If the allure of soft drinks has fallen flat in New York City for you in recent years, then Coca-Cola wants you to see and try its new Freestyle machines. What can be so exciting about a new Coke machine? Well, a Freestyle machine takes the Coke brands you know and love, and allows you to flavor them with several available supportive flavors (cherry, orange, grape, vanilla, etc.), resulting in up to 146 different taste combinations. It’s the merger of tech and ultimate variety that today’s younger generations in New York City and beyond are clamoring for, and it seems to have struck a chord with early adopters.
Freestyle technology is more than the ability to achieve different flavor outcomes, which is certainly very intriguing in itself, but the way it engages customers is almost just as important. Utilizing a touch-screen interface, Freestyle machines are fun and exciting to use. In some cases, customers are compelled to use the machines just to experience the new technology…not because they necessarily want a Peach Coke or Cherry Mello Yello.
To add to the interface intrigue, Coke has released a Freestyle app that allows customers to “pre-mix and match” their unique drink combinations on their cell phones before arriving at their destination. Once there, users can simply hold their phone up to the machines and their unique drink is mixed and delivered.
Coke is counting on this new “techie” vending approach to jumpstart a relatively languishing industry. Soft drinks have lost their luster given today’s more health conscious consumers. Perhaps more of an issue is how people tend to be concerned over the identity they are portraying about themselves with their drink selection. If one needs any proof of this, look no further than the local coffee shop where no two customer’s orders seem to the same. The type of coffee a person drinks tends to be important in terms of showcasing one’s individuality. With the way Freestyle machines have been accepted in their short time on the market, one could deduct that individuality of selection is playing a part as well.
Other unique features of the new Freestyle machines include:
•Machines exhibit a curvy, stylish look designed by Pininfarina Studios, which is known for styling Ferraris and Maseratis.
•Echo-chamber-like, hollow serving areas amplify the sound of the drink pouring, adding to the intrigue of the new technology … and the soft drink experience as a whole.
•Machines are sophisticated in their abilities, but incredibly simple to use.
Freestyle machines are appearing across the nation, with more than 19,000 machines in about 10,500 locations globally. Also, several fast food chains have been signing on the technology at most of their locations, including Burger King, Five Guys, Moe’s Southwest Grills and some Wendy’s. Some locations employing the new technology have seen an increase in sales of up to 8 percent annually.
So next time you’re in a fast food restaurant, make sure to take a look and see if Freestyle has hit the scene. If so, you may want to give it a try and experience what the mature soft drink market is doing to engage customers in a more meaningful way. At the same time, you may just find out how an old favorite becomes something new and exciting with the addition of a little raspberry or vanilla flavoring.
Looking for a New York City vending service that offers the latest in technology and providing a variety of brand name products? Call Champion Vending today at (800) 558-5450 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs.