TDQ Investigates: The Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine, AKA The Devil’s Soda Fountain

Coca Cola Freestyle

It should be no surprise that earlier iterations of the Freestyle allowed 666 flavor combinations; If you count Diet-Vanilla-Grape-Ginger-Tea-Ale as a flavor that is.

I knew the first time I saw it that it was gonna be trouble. It was only a matter of time.

The Coca-Cola Freestyle soda fountain, now seen in pretty much every damn fast food restaurant in America, was first introduced in 2009 and touts that it offers more than 100 different types of fountain drinks on its touchscreen display. Like an iPad attached to a soda fountain.

The selling point is that now consumers can mix and match and add flavors to their soft drinks that heretofore they could only dream about. But the problem with that is, mainstream fast food patrons of America aren’t capable of concocting soda fountain drinks on their own. There is a reason Coke and Pepsi and those other companies employ R&D gurus and spend all that money on focus groups and stuff. They know what they’re doing, and we don’t.

“It let me make Diet Orange Coke,” TDQ co-founder Karl Fields said recently. “I was at the same time embarrassed at myself for trying to think outside the box and angry at the Coke people for letting me even try it. As I cursed myself while driving home what seemed like an eternity later, it occurred to me that there’s no Diet Orange Coke on the shelves. They knew!” Continue reading