Remember going into your local restaurant or select retailer and experiencing the Coca-Cola Freestyle for the first time? You know- the machine that allows you to choose from a variety of products and flavors to make customized concoctions such as a peach Sprite Zero? Well Pepsi is going for this same feeling of endless possibilities with their new Pepsi Spire, according to Foodbeast on May 28, 2014.
Pepsi Spire, which takes after a big iPhone with a touchscreen, is trying to up their game from the Coca-Cola Freestyle, which came out in 2009. Investors.com reported Pepsi had heard from restaurant operators that previous fountains were too expensive, too slow and required too much training. So Spire is looking to change these aspects and give Coca-Cola some healthy competition.
Three different versions of Spire were shown last week at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. These three versions are that of the Spire 1.1 (10-inch touchscreen and up to 40 beverage combinations), the 2.0 (500 beverages with a 15-inch touchscreen) and the Spire 5.0 (which can impressively hold more than 1,000 drink combinations and has a 32-inch touchscreen). The Coca-Cola Freestyle presently offers a mere, “Over 100 choices”.
Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo's global beverages group takes this subject very seriously and thinks there’s more to this than just meets the eye. He said, "Soda fountains in pharmacies and apothecaries, where this all started, were points of engagement where an amazing amount of creativity and innovation took place at the hands of the soda jerk…but somewhere along the line, what was an experience has turned into a transaction, and that's got to change,” according to CNBC.
Besides Pepsi brand products, PepsiCo also includes their Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and Tropicana lemonade brands in the Spire. While there are already a few of these self-serve drink dispensers set up in places like restaurants, movie theaters and college dining halls, more will be available at select locations to provide consumers with seemingly limitless options throughout 2014.