PepsiCo Inc. announced the launch of its Social Vending System, a state-of-the-art networked unit that features full touch screen interactive vending technology, enabling consumers to better connect with PepsiCo brands right 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 to 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 innovative use of telemetry with the Social Vending System also delivers tremendous operational benefits, 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," said Mike 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 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 platform holds potential to extend PepsiCo's digital and social programs for its food and beverage brands
The Social Vending System was conceived by PepsiCo's newly formed Equipment Innovation group, whose mandate is to leverage emerging technologies to deliver relevant brand experiences for consumers through equipment. The design and UI were created in collaboration with Milwaukee, Wis.-based DCI Marketing and Protagonist, located in Venice Beach, Calif.
"Our approach to technology innovation is driven by what we know consumers want. We're working with some of the best minds in the business to develop equipment that provides customization, personalization and choice," said Christine Sister, vice president of equipment innovation, PepsiCo. "Our Social Vending System delivers on those insights and more – it’s also visually engaging, fast, intuitive and satisfying to use."
Further development of the Social Vending System platform is ongoing, and PepsiCo anticipates testing the concept with key strategic partners later this year.
PepsiCo respects the privacy of its consumers. Email addresses and phone numbers are not stored unless expressly permitted by a user. PepsiCo also does not share contact information with any other partners. Standard text message rates apply for gifting function.