ATLANTA - You can now have it your way when it comes to soft drinks, juice and coffee, as more companies are providing innovative ways for customization of beverages, Beverage World reports.
For example, the Coca-Cola Freestyle, launched in 2009, has been installed at close to 4,000 outlets in 45 states and Puerto Rico. The company plans to put the machines in new locations this year, as well as expand to foreign countries.
"Consumers are looking for something they€™ve simply never experienced and Coca-Cola Freestyle is a new way to enjoy a refreshing beverage," said Sydney Taylor, group director, Coca-Cola Freestyle. The dispenser allows consumers to mix and match 125 still and sparkling brands to create a custom beverage.
DeLIFEful Foods does a similar thing with fresh juice drinks. Customers order online and can personalize one of the five seasonal flavors, which are made and delivered the same day. "We are very open to any feedback received by our consumers and we always look to incorporate the ideas as much as we can into any new formulations that we make," said Tirrell Barronette, company co-founder. "There have been instances where a consumer might like the Kickin€™ Ginger, but they thought it was a little too spicy so we have toned it down for them."
Even Starbucks has upped the ante with its Starbucks Drink Builder app that allows customers to personalize coffee and keep a copy of the combinations for future visits. "We know that a customer€™s beverage choice is very personal and that they value customization to fit their lifestyle and nutritional needs. Starbucks offers more than 170,000 ways for customers to create their perfect beverage by choosing from a type of fresh milk, the intensity of coffee or decaf, and any combination of syrups or toppings, blended, brewed €" you name it," said a company spokesperson.
For more on cold dispensed beverage sales in c-stores, read the June 2012 "Category Close-Up" in NACS Magazine.