The FINANCIAL — Both Coca-Cola Freestyle and PlantBottle packaging were winners in the 2011 Edison Awards' Best New Product Awards, announced on April 18 in New York. The annual awards recognize the year's most innovative products and services across a variety of categories.
"Coca-Cola Freestyle won a Gold Award (the highest honor) in the New Retail Frontiers category. The first-of-its-kind fountain dispenser allows consumers to select from more than 100 regular and low-calorie branded beverages all in the same footprint as a standard eight-valve machine," the company informed.
"The Edison Award is great recognition of the five-plus years the Coca-Cola Freestyle team has invested in reinventing our fountain business," said Gene Farrell, Vice President and General Manager, Coca-Cola Freestyle. "This technology is only just beginning to change the game for the beverage industry. We're still in the rollout phases, and Coca-Cola Freestyle is already driving sales for our customers and preference among our consumers."
PlantBottle packaging received a Silver Award in the Energy & Sustainability Packaging category. PlantBottle packaging, made with up to 30 percent renewable materials from plants, recently rolled out nationwide in the U.S. and also has launched in nine global markets. In 2010, more than 2.5 billion PlantBottle packages were used, eliminating the equivalent of almost 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This year, that number is expected to double to more than 5 billion PlantBottle packages in more than 15 countries, according to the company.
"It's an honor to be acknowledged by Edison for innovation leadership as we advance our vision to make traditional plastic bottles a thing of the past," said Scott Vitters, General Manager, PlantBottle Packaging Platform. "We're only just beginning on our journey towards creating a carbon neutral, 100 percent renewable, responsibly sourced bottle that is fully recyclable."
Vitters and Farrell also were part of Edison's "Meet the Innovators Forum" a pre-awards ceremony program to showcase the innovation process. Farrell participated in a panel discussion with top executives and the two gave a presentation entitled, "Coca-Cola Innovation – Meeting Consumer, Customer and Environmental Needs."