2 Guest Post: The New Way to Freestyle

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Several weeks ago our family visited Willy's Mexicana Grill on Roswell Road in Marietta, GA, one of our favorite choices for fresh Mexican eats.  When we received our food and turned around to get our drinks, we were surprised by the sight of a long line, and a space-age machine dispensing beverages.  We snagged a booth right next to it, and I watched a lady at the front of the line in a Coca-Cola polo helping people navigate the touchscreen.  There was a sign above it proclaiming it dispensed 106 flavors.  I was fascinated, and nudged my husband to go on up and try it out (he was boring and just got his favorite, Mr. Pibb.)  As someone who's a sugar-conscious consumer, I was really excited to note the sugar-free offerings that it provided, including un-sweetened sparkling waters.


Later, I sidled over to Ingrid Pauli, the Coca-Cola sales executive on site, and asked her if I could contact her for some more information on this mesmerizing machine dubbed the Coca-Cola Freestyle.  She handed me her business card and also told me that the very first Freestyle machine they alpha tested was in another local Willy's store, and now the Freestyle is in testing in limited markets around the country.  I asked Elizabeth Compson, a journalism student at the University of Maryland to interview Ms Pauli.  Her new blog is called My -Not So - mnmllife.  Her contribution follows.

The New Way to Freestyle 
By Elizabeth Compson 
Sunday, August 22, 2010 - Have you ever ordered a fountain drink at your local diner, walked over to the self-serve machine with your empty cup and simply not like any of the drink options available? If you said yes, you’re like most people at one time or another. With so many different tastes and preferences, how could one fountain machine possibly have something for everyone?

Coca-Cola pondered this very question, and now there’s a solution – Coca-Cola Freestyle. It’s a high tech touchscreen soda fountain that fits into the same space as an average 8-valve fountain, only it has 106 different beverage brands to choose from. Practically any combination you can invent, right then and there. 

Coca-Cola Freestyle has a wide array of different drink categories that would appeal to just about anyone. It features low calorie, caffeine free and diet sparkling beverages, flavored waters, sports drinks, lemonades – totalling106 flavors of the Coca-Cola family. With this soda fountain you can experiment and mix and match different drink flavors from a touchscreen menu to dispense a beverage specifically tuned to your tastes.

With so many options, soda lovers are sure to come up with some interesting and tasty combinations. One flavor offered in the Freestyle is Orange Coke. This, paired with Vanilla Coke can create an “Orange Dreamsicle.” What drink would you invent if you had 106 different combinations to choose from?

This innovative and engaging self-serve fountain has people of all ages in on the fun. And believe it or not, that’s what it is – fun! It’s easy to use and facilitates a never-before-seen technology called PurePour. Ingrid Pauli, a Coca-Cola sales executive, gave me a closer look at how it works to create a custom beverage.

 “PurePour is a proprietary micro-dosing nozzle that enables us to create branded beverages by blending concentrated beverage ingredients with water and sweetener at the point where the beverage is dispensed.”

By now you might be wondering where you can try this hip new soda fountain. According to Pauli, “The Coca-Cola Freestyle fountains are currently available in the metro-Atlanta area, Dallas, southern California and Salt Lake City.  Upcoming markets include Chicago and Orlando.”

So, if you’re not in one of these areas, stay put. You might just see one popping up in your local quick serve restaurant or movie theater sooner than you think. 

*Neither writer was compensated in any way for this editorial. 
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Karla said...

That is so cool! I want one!! : ) Thanks for sharing.

MrsHull said...

Wow. I hope they go mainstream sometime soon. That would be so much fun! I do think I would drastically increase my soda-intake, though.

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