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Coca-Cola announces trial of New Compact Freestyle® drinks dispenser in GB

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

4 min read Partner content

The innovative drinks dispenser can help reduce packaging and carbon footprint

Trial to take place in four workplaces in partnership with Compass Group

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola globally, in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, launches a six-month controlled trial in GB of its latest beverage dispensing machine, the New Compact Freestyle®.  The new machine enables consumers to purchase Coca-Cola drink brands and personalise temperature and carbonisation levels to their taste using their own vessels, thereby eliminating the need for PET or glass bottles, or aluminium packaging.

After recent trials at a range of at-work and on-the-go outlets in France and Belgium, a six-month controlled trial of the compact smart dispenser will begin this month in four at-work locations operated by Eurest, workplace division of Compass Group. The first will be installed at Volkswagen in Milton Keynes, with trials to follow for employees at Bentley in Crewe, Harrods in London and Virgin Media in Cheshire. A total of nearly 6,000 people are employed at the four sites.

The New Compact Freestyle® will allow consumers to enjoy around 40 core Coca-Cola drinks and enjoy them their own way by personalising the temperature and carbonisation levels to their own taste and preference. Crucially, the machine will be compatible with consumers’ own reusable vessels, which will help reduce carbon emissions and packaging.

Preliminary Life Cycle Analysis[1] of the New Compact Freestyle®, conducted by ifeu (the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research), has identified a lower carbon footprint per litre of chilled beverage compared with conventional pack types. Further sustainability analysis will now be conducted in real-world conditions through this and future planned trials. 

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation[2], dispensed options with reusable vessels can be among the best packaging solutions for reducing our carbon footprint. If successfully rolled-out on a large-scale beyond the trial, the technology could have great potential in helping to reach 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 trial is yet another example of efforts to further CCEP’s strategy to reduce packaging and hit its target of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (vs. a 2019 baseline) and Net Zero by 2040.

Sam Jones, Head of Climate and Sustainability at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Great Britain said: “We’re excited to see the first trial of this drinks dispenser in GB. Innovative trials like these are an important step in our journey, as they’re essential to finding scalable solutions that could reduce the amount of packaging we use, and help lower emissions as we progress towards our 2040 net zero target. It’s an avenue we’re keen to assess, and review as we move into the test and trial phase.

‘We’re proud to be working with Eurest, workplace division of Compass Group, and their customers in these four trial sites. The partnership enables us to gather invaluable insights on how consumers adapt to the new technology, and to better understand what more we need to do to help change consumer behaviour as we move towards a circular economy and our ambition to create a World Without Waste.”

Anne Simonnet, Head of Sustainability and Compliance at Foodbuy said: “As a business Foodbuy understands the importance of innovation if we are to progress with our ambitious sustainability agenda. Having the opportunity to participate with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, is very exciting and we cannot wait to understand the traction these new machines will create, but also start measuring the impact these could have in reducing plastic in our Supply Chain. "

The new trial follows Coca-Cola’s previous success in reducing its packaging footprint through dispensed and packageless solutions. In addition to the use of existing Freestyle® machines around the world, recent innovations include trialling refillable packaging in ten stores with Tesco in GB in partnership with Loop, and investing in the leading maker of multi-beverage, counter-top dispensing machines, Lavit, to explore and test new dispensed delivery solutions.

[1] A preliminary Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted in December 2021 by IFEU on the New Compact Freestyle® when compared to conventional packaging formats (e.g., cans and bottles). FULL LINK TO BE ADDED

[2] Ellen MacArthur Foundation guidance document Reuse: Rethinking Packaging (2019)


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