With the battlefield deployment of three new fountain machines, PepsiCo is firing a shot across competitor Coca-Cola’s bow in the food service business.
“The creation of Spire (PepsiCo’s beverage dispensers) signals that we’re going to get a lot more competitive in the space,” says Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s Global Beverages Group.
And not a moment too soon. Fountain machines may be the latest front in an ongoing war between the two long-time antagonists, but this time the real competition is not so much each other as it is the 7-Eleven down the street from that Burger King or McDonald’s where PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are installing their new machines. As consumers gravitate to waters, teas, juices, and energy drinks, fast food restaurateurs have watched in despair as consumers take it upon themselves to find the drinks they want, instead of relying on the soda machines in the restaurants themselves.
To stave off further decline, both companies are fielding glitzy new machines, hoping they can lure more customers through a mix of engaging design and infinite choice.