PepsiCo to launch social vending machine

NEW YORK Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:03pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc is introducing a "social vending" machine that lets users buy each other drinks remotely, further proof that its decades-old rivalry with Coca-Cola Co is going ever-more high tech.

A prototype of the new technology will debut at a trade show this week in Chicago. Coke started testing its Freestyle vending machine, which has a digital touchscreen and can dispense more than 100 flavor combinations, in 2009.

Pepsi's new system lets users give their friends a beverage gift by entering the recipient's name, mobile phone number and a personalized text message or video. The gift is delivered with a system code and instructions to redeem it at any similar machine.

"Social Vending extends our consumers' social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting," said Mikel Durham, an innovation officer at PepsiCo Foodservice.

The system also allows "random acts of refreshment," or the ability to buy a drink for a stranger, in situations such as sending "a symbol of encouragement to a city that's experienced some challenging weather or a congratulatory beverage to a university that just won a championship," PepsiCo said.

Another technological front in the companies' ongoing battle is recyclable packaging. Pepsi was second to say it could make a recyclable plastic bottle from plant matter, but its bottle will be made from waste products -- such as orange peels and oat husks -- whereas Coke's bottle is derived from sugar cane.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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Comments (2)
wfernandez wrote:
Funny that Coke’s bottle is derived from sugar cane and their soda uses high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar in the US.

Apr 28, 2011 12:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jpk1111 wrote:
What an attempt to try to regain a little ground over Coke who is trumping them now a days. What a scam, think of all the losers out there that are going to buy drinks for girls that don’t even know they exist let alone are gonna go redeem the soda. Losers or not, there are gonna be a ton of unclaimed drinks, which means more profit for Pepsi, but since people are stupid and hear the word “social” and will go nuts over this. Stupid people. Keep a couple bucks in your pocket and buy a drink when your thirsty!

Apr 29, 2011 9:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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