Pepsi Spire Is The Lesser-Known Answer To Coca-Cola Freestyle

Coca-Cola Freestyle, the touch screen self-serve soda fountain machine introduced by Coke in 2009, allowed people to either choose individual products, mix and match flavors of different drink varieties or create custom flavors. Five Guys was the first fast food chain to use the machines in their stores, which have proliferated and are now available in restaurants, grocery stores, and movie theaters nationwide.

Coca-Cola Freestyle offers hundreds of flavor combinations, giving you the opportunity to play mad scientist and experiment with various fruit flavor and soda permutations. The company even introduced a contactless alternative during the pandemic called Mobile Pour that allowed patrons to order beverages via their smartphone without even having to download an app.

Of course, if Coke does something, then inevitably its biggest competitor in the soft drink game must follow suit at some point. Pepsi did just that, releasing their lesser-known answer to Coca-Cola Freestyle, called Spire, in 2014.

'Pretty cool if you can find one'

Like Coca-Cola Freestyle, Pepsi Spire gives people the ability to custom-make their own soft drinks via a digital touch screen fountain system. You can personalize your own beverages using PepsiCo products and different flavor shot enhancers. When initially introduced, Spire machines came in three sizes and utilized a bag-in-box system to deliver flavors, compared to Coca-Cola Freestyle's cartridge system. It served 1,000 different flavor combinations (per The New York Times). Currently, Pepsi Spire machines in select locations feature eight kinds of flavor shots to blend with their various soda brands, with varieties that include cherry, vanilla, lemon, lime, strawberry, peach, raspberry, and grape.

If this is the first time you are hearing about Pepsi's version of a digital touch screen self-service soda dispenser, you're probably not alone. In December 2021, seven years after its launch, Redditors on the beverage aficionado subreddit r/ToFizzOrNotToFizz inquired if anyone had used the Pepsi Spire and, if so, how they taste. One person replied, "I have yet to find one in all of my journeys." Another commenter who had tried it, offered "It's not as good as Coke Freestyle machines (less choices and customization) but it's still pretty cool if you can find one."