Pepsi to roll out Social Vending System

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo is building on the social networking experience by providing consumers with a new kind of vending system.

The company announced plans to roll out an interactive vending machine, dubbed the Social Vending System, which features a full touchscreen that enables users to give a gift to a friend by selecting a beverage, entering the recipient's name, mobile number and a personalized text message. There's also the option to further personalize the gift with a short video recorded right at the machine.

A prototype of Pepsi's Social Vending System, which was conceived by the company's newly formed equipment innovation group, made its debut at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's One Show in Chicago this week.

Further development of the Social Vending System platform is under way. Pepsi also said that it anticipates testing the concept with key strategic partners later this year.

"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 innovation 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."

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