PepsiCo Social Vending System  (Source: PepsiCo Inc.)
Consumers can send Pepsi products to one another through new, high-tech vending machines

It's hard to argue that electronic social networking has become a staple in our digital world when sites like Facebook have over 500 million active users. Now, even the way we drink will take the form of a social experience. 

Pepsi recently announced that it will release a new vending machine that utilizes technology such as a full touch screen for beverage selection, and will allow consumers to use cash or credit. But the more notable addition to this high-tech vending machine is its use of social networking among Pepsi drinkers

In addition to simply selecting a soda for oneself to drink, the new vending machine also allows consumers to send soda to each other. Let's say a person wants to send a Pepsi to someone in another building that has the same vending machine, or even to someone that does not have the same vending machine. The consumer can enter the recipient's name, mobile phone number and a personal message into the vending machine, and it will send a text message to the recipient.

The consumer can even record a video to be sent to the recipient. In the received text message, the location where the Pepsi can be redeemed will be noted along with the personalized message or video. 

Consumers can also send a Pepsi product to a complete stranger through the "Random Acts of Refreshment" option. This allows a consumer to send a Pepsi product to any other social vending machine. 

"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 Mikel Durham, chief innovative 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." 

“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 Sisler, VP, Equipment Innovation, PepsiCo. “Our Social Vending System delivers on those insights and more – it’s also visually engaging, fast, intuitive and satisfying to use.”

Pepsi worked with DCI Marketing and Protagonist to create the new social vending machine. It did not note when the machines would be released to the public. 

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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