the month. (An MPU, otherwise known as a multi-purpose unit is a square online advert usually found embedded in a web page in a fixed placement. Called ‘multiple purpose’ as it is a flexible shaped blank ‘canvas’ in which you can serve flat or more interactive content as desired. See also Rich Media, Universal Advertising Package).

• Drinkaware provides consumers with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles. Our public education programmes, grants, expert information, and resources help create awareness and effect positive change. An independent charity established in 2007, Drinkaware works alongside the medical profession, the alcohol industry and government to achieve its goals. For further information visit www.drinkaware.co.uk



– Company reports saving of 8,562 tonnes of CO2 against business as usual
– Chief Executive launches ‘Good Together’ sustainability strategy

Whitbread, the UK’s leading hotel and restaurant group, has today (7 December) announced plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 26% by 2020.

The move, which comes as international leaders push for further action on tackling global emissions at Copenhagen, is the company's first statement of intent on carbon reduction and will form an important part of its ‘Good Together’ corporate sustainability strategy.

At the same time, Whitbread is reporting that from 2007 to 2009, the company improved its carbon efficiency by 4%, which is equivalent to saving 8,562 tonnes of CO2 – or taking 2,446 cars off the road.

In recognition of this achievement, Whitbread has today been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard. The Carbon Trust Standard is the world’s first award that requires organisations to measure, manage and reduce their carbon footprint and actually make real reductions year-on-year.

Alan Parker, CEO of Whitbread, said: “Whitbread has always put a high value on being a responsible business. Committing to this carbon reduction target is a statement of our determination to drive down emissions and ensure that we operate as efficiently and sustainably as possible. By taking the lead, we can help our customers to make a difference and show that action on the environment is most effective when we all work together.”

Good Together is the umbrella for Whitbread's company-wide initiatives to drive sustainable performance and further deepen corporate responsibility: it aims to help Whitbread’s people, customers and supply chain partners make changes to how they work and how they 'eat, sleep and drink' Whitbread. When combined, these changes will make a significant difference to the company’s overall environmental and social footprint.

“Good Together is our way of uniting the power and potential of our people, customers and suppliers so that we can make a genuine difference,” added Alan Parker. “We are at the start of an exciting journey.”

Harry Morrison, General Manager Carbon Trust Standard, said: “Being certified with the Carbon Trust Standard is proof an organisation has taken genuine action to reduce their direct impact on climate change by cutting carbon emissions. We congratulate Whitbread on this achievement.

"Both businesses and consumers share a desire for one, credible way to prove an organisation has not only measured, but actually reduced their carbon emissions year-on-year without the use of offsetting. The Carbon Trust Standard provides this credibility and we encourage more organisations to follow Whitbread in making this commitment."

Good Together will focus on seven themes, setting targets for achievement and behavioural change in each. These themes are: environment, employee engagement, sourcing of products and services, standards and performance measurement, customer engagement, health and community.

In addition to today’s pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 26% by 2020, Whitbread has also confirmed the following initial targets:

• Achieve 80% of waste diverted from landfill from Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants sites by February 2012
• 100% of all Costa Coffee production to be Rainforest Alliance certified by June 2010
• Launch purpose built ‘green hotel and restaurant’ at Burgess Hill, West Sussex (to open in Autumn 2010)
• Achieve 3,000 qualifications from Whitbread Hotels & Restaurant Apprenticeship scheme. 400 Costa learners trained by the end of 2011
• Raise £1 million for WaterAid
• Enable 15,000 children to be educated as part of the Costa Foundation

More Good Together targets and actions will be confirmed and announced in due course. A special ‘Good Together Week’ (w/c 11 January 2010) will bring Whitbread people together for the first time to focus on how everyone can be involved to make a difference. Involving customers will also become a core component of the Good Together strategy with Whitbread aiming to help its customers play an active part in achieving sustainability targets. Whitbread will use its team and customer surveys to track the impact of Good Together and help to shape future action.

Whitbread operates more than 580 Premier Inn hotels across the UK with in excess of 40,000 rooms and 375 Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns restaurants.

Costa is part of Whitbread and is the largest and fastest growing Coffee Shop business in the UK, and second largest globally with a total of some 1,500 stores.


For further media information, contact:
Camargue, tel 020 7636 7366
E-mail: pbrowne@camarguepr.com / bcopithorne@camarguepr.com / gbuck@camarguepr.com

Notes to editors:

View the www.whitbread.co.uk website for its 2008/09 environment report

About Whitbread:

Whitbread PLC is the UK’s largest hotel and restaurant group operating market-leading businesses in the budget hotels and restaurant sectors. Its well-loved brands are Premier Inn, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table, Taybarns and Costa Coffee.

Whitbread PLC employs over 33,000 people and serves 9 million customers every month in its 1,800 outlets across the UK.

In the financial year ended 27th August 2009, Whitbread PLC reported a 3.1% increase in Group Revenue to £703.3 million and Underlying Profit before tax of £118.2 million down 2.7%.

Whitbread PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is also a member of the FTSE4Good Index.