TAGS: PepsiCo, soda vending machine, Pepsi touchscreen fountain machine, Touch Tower, Pepsi Touch Tower pilot, digital soda dispenser, Pepsi bag-in-the-box syrup system, Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, food service, beverage news
PURCHASE, NY -- PepsiCo is going head to head with Coca-Cola's Freestyle. Pepsi's new touchscreen fountain machine, a compact countertop touchscreen-enabled dispenser called the Touch Tower 1.0, kicked off its U.S. pilot this week.
Touch Tower resembles a large iPad on a stand. It offers nearly 100 flavor combinations of up to eight brands and four flavor shots, and uses the beverage giant's existing bag-in-the-box syrup system.
The company has been testing the machine overseas in Europe, Central America and the Caribbean since last year, a PepsiCo executive told VT. The U.S. pilot began on May 13 at five Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill restaurants in Denver. PepsiCo said it plans to adapt the machine's design and user interface based on the test results and evolve it into a Touch Tower 2.0 model.
The prototype touchscreen dispenser is just the first in a series of equipment innovations that PepsiCo is exploring to enhance variety and flexibility and engage consumers, the executive said.
Coca-Cola's Freestyle fountain machine, which began its pilot in 2009, lets consumers mix and match more than 100 different flavors.