Would you like tap or sparkling water?

The choice is built-into the appliance on Samsung’s newly launched four door French Door ‘Sparkling Refrigerator’ (SRF890SWLS) powered by SodaStream.

The 890L refrigerator is integrated with a sparkling water dispenser that uses SodaStream’s 60L CO2 cylinder (sold separately) and is concealed inside the left refrigerator door (as you face the refrigerator).

Samsung’s partnership with SodaStream comes after more than one million make-your-own fizzy drink canisters and 1.5 million flavours were sold in Australia last year. There are strong expectations this growth will continue with the newly three newly launched and improved cola flavours (cola, diet cola and sugar free cola) and the popularity of the award-winning new Source model.

This local SodaStream growth mirrors its current success in the United States. The brand’s Israeli parent company reported that SodaStream machines are now in over 1 per cent of US households and there are expectations this penetration will at least double in the next two years.

Samsung Electronics Australia head of home appliances, Mike Lilly, said given the record sales growth that SodaStream has been experiencing, introducing the sparkling refrigerator is a first to market opportunity for the French door segment Samsung could not miss.

“The insight we have is that sparkling water consumption is growing year-on-year quite dramatically in Australia,” he said.

“We’re now able to offer that sparkling water consumption, supported by our global partnership with SodaStream, direct from this four door French door fridge.

“It allows anyone to be creative with sparkling water. So if you want you can add sparkling water to a glass that has syrup in it, or add SodaStream flavours into the bottle or you can use fruit juice.”

The fridge also features increased capacity due to two technologies: Space Max, which means the walls can be made smaller and thinner without losing any cooling efficiencies in the fridge; and while the Ice Master maker is physically smaller than those found in previous Samsung fridge models, an output capacity of up to 4.5 kilograms of ice per day has been retained.

SodaStream’s renaissance is an interesting case-study in how the zeitgeist can spur excitement in what was once a dowdy 1970s-style fad. Brand partnerships with fashionable manufacturers like Samsung, Breville and KitchenAid are generating a lot of interest in these hybrid appliances while investment in research and development has resulted in attractive standalone SodaStreams.

“The SodaStream Source has been a real game changer for us and has been key to our success in revolutionising the traditional beverage industry,” said SodaSteam Australia MD Myles Anceschi. “It combines not only world class design but also efficiency and functionality, and it undoubtedly has appeal.

“We are eager to change the way Australians consume drinks for the better and are committed to offering a convenient, cheaper and healthier alternative. We look forward to seeing more Aussies onboard the bottle-free bandwagon!”

KitchenAid’s local distributer Peter McInnes has not provided confirmation on whether its co-branded SodaSteam appliance will be released in Australia. Similarly, although Breville previously promised a co-branded unit by the end of 2013, there have been few updates since the original announcement:

“The home carbonation market is one of the most exciting categories in kitchen appliances today,” said Breville CEO Jack Lord at that time.  “We are delighted to join forces with SodaStream to bring together our premium design capability with their industry leading technology.”

Samsung’s Sparkling Refrigerator will be available from 1 September 2013 at selected Harvey Norman stores with an RRP of $4,999.

A close up look at the SodaStream function on the Samsung Sparkling Refrigerator.