When the Philadelphia Division of Aviation (DoA), MarketPlace (MKT), and PepsiCo entered into a strategic partnership, a critical focus was sustainability. As part of that effort, PepsiCo has partnered with DoA and MKT to place one of the first hydration platform test units – currently branded SodaStream Connect – in the United States at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The PHL unit is the only one placed at an airport and one of only a handful of others placed throughout the US.
Plain water too plain? From 12-4 pm today (2-3-20) passengers and staff at #PHLairport can bring an empty water bottle (40 oz. or less) to the @SodaStreamUSA dispenser in the C/D Connector for a free pour of still or sparkling water. Choose from a variety of flavors and coldness. pic.twitter.com/holrP9yhGw
— PHLAirport (@PHLAirport) February 3, 2020
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The project was recently featured in Vending Times. The article, in part, reads:
While many self-service systems are on hold during COVID-19, convenience services operators are confident the demand will return. When it does, a host of fountain type offerings will be introduced that support both health and sustainability.”
The Philadelphia International Airport tested PepsiCo’s new hydration system that consists of a hydration dispenser, a companion smartphone app and a personalized QR code sticker for reusable bottles that allows the dispenser to recognize customers.
Jim Tyrrell, the airport’s chief revenue officer, told Vending Times the PepsiCo hydration system reduces single-use plastic while allowing consumers to personalize the flavor, bubble and temperature of their water.
“With this unit, we can encourage the consumer behavior of traveling with re-usable bottles,” Tyrell said. “On top of that, people can record their favorites, set and measure progress against hydration goals, and calculate how many plastic bottles they’ve saved to date.”
This past summer, PepsiCo Inc. expanded its SodaStream consumer brand into away-from-home channels with SodaStream Professional, a mobile-enabled dispenser that allows customers to personalize and digitally track their beverage intake while cutting back on plastic bottles.
PepsiCo officials also pointed to the hygienic benefit: SodaStream Professional pours one tap at a time, limiting contact with other users.
“If PepsiCo can solve consumers’ hygiene concern in public areas, the appliance has potential to shape the beverage industry, given that personalization features can drive user satisfaction and that user engagement may build user lock-in to disrupt the current beverage sales channels,” Jerrold Wang, an analyst at Lux Research, said in a prepared statement. “Offering a personalized experience, the appliance not only allows users to customize flavors, carbonation levels and temperature in drinks, but also syncs with a phone app to record users’ preference, drink history, water intake and daily hydration goals.”
- SodaStream Professional was installed across from Bud and Marilynn’s (Terminal C) on January 15, 2020.
- Among other features, users can:
- Choose between still, sparkling, or flavored water;
- Select the intensity of flavor and/or bubbles, i.e., lots of carbonation or less carbonation;
- Pick the temperature for still water, i.e., cool, cold, or ice cold; and
- PepsiCo has engaged a 3rd party consumer behavior firm to research customer engagement with the unit and offer suggestions for improved use. During the study, the team gave out free pour cards, S’well bottles, and other incentives to increase participation in the survey.
- Passengers can interact with SodaStream Professional via a QR code. This personal QR code can track the number of plastic bottles diverted from the landfill, track against a daily hydration goal, save a person’s favorite mixes and preferences, and more.
- A “free pour day” was given to all travelers to increase awareness of the platform and test the unit.
- The “Employee Hydration Pass” program (valid for one free pour a day) began as a one-week event during Valentine’s week, but this free benefit has been extended through the end of February. As employees have gotten more and more used to the platform, usage has increased significantly.
- PepsiCo partnered with a local merchant on this initiative ensure the unit is operational, change out flavors when needed, etc.
Photo from vendingtimes.com