Thursday, July 30, 2009

Developed on the assumption that there's no such thing as too much choice, Coca-Cola Freestyle is a new self-serve soda fountain that can dispense up to 100 different drink flavours. The machine is being tested this summer at fastfood restaurants in California and Atlanta, with the intention of rolling out units across the US early next year.
Flavoured 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 touchscreen interface. Combinations will be pre-set, meaning Raspberry Coke and Peach Fanta are available on tap, but frat dares combining tea and Sprite won't be possible. Many of the flavours on offer are 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 flavours and locations. By tracking sales, Coca-Cola gains valuable insight into 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.

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