Consumers Can Control Coke's Next-Generation Freestyle With Their Smartphones

Posted On: 5/21/2018

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ATLANTA -- Coca-Cola Co. unveiled its new Freestyle 9100 fountain beverage machine, which features Bluetooth connectivity that lets patrons connect to the Freestyle mobile app and cue up their favorite beverage or create a new mix. The next-generation machine will be available nationally in 2019.

In addition, a new Freestyle operating system includes a revamped touchscreen menu designed to make it easier and faster for users to find the beverages they want.

The touchscreen-operated dispenser uses "micro-dosing" technology to deliver nearly 200 drink options -- including 117 low/no-calorie beverages and more than 100 varieties that can't be found anywhere else.

"We've built features into this dispenser that are not only contemporary for today," said Chris Hellmann, vice-president and general manager of Coca-Cola's Freestyle platform. "We've also future-proofed the platform with not-yet-activated features like audio capability, optical sensors and a new equipment option that will eventually support the addition of drink categories not available on Freestyle today, such as teas, cold coffees and new varieties of juices."

More than 50,000 Coca-Cola Freestyle units dispense 14 million drinks per day in restaurants, cinemas, convenience stores, amusement parks and other locations across the United States and a handful of other countries.

The new Freestyle operating system, which Coke said it plans push to all dispensers in the market, includes access to a diagnostics dashboard with real-time drink inventory levels.

"Across all of the models of Freestyle we have in market today, our intent is to have one software system across the entire fleet that delivers increased benefits to our retail partners and to every consumer who interacts with the Freestyle platform," Hellmann said.

The new operating system integrates with the Coca-Cola Freestyle content-management system introduced last year that lets restaurants quickly launch exclusive Freestyle beverages and on-dispenser promotions.

Coca-Cola also recently introduced refillable cups, equipped with micro-chipped, "ValidFill" radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, for use with Freestyle machines at universities, cruise lines and theme parks. The cups directly interact with Coca-Cola Freestyle, conveniently providing preset pours of favorite beverages and new tastes.

Additionally, Coca-Cola Freestyle SmartPak cartridges have a smaller carbon footprint than traditional syrup packaging, are manufactured in a Gold LEED certified facility with renewable power and water conservation technology and contain 15% to 30% recycled content.