Let your customers do the experimenting

I saw a piece on CNBC the other day about the new Coca-Cola Freestyle soda fountain.  It uses a touch screen and inkjet printer cartridge technology to bring a soda fountain that delivers 106 soda flavor choices to a restaurant near you.

I know this sounds extremely spoiled, but each time I go to a place with a soda fountain with only 10 or 12 choices, I find myself wishing there were more because none of the available choices are that appealing.  (I also wish it dispensed beer).

The Freestyle communicates it’s daily “pour” statistics to Coca-Cola HQ so they can track which flavors are selling.

Offering 106 flavors in the space of a typical soda fountain is an awesome value proposition (though I am disappointed that I don’t see a cranberry flavor on the offerings – man I’m hard to please).  The Coke spokesman said that in many locations they find that each flavor is poured at least once each day, so I’m not the only one pining for more choices at the standard fountainhead.  Offering an order of magnitude more choices is good as evidenced by this usage stat.

This also enables Coke to let the customers experiment with and test market flavors.  Coke can’t stock 106 flavors in the supermarket.  There’s not enough space.  But, they can track results from the Freestyle to see if there are any hot selling or hot trending flavors that might outsell some of the flavors they do stock.   And they can do this geographically.

Nice job Coke.

3 thoughts on “Let your customers do the experimenting

  1. You know, I’m not a fan of soda…but cranberry? I might just be able to go for that. It’d sure be an improvement over this cherry or lemon/lime nonsense.

    But you know, given that soda is largely (entirely?) artificially flavored, I can envision a day a when the average soda fountain offers a hundred flavors (easy to do when one knows nothing about about the chemistry or finances of such things). But I’ll only line up if there’s cranberry (or, as you said, beer) on tap…

    • I’ve found that for the soda fountains that include the SoBe Cranberry Grapefruit drink, I like to mix that in with tea or soda. It adds a nice flavor.

  2. Pingback: Innovation Update: Coca Cola Freestyle | Our Dinner Table


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