Coca-Cola Tests Flat-Screen Vending Machine

PepsiCo piloting climate-friendly vender

ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co. will soon offer consumers a way to purchase cold beverages with great interactive entertainment thrown in. Introduced in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics and showcased at Simon dTour live, new high-tech interactive vending machines are being tested this spring in select Simon malls in the southeastern United States.

The new venders feature a large-format touchscreen display, allowing consumers to purchase Coca-Cola brands while learning more about Simon promotions.

Simon Giftcards will be accepted to purchase product at the machines.

"[image-nocss] The new machines incorporate sight, sound and motion video to take the vending experience from transaction to true interaction," said Anthony Phillips, global brand manager, The Coca-Cola Co, Atlanta. "We wanted the machines to be eye-catching in a way that would turn heads and command attention."

Future models of the machines will offer mobile phone downloads in the form of music files, ringtones and wallpaper, along with cashless payment and more.

The new venders were developed by Coca-Cola in partnership with Samsung and interactive marketing agency Sapient. Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group provided input into the retail format being used in the mall tests.

Meanwhile, Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc. is piloting a project that it said introduces the most climate-friendly vending machines ever placed in the United States. Under the new program, The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) is placing 30 Pepsi-Cola vending machines in high-consumer traffic areas in the Washington, D.C., area. The machines, which feature the new Pepsi logo along with a special green refrigerant sticker, use less energy and generate 12% less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than current vending machines. In addition to their energy efficiency improvements, the new machines use carbon dioxide (CO2), a natural refrigerant, instead of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

This rollout marks the first time that vending machines cooled by CO2 have been introduced in the United States, the company said.

This project is part of PepsiCo's broad commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of the vending and cooling equipment used to sell its drinks. To accomplish this, PepsiCo is focusing on three areas:
Energy: Improving the energy efficiency of its machines, as energy use accounts for the vast majority of refrigeration equipment's GHG emissions. Insulating Foam: Eliminating HFCs from the insulating foam in vending machines, coolers and fountain equipment. Refrigerants: Using green refrigerants instead of HFCs in its equipment. The pilot program is made possible by PepsiCo's partners, PBG, which is responsible for placement and servicing of the machines, and supplier, Crane Merchandising System's Dixie Narco Business.