Monday, May 2, 2011

Coke, Pepsi Introduce Futuristic New Soda Fountains and Vending Machines

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Perhaps realizing that the "battle" between the world's two most iconic soft drinks (sorry, Dr Pepper) is simply a matter of whether you prefer the achingly sweet flavor of one or the other, both Coke and Pepsi are looking past the beverage to the beverage-delivery system as a new way to differentiate themselves.

First, from Coke, we have the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, pictured above. This machine was introduced to the St. Louis market just last week at the Ferguson location of Wingstop (10841 West Florissant Avenue; 314-522-9696). The Freestyle soda fountain lets customers choose from more than 100 different soft-drink options.

Based on posts on the Freestyle's Facebook page, many of these options include adding fruit flavors like raspberry and peach to established drinks like Coke and Sprite.

Frankly, Gut Check can't wait to test this machine out -- especially to see which brands never before available in the United States it carries, as promised -- and I'll be filing a report soon.

Pepsi's new machine is still in development. However, after the jump, we have a video of what will make this device different.

Pepsi calls its creation a "Social Vending Machine." Using the machine's touch screen, you can purchase a soda (drumroll, please) for someone else. The machine then sends the recipient a text message -- and, if you want, a video message from you! -- alerting them of the gift, which they can then redeem at one of the machines.

Frankly, the Coke machine is far cooler -- and more practical -- than the Pepsi contraption. Now, a machine that would let you buy an alcoholic drink for someone else...that would be pretty damn awesome.

(h/t for the Pepsi story: Eater)

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