Coca-Cola Introduces QR Code-Powered Contactless Pouring

As needs shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mobile Pour allows customers to contactlessly fill their cups.

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Need to Know

  • Coca-Cola has introduced a pour by phone feature that uses fully-connected QR codes to deliver over 200 drink options via its Freestyle beverage dispensers. 
  • The contactless solution, dubbed Mobile Pour, allows consumers to select and pour drinks directly from their smartphone in a matter of seconds, without having to download any apps. 
  • To use the feature, a consumer places their cup in the dispenser and scans the QR code using their smartphone camera. After tapping a pop-up banner, a new in-browser window opens containing all 32 beverage brands. The user then selects brand and flavor, and then presses and holds the pour button to dispense the selected beverage without having to touch the dispenser. 
  • The software will be available on more than 10,000 Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers this summer, with all Freestyle dispensers becoming contactless-compatible by the end of the year.
  • According to Coca-Cola and a quantitative study from Civic Science. Research shows that 60% of restaurant guests prefer to pour their own fountain drink and more than 40% strongly agree that they feel safer when in control of their drinks.

Analysis 

With the world beginning to recover and reshape as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Coca-Cola has launched a contactless solution for its Freestyle beverage dispensers. The multinational beverage powerhouse rolled out Mobile Pour as the foodservice industry begins to reopen to changing consumer behavior. 

“All Coca-Cola beverage dispensers are safe with recommended care and cleaning, but given these uncertain times, people may prefer a touchless fountain experience,” said Chris Hellmann, VP and GM of Coca-Cola Freestyle.  

Mobile Pour is powered entirely by QR code, granting every customer with a smart device the ability to select and pour their beverage without coming in contact with the high-touch dispenser surface. 

No membership or app download required, thirsty consumers can access Mobile Pour by holding their smartphone camera up to the QR code located on the Freestyle dispenser. After tapping the pop-up that appears on their phone screen users are taken to a separate browser where they make their brand and flavor section. Pressing and holding “pour” fills their cup and completes the seamless experience. 

The usage of Quick Response (QR) codes has grown in popularity in recent years as brands look for new ways to market their products and revamp their omnichannel customer experiences. According to beaconstatic, 11 million households will scan a QR code in the USA in 2020. 

Expanding its customer experience by integrating technology is nothing new for Coca-Cola. Earlier this year they announced a partnership with Snapchat to roll out a new “Snapchat Scan” feature that unlocked  Augmented Reality (AR) lenses and content for users. In May the beverage behemoth became the official brand for music streaming platform #BeApp launching a virtual performance series called Coke Studio Sessions. 

Consumers can expect to see the new QR rollout on 10,000 Freestyle dispensers this summer with remaining dispensers seeing the upgrade by the end of the year. For legacy fountain dispensers, the Coca-Coca Freestyle team is patenting a touch-free, optical dispensing solution.

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