Some may not look back on 2020 fondly. However after many years of wanting to have an in-office Coca-Cola fountain machine, our wish became a reality last July! After months of planning and working to find the unit that worked best for our needs and building out the correct space, our new Coca-Cola Freestyle unit was installed.
What exactly is a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine?
The Coca-Cola Freestyle delivers a variety of choices in a fun, engaging experience of more than 60 beverage options. These unique beverages blend specific recipes of concentrated ingredients with water and sweetener – delivering great beverage variety through proprietary micro-dose mixing technology.
What was the need?
The desire to have this new drink option wasn’t just a recruiting gimmick, like many companies that tout ping pong tables or kegerators in their offices as perks, but a genuine need for 1904labs employees. Don’t get me wrong; having a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine is unique and cool but it was more than that. Maintaining our supply of soda, bottled water, and sparkling water was becoming very time consuming and labor intensive in weekly trips to purchase, load, and stock these drinks. The effect on the environment was also a major driving factor behind the desire to have this machine available for our employees. The daily waste from cans and plastic bottles, even while doing our best to recycle companywide, was leaving an unnecessarily large carbon footprint. Now that we have the Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser, we provide reusable cups.
Being right in the middle of a pandemic created even more of a need to provide safe, contact-free drink options to our employees. Coca-Cola is doing their part to keep things safe for consumers by recently adding contactless pouring via smartphone. Users simply hold their camera up to the touchscreen display which auto-scans a QR code, then immediately connects to the cloud and brings the Coca-Cola Freestyle user interface to their phone. The user then has the ability to select from the full menu of brands and flavors and ultimately pour.
“All Coca-Cola beverage dispensers are safe with recommended care and cleaning,” said Chris Hellmann, vice president and general manager, Coca-Cola Freestyle. “But given these uncertain times, people may prefer a touchless fountain experience. It has been exciting to see our team continuing to innovate – mostly from home – to meet the evolving needs of customers and consumers. Our partners are doing everything they can to maintain a safe and hygienic environment, and we’re doing all we can to ensure they can continue to pour the beverages their guests desire on a platform they love.”