The Coca‑Cola Company’s commitment to innovation has hit its next milestone, with the announcement of its latest beverage machine - New Compact Freestyle® - a smart dispenser that offers greater choice and personalisation of the drinks people know and love, in a way that can help reduce carbon emissions and packaging.
Trials of the compact smart dispenser - the smallest unit in the most digitally advanced range of Freestyle® machines - will begin this month. The first trials will take place at a range of at-work and on-the-go outlets in France and Belgium, in partnership with Coca‑Cola Europacific Partners. Trials in Great Britain will begin shortly thereafter, as additional European countries and customers are added to the trials throughout 2022.
The New Compact Freestyle® has been developed as an extension of the iconic Coca‑Cola Freestyle® brand and portfolio. It enables direct digital consumer interaction, with options for consumers to personalise temperature and carbonisation levels to their taste, with around 40 beverage choices on offer, using their own reusable vessel.
The development of the New Compact Freestyle® builds upon the existing work of Coca‑Cola to innovate dispensed solutions as a ‘drinks-on-demand’ category, offering smaller on-the-go and at-work locations the opportunity to provide consumers with their favourite drinks, their way.
Preliminary Life Cycle Analysis, of the New Compact Freestyle®, has identified a lower carbon footprint per litre of chilled beverage compared with conventional pack types, for example, cans and PET bottles. Further sustainability analysis will now be conducted in real-world conditions through this and future planned trials, with additional external LCA analysis and verification to be undertaken. The digitally-advanced capabilities of the New Compact Freestyle® will also provide rich data and insights into consumer behaviour, to help further optimise the solution.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, dispensed options with reusable containers can be among the best packaging options for reducing our carbon footprint. Dispensed solutions - such as the New Compact Freestyle® - will be instrumental to reaching Coca‑Cola's recently announced new, global goal of 25% reusable packaging by 2030, which includes refillable vessels for dispensed drinks, along with refillable or returnable glass and plastic bottles.
This drinks-on-demand innovation also has the potential to contribute towards Coca‑Cola in Europe reaching its ambitious target of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (vs. a 2015 baseline) and Net Zero emissions by 2040.
“This innovative new dispenser is an exciting step forward for Coca‑Cola,” said Nikos Koumettis, President of Europe at The Coca‑Cola Company. “The findings of our preliminary analysis promisingly show that the New Compact Freestyle® can have a lower carbon footprint per serving compared to traditional packs, such as cans and PET bottles. This is hugely encouraging given the importance to deliver meaningful action on sustainability for Coca‑Cola, and our customers and consumers.
In developing this new dispenser, we've used the latest in technology to offer a wide variety of personalisation options in line with both consumers’ digital-led lives, and their appetite for choice. These new trials mean that consumers can prepare their own perfect drink, just as they like it, and can use less packaging and carbon to do so – a win-win for them, and the environment.”
The new trial follows Coca‑Cola’s previous successes in reducing its packaging footprint through dispensed and packageless solutions, through the use of existing Freestyle® machines around the world, as well as trialling Fanta® Orange, Sprite® and Mezzo Mix® concentrated soda syrups in Germany and Austria, and the trial of self-pour, self-pay beverage dispensing technology with Innovative Tap Solutions trial in Spain in 2021.
 According to the results of a preliminary Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted in December 2021 on the New Compact Freestyle® when compared to conventional packaging formats (e.g., cans and bottles).
 Ellen MacArthur Foundation guidance document Reuse: Rethinking Packaging (2019)
The Freestyle® concept has been in place for over a decade, with a selection of innovative, technology-led drinks delivery machines that are designed to provide a world of choice in beverages and the freedom for all to explore, pour and enjoy their perfect serve.
Coca‑Cola is continually designing the next generation of pour and go solutions, meeting consumer behaviours and needs, and responding to learnings with hardware and software innovations that both meet customers’ operational needs and offer consumers a premium fountain beverage experience.
The New Compact Freestyle® is the smallest additional to the digitally-advanced Freestyle® range. Whereas existing Freestyle® machines are designed for larger outlets with a higher consumer footfall, the New Compact Freestyle® has been specifically designed to offer smaller locations the Freestyle® experience, without the need for a significant amount of space.
There is currently a total of four commercialised Freestyle® models, with the Freestyle® brand operating in 14 markets throughout the world.