Coca-Cola Freestyle is a touch screen soda fountain introduced by The Coca-Cola Company in 2009. The machine features over 125 different Coca-Cola drink products, and custom flavors. The machine allows users to select from mixtures of flavors of Coca-Cola branded products which are then individually dispensed. The machines are currently located in major Coca-Cola partners and retail locations as a part of a gradual and ongoing deployment. The machines have faced some consumer complaints due to long lines as a result of extra time it takes for consumers to decide on a product to dispense.
The cabinetry was designed by the Italian automotive design firm Pininfarina, via their Pininfarina Extra industrial and product design subsidiary. Technologies involved include microdispensing technology and proprietary PurePour technology. Both technologies were originally developed to deliver precise doses of drugs. One Freestyle unit with a similar footprint to a current vending machine can dispense 126 kinds of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages from one freestanding unit. Microdosing blends one or more concentrated ingredients in 46 US fl oz (1.36 L) packets with water and sweetener at the point where the beverage is dispensed, thus avoiding the use of traditional 5 US gal (18.9 L) boxes of syrup (also known as a bag-in-a-box). 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. The machines transmit supply and demand data to both Coca-Cola and the owner including brands sold, times of the day of sales, troubleshooting information, and service data. The traditional ice cube dispenser remains. The maximum rate of output is 95 drinks per hour.
Contractors for its development include:
- DEKA Research: microdosing
- Radius Product Development: Dispenser Design, Panel Design – Product Innovation and Development.
- BSQUARE Corporation software
- Impinj: RFID Technology
- Pininfarina: industrial design
- Invetech Innovation: product development, custom automation, integration, testing
- Odyssey Software: remote collection of consumption information, management of embedded software present on the machines, inventory, and alerts
- Plexus Corporation: carbonation systems, manufacturing
Testing began in Utah, Southern California, and Georgia in July 2009 with 60+ locations around America planned by the end of that summer. Test locations around Coca-Cola's home city of Atlanta included the World of Coca-Cola, AMC Theatres Southlake Pavilion 24 and Parkway Point 15, and area food chains, including Willy's Mexicana Grill. Three machines are available in the Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure theme parks as well as the AMC movie theater at Downtown Disney shopping complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. One of the largest movie theater chains in the US, Carmike Cinemas, installed the machines in several markets including the Carmike 13 in Champaign, IL.
Coca-Cola deployed the machines to 500 more locations in the United States in June 2010, followed by deployment to some universities in the United States. Deployment has continued in select locations of restaurant chains such as Wing Stop, Così, Taco Time Northwest, Roy Rogers, Davanni's, Dairy Queen, Fuddruckers, Five Guys, Kelly's Roast Beef, CG Burgers, Firehouse Subs, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Wendy's, Beef O'Brady's, Hess Express and Boloco. Select Wegmans locations also have Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. Burger King announced in December 2011 that it plans to implement the Freestyle system in its 850 company-owned restaurants in the USA by the spring of 2012, and is encouraging its franchisees to follow suit.
Coca-Cola has installed Freestyle machines in Canada in select Wendy's and Burger King restaurants, as well as entertainment venues, such as Cineplex Entertainment cinemas and Canada's Wonderland.
In late June 2012 Coca-Cola started a limited trial in the UK (in association with Burger King UK), with the machine initially deployed in 16 locations around Greater London. They are also now in Five Guys UK branches. The selection of brands available from a UK coke freestyle machine is different to the USA, as only brands that are usually sold in the UK are available. Schweppes Lemonade and still versions of Fanta are brands that are available.
The machines are leased for $300 per month ($3,600 per year), approximately 60% more than a standard Coca Cola fountain.
Customers choose a base product, which they can supplement with additional flavoring. Diet and Zero products remain low or no calorie even with flavorings added. The machines include flavors not previously available to the American market, including Orange Coke, which was previously sold only in Russia and the Baltics (and briefly in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar).
|Base product||Available flavors|
|Regular||Vanilla||Lime||Raspberry||Cherry||Orange||Cherry Vanilla||Lemon||Strawberry||Grape||Peach||Fruit Punch||Raspberry Lime||Orange Vanilla|
|Caffeine-Free Diet Coke|
|Minute Maid Lemonade|
|Minute Maid Light|
|Mello Yello (replaces Vault)|
|Mello Yello Zero|
|Pibb Xtra/Dr Pepper|
|Pibb Zero/Diet Dr Pepper|
|Seagram's Ginger Ale|
|Seagram's Diet Ginger Ale|
|Seagram's Sparkling Seltzer Water|
|Carbonated Tap water|
Green – Available Option Pink – Not an Available Option
Freestyle fountains located in Firehouse Subs locations offer the chain's signature Cherry Lime-Aid.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coca-Cola Freestyle.|
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