Some weeks ago, I walked into a diner looking for some food. After buying the food I was motioned to get drinks from a nearby dispenser. That dispenser was so lovely that I thought it was a video game machine. No it was not a video game, it was actually a soda dispenser! Funny enough it has been here with us since 2011. I thought we should take a deeper look into it.
The Coca-Cola Freestyle is a revolution in the world of soft drink vending technology and was built by Italian design and engineering company Pininfarina. It makes use of microdispensing technologies which work based on a computerized cartridge flavor system which consists of a data processor which governs the selection of over 140 different flavors of soft drinks and juices based on the choices made by the consumer using the dispenser. Each button pressed on the touchscreen triggers an instruction via the data processor to the assigned cartridge which is used to create the desired drink. The fact that the machine makes use of microdispensing technology ensures that there is a very precise or accurate measurement of a beverage serving or a mix of different beverages by mixing distilled water with concentrates kept in 1.6 liter packets.
Cartridges store concentrated ingredients in the dispenser cabinet and are RFID enabled. The machine uses RFID chips to detect its supplies and to radio resupplying needs to other units.
Jennifer Mann, VP and general manager, Coca-Cola Freestyle says the advent of the freestyle machine has enabled many fast food stores and eateries to sell drinks in double digit percentages and that has also enabled Coca-Cola have a very accurate record of their sales and how their sales can be improved based on the choice of drinks statistics.
How does that happen? Well the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine records all the sales hourly, morning, afternoon, evening, daily, weekly , monthly and even … you guessed right, yearly! All these statistics are sent to Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia where the data is analyzed. The machine gives information on the most consumed and least consumed brands of soft drinks pumped through it on a daily basis.
Another exciting thing about this machine is the fact that the machine has a powerful ability to blend from over 140 brands. This is because of the very unique ability it has to create pump doses of the drinks in accurate proportions due to the aforementioned microdispensing capacities it inherited from the pharmaceutical industry.
Lastly its sleek appearance and easy to use touch screen have radically changed the world of dispensing technology. This is possible because the Pininfarina company made use of its excellent skills in contouring car bodies like that of the Ferrari. That body coupled with the corning glass touchscreen make the machine a true work of art.
On the whole this child of very unique parents might just inspire other companies to become yet more innovative in their marketing strategies. I believe Coca-Cola’s Freestyle is a sign of good things to come. Hmm…over to you Pepsi!
Have you used a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine? What do you think about this kind of microdispensing technology? Share in the comments below.