Solar Vending Machines for Rural Areas
Last summer Coca-Cola found a new, efficient way to reach out to customers in rural areas. This began in India when it was noticed that many rural areas do not have ways to cool the Coca-Cola products they are selling. Many of these areas do not have electricity consistently throughout the day or do not have it at all. While trying to be environmentally friendly and economical Coca-Cola India has created a solar powered cooler. It is called the ‘eKOCool”. According to The Times of India:
“eKOCool’, a chest cooler, operates exclusively through solar energy, with no other electricity source required to operate it. It has a capacity to store two crates, which contains 48 glass bottles of 300 ml each.”
This new invention should greatly improve sales of coke products in these outlying rural areas. Retailers of the product get to enjoy savings on their electricity and ice costs. Most retailers have been selling coke products in ice coolers, but with minimal ice. The Times of India continues to say:
“A pilot project under which 20 such coolers were placed in rural areas near Agra has been successfully completed this summer (2011). Sales from these outlets have jumped nearly five times, a company official said.”
As this new invention continues to be successful Coca-Cola sees many other areas of the world that will be able to benefit from it. They have already received orders from some African countries. We will most likely be seeing other companies following in their footsteps with solar vending machines. There is an additional cost for the solar panels, but with the ability to place them in areas that previously could not have electrical vending machines makes it very cost effective. I think Coca-Cola has come up with a great idea here and has changed not only the soft drink market but the vending machine market as well.