As the coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape the foodservice industry and consumer behaviour. Coca-Cola is rolling out its latest technology innovation – contactless pouring from smartphones.

The new, contactless solution is now available on all Coca-Cola Freestyle machines across Canada. It allows consumers to choose and pour a drink from their phone in just seconds without having to sign up for a membership or download an app.

“The technology is really impressive,” said Crystal Drover, Coca-Cola Freestyle lead in Canada. “You hold your camera up to the display screen and it auto-scans a QR code which immediately connects the Coca-Cola Freestyle user interface to your phone.”

Consumers will continue to have access to the full variety of brands and flavours that Coca-Cola Freestyle offers.

“It has been inspiring to see our Coca-Cola team innovate and adapt to meet the changing needs of our consumers and partners during these unprecedented times,” said Darlene Nicosia, President of Coca-Cola Ltd. “We’re excited to be bringing the new Coca-Cola Freestyle Mobile Pour technology to Canadians everywhere.”

The team behind this innovation knew from the start that the experience needed to be as seamless as possible. It is intentionally designed so anyone with a smartphone or smart device can pour a drink.

The touch-free solution was developed quickly – in just over a week – when coronavirus lockdowns took effect earlier this Spring. The fully connected Coca-Cola Freestyle Operating System enabled the team to use existing software without having to build a solution from scratch.

Hand holding a smartphone scanning a code on a Freestyle fountain machine

All Coca-Cola beverage dispensers are safe with recommended care and cleaning. But given these uncertain times, the team knew that people may prefer a touchless fountain experience. 

In fact, research shows that 60% of restaurant guests prefer to pour their own fountain drink versus having a crew member do so, according to a quantitative study from Civic Science in the US. Customization is the primary driver for self-serve fountain fans, but more than 40% strongly agree that they feel safer when in control of their drinks.

Additionally, the Coca-Cola team in Canada launched a resource website to help support the foodservice industry and restaurant partners who have been highly impacted as a result of the pandemic.

The Rapid Response Resource website is an external microsite that gives partners access to curated content and free resources that can support the foodservice industry and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and its phases.

Coca-Cola Canada also launched a program with Sheridan College’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) to produce and distribute protective countertop shields for small stores and businesses in Ontario.

“We know that restaurants have been among the hardest-hit businesses during the pandemic, and our goal is to provide a variety of solutions to support them,” said Nicosia., President of Coca-Cola Ltd. “It’s a win-win when we can help our partners adapt to the needs of their guests while giving our consumers more convenient opportunities to enjoy our Coca-Cola beverages.”