Fresh Find: New 'Freestyle' fountains let you customize your soda

Consumers around Pittsburgh are bubbling over a new wave of soda fountain that allows customers to use a touch screen to mix-and-match various drinks and create "your own personal mix" of 125 flavors.

The soft-drink machine, the Coca-Cola "Freestyle," recently went in to two Wendy's locations -- in White Oak and on West Liberty Avenue in Beechview. Says regional manager Jim Weaver, "It's amazing to watch the people come in. They're baffled." Pushing on the screen, consumers can choose, say, Coca-Cola, but then decide if they want it to be Coke with Lime, Raspberry Coke, Cherry Coke, Orange Coke or Cherry Vanilla Coke. Or maybe you're thirsting for a Powerade Zero Strawberry. Or a Mello Yello Peach. And so on.

Coca-Cola says the machines are about the same size as a typical six- or -eight-vale fountain but can dispense 10 times the variety, thanks to its proprietary "Purepour Technology," which employs "micro-dosing" of concentrated ingredients rather than syrup.

The machines, which Coke debuted in 2009, can be found in more than 2,600 outlets, including several fast-food chains and 80 markets in 45 states nationwide.

Locally, there are still only a handful of the machines, including at area Five Guys locations; Downtown, you can check out Freestyles at Noodles & Co. and Moe's Southwest Grill, both on Market Square. But you'll be seeing more of them. Burger Kings nationwide are getting the machines this spring, too.

To read more and find a Freestyle machine near you, visit

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First Published 2012-03-07 23:04:14