If you think Vanilla Coke is a walk on the wild side, prepare your taste buds for an explosion with Coca-Cola Freestyle. This self-serve soda fountain in a vending machine can dispense up to 100 drink flavors. Read on for details.
In the last few eNewsletter issues we have been discussing consumer do-it-yourself service and broad choices. The Coca-Cola Company is joining that philosophy on the assumption that there’s no such thing as too much choice. The new Coca-Cola Freestyle is a self-serve soda fountain that can dispense up to 100 different drink flavors. The machine is being tested this summer at fast food restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia, and throughout California, with the intention of rolling out units across the US early next year.
Flavored teas, waters, juices and soft drinks will all be available from Coca-Cola Freestyle, letting customers select drinks based on brand, calorie content or caffeine levels, all through the system’s touch screen interface. Combinations will be pre-set, meaning Raspberry Coke and Peach Fanta are available on tap. Many of the flavors offered will be new to the US market.
RFID tags will keep track of the syrup the machine uses, telling retailers when to refill, and providing Coke HQ with insight into popular flavors and locations. By tracking sales, Coca-Cola gains valuable data about which drinks would be most successful if offered bottled or canned. Which means the intelligent technology doesn’t just offer a new level of choice for customers, but also streamlines supply chain management and informs new product development.