PepsiCo Lets Consumers Buy, Gift & Play Through New Vending Machine

Interactive units allows recharging of mobile devices

Published in CSP Daily News

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo has rolled out its Pepsi Interactive Vending machine pilot program, allowing consumers in select U.S. locations to buy, gift and play games with PepsiCo beverages. Pepsi's Interactive Vending equipment, units that feature full touchscreen technology, is currently located at five General Growth Properties' (GGP) malls: Columbiana Centre (Columbia, S.C.), Clackamas Town Center (Happy Valley, Ore.), Oglethorpe Mall (Savannah, Ga.), Oakwood Mall (Eau Claire, Wis.) and Park City Center (Lancaster, Pa.).

Using digital technology, Pepsi's Interactive Vending allows users to buy a variety of popular PepsiCo beverages, including Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist Natural, Aquafina and Lipton Green Tea.

Consumers can also gift a 20-ounce bottled beverage to a friend by entering the recipient's name and email along with a personalized message (PepsiCo said that it respects the privacy of its consumers and does not share contact information with any other partners).

The gift is delivered with a system code and instructions to redeem it at any Pepsi Interactive Vending machine. Recipients can keep the gift, thank their friend by sending back a gift and pay it forward by giving the gift to someone else directly from the machine.

Game play is another key component, letting users compete in an onscreen random chance game that has been customized for GGP shoppers. With the purchase of any beverage at the machine, consumers are eligible to play for a chance to win a free 20-ounce bottled beverage that can be redeemed immediately or at a later date at any Pepsi Interactive Vending machine.

Nutritional information for the products sold in the Interactive Vending machine, as well as current PepsiCo beverages TV commercials and other video promotions are available for on-demand viewing at each unit. Users can also charge their mobile devices while enjoying a PepsiCo beverage by plugging into specially designed AC power outlets and USB ports directly from the machine.

PepsiCo's use of telemetry with Interactive Vending also delivers tremendous operational benefits, allowing customers to closely manage inventory levels and delivery scheduling remotely, and easily update digital content and messaging online as needed.

"Pepsi's Interactive Vending machine is the next generation of the Social Vending prototype launched last year and is part of a broader global platform of equipment innovation we're developing to engage consumers," said Mikel Durham, global growth officer for PepsiCo Foodservice.

"The pilot launch of our Interactive Vending equipment is an exciting step in transforming the point-of-purchase experience," said Margery Schelling, global innovation officer for PepsiCo Foodservice.

"Our shoppers deserve and expect a shopping and entertainment experience like no other. We attempt to take the traditional and add an experiential component to everything we do. Pepsi is transforming the soda vending machine into an interactive, state-of-the-art, must-see experience," said Melinda Holland, senior vice president of business development for GGP. "It's the kind of experience we want to provide our shoppers. We have a successful, longstanding relationship with PepsiCo and are excited to be a part of this exclusive vending pilot program."

PepsiCo is considering and testing further rollout and technology enhancement of the Interactive Vending machine; it is also considering Interactive Vending technology for use by other PepsiCo brands and businesses.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses are Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola.