PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo has unveiled its Social Vending System, a networked beverage vending machine with interactive touch-screen technology that the company said allows consumers "to better connect with PepsiCo brands" at the point of purchase.
PepsiCo has unveiled its Social Vending System, a networked beverage vending machine with interactive touch-screen technology that the company said allows consumers "to better connect with PepsiCo brands" at the point of purchase.
The beverage giant said Wednesday that via digital technology, the Social Vending System enables any user to gift a friend by selecting a beverage and entering the recipient’s name, mobile number and a personalized text message. There’s also the option to further personalize the gift with a short video recorded at the machine.
Next, the gift is delivered with a system code and instructions to redeem it at any PepsiCo Social Vending System. When a recipient redeems his or her gift, they’re given the option of thanking the original sender with a gift of their own or gifting a beverage to another friend.
PepsiCo said a prototype of the Social Vending System is being showcased at the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s One Show in Chicago, which runs April 27 to 29.
"Our vision is to use innovative technology to empower consumers and create new ways for them to engage with our brands, their social networks and each other at the point of purchase," explained Mikel Durham, chief innovation officer at PepsiCo Foodservice. "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 they’ll want to return to, again and again."
According to the company, the Social Vending System also enables "Random Acts of Refreshment," the ability to buy a drink for a complete stranger through any other Social Vending System. For example, a consumer could send 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 added that further development of the Social Vending System platform is under way, and the company expects to test the concept with key partners later this year.