Have you ever gotten a Coke so cold it was almost frozen?
Yes, a slushy Coke is a great treat on a hot day. But here’s the trick: Creating a near-frozen Coke on a regular basis is tough to do. In fact, for 20 years, Coca-Cola engineers have tinkered with coolers meant to produce slushy Coke on consistent basis.
“The ability to create a super-cold, nearly frozen Coke is one of those things we’ve always tried to figure out,” said Jeff Busch, director of equipment commercialization for Coca-Cola. “It’s a target we’ve just kept in our sights.”
Now, they might have hit it.
Enter a new system called Arctic Coke. In early June, Coca-Cola started testing Arctic Coke coolers in a number of Speedway Convenience Stores in Indianapolis. The cooler works with Coca-Cola, of course, but it can turn any drink into a slushy treat. The test in Indianapolis features Coca-Cola, Sprite and POWERADE Mountain Blast, and will run throughout the summer.
To see Arctic Coke in action, check out this video:
Coca-Cola R&D worked on Arctic Coke for months, in partnership with Supercooler Technologies Inc. of Orlando, Fla. The technology – which is proprietary, so the companies aren't sharing details – keeps drinks cold enough to be on the verge of freezing.
When you pull a bottle from the Arctic Coke cooler, it goes on a little platform that hides a device that, in simple terms, vibrates the bottle. With a press of a button, an invisible shiver goes through the drink, and ice crystals form in an instant.
“It makes what is already a delicious, refreshing experience just a little more special,” Busch said.
Coca-Cola tested Arctic Coke coolers in a few spots around its Atlanta headquarters before moving to the real-world test in Indianapolis. So far, the machines are getting a great response from consumers.
After the test, Coca-Cola will evaluate Arctic Coke to decide on the next steps. Innovation, after all, is hard, and Arctic Coke is an experiment that might not pan out. The company has been experimenting with a couple of other related concepts around the world, but the Arctic Coke coolers in Indianapolis are the first of their kind.
“This test will be a great way to learn if Arctic Coke is something we can adopt for wider use,” Busch said.
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