PepsiCo Inc. is quenching the thirst for refreshing social experiences with the debut of a “social vending” machine that lets people buy drinks for each other from remote locations. Reuters reports that the new system enables users to treat their friends to beverages by entering the recipient’s name, mobile telephone number and a customized text message or video. The beverage gift is delivered with a system code and instructions on how to redeem it at any social vending 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.
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A prototype of the new machine was recently displayed at a trade show in Chicago. This is the latest advance in the beverage giant’s rivalry with Coca-Cola, whose Freestyle vending machines have digital touchscreens and can dispense more than 100 flavor combinations. Given the popularity of social networks, Pepsi’s new machine may be the pick-me-up the company needs to prevail in the cola war.
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