PepsiCo, Inc., has announced the launch of its Social Vending System, a networked unit that features full touch screen interactive vending technology, enabling consumers to connect with PepsiCo brands at the point of purchase. A prototype of the Social Vending System debuted at the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s One Show in Chicago, April 27-29.
Using digital technology, PepsiCo’s 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 right at the machine.
The gift is delivered with a system code and instructions to redeem it at any PepsiCo Social Vending system. When the recipient redeems his or her gift, they’re given the option of either thanking the original sender with a gift of their own or paying it forward and gifting a beverage to someone else.
PepsiCo’s use of telemetry with the Social Vending System also delivers operational benefits, such as allowing customers to closely manage inventory levels and delivery scheduling remotely, and easily update digital content online, enabling them to change messaging and media content as needed.
“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,” says 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.”
Social Vending 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 someone in a city that has experienced challenging weather, or a congratulatory beverage to a student at a university that just won a championship.
The current Social Vending System prototype allows users to connect with the Pepsi Refresh Project and holds potential to extend PepsiCo’s digital and social programs for its food and beverage brands.