PepsiCo could launch social vending machine in UK

PepsiCo could be poised to launch a interactive vending machine that allows shoppers to buy drinks for their friends remotely via Facebook in the UK.

The food and drinks business has trademarked the name Pepsi Touch, a service first launched in the US last year.

It allows users to buy a drink as well as gift one to their friends by entering the recipients name, mobile number and a personalised text message on a touch screen. The gift can also be personalised with a short video recording at the machine itself.

PepsiCo is using the “Social Vending System” to drive transactions at POS in the US, where it has been trialling the concept with strategic partners.

The company’s foray into interactive vending machines follows a similar project by Coca-Cola in 2009 with the ‘Freestyle’ drinks dispenser in the US. The machine also has a touch screen and can dispense more than 100 flavoured drink combinations.

Last month Coke confirmed that it was bringing the machines, which do not have social function like Pepsi’s units, to the UK.

The project comes from PepsiCo’s Equipment Innovation Group, which aims to make use of new technology to promote the company’s brands.

A spokeswoman was unable to provide more details on the initiative at the time the story went to press and calls to the US were left unanswered.

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