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Coca-Cola is testing vending machine subscriptions in Japan

Editor’s take: Beverage subscription services aren’t an unproven model. The cruise industry has offered guests the option to buy subscription packages for sodas and alcohol for years. Such services might be less attractive to customers on land with more options to choose from, but we shall see.

Coca-Cola is turning to the ever-popular subscription model to boost vending machine sales.

Japanese publication Nikkei is reporting that starting next month, Coca-Cola Japan will experiment with a flat-rate beverage service in which subscribers can get one bottle from a vending machine per day. The monthly subscription will command 2700 Yen, or roughly $25.

That works out to less than a buck per soda – cheaper than you’d normally pay at a vending machine, but still more expensive than buying a few 12 packs for the house and, say, hauling one with you to work each day for lunch.

The subscription service will be handled through the Coke On smartphone app. Roughly 340,000 machines nationwide will work with the subscription service, we’re told.

Sales from vending machines have dropped over the past year due to the pandemic, and Coca-Cola is no doubt hoping that its flat-rate subscription service can provide a much-needed boost.

Images courtesy Alexander Tolstykh, Fotazdymak

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