It doesn't look like much; it's an unmarked door among a small stretch of offices 30 miles north of Manhattan. But through that portal PepsiCo has ushered in consumers to test various iterations of its recently launched fountain machines.
Inside, each of the three versions of Pepsi Spirethe largest of which allows consumers to customize drinks in up to 1,000 waysare displayed alongside prototypes for new vending machines and coolers. There is the social-vending machine that allows people to gift each other beverages. And next to that, a cooler with a translucent screen that lets the company display its beverages while running a loop of marketing messages.
"In this facility alone we've cycled through hundreds of consumers of different ages, who have interacted with the user experience and the [user interface] of the machines," said Brad Jakeman, PepsiCo's president-global beverages group. "We wanted to make it as intuitive as possible and find the perfect balance between consumer engagement and efficiency."
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