Costa Express case study
Smart Vending IoT Success

Barista Coffee via IoT Vending.

Learn why Costa Express selected Eseye to power its estate of smart vending coffee machines in 17+ countries.

Delivering premium quality drinks globally

Costa Coffee is a leading provider of premium quality drinks in a highly competitive and continually evolving market. Hungry for growth and thriving on innovation the introduction of Costa Express and self-service vending machines has enabled the brand to extend its reach and rapidly increase market share. 

The concept of ‘on-the-go’ coffee has enabled Costa Express to dramatically increase its brand profile and reach. Today, Costa Express operates in 17 international markets and has 13,500 machines stationed all over the world.

As a premium brand, it’s critical that the machines match the quality, service and experience delivered through barista-made coffee in store. A commanding reputation, a strong track-record in innovation combined with ambitious future plans meant that Costa Express needed to deploy an end-to-end IoT service, bringing together best-of-breed services across a range of experienced suppliers.

Plans for international expansion and the need to transfer data in real-time led Costa Express to explore a variety of IoT solutions. It initially investigated several connectivity solutions, including on-site Ethernet or over-the-air (OTA) cellular connection. However, Ethernet meant relying on the site owner – often a convenience store or forecourt operator – and increased connectivity risk. For example, a modem failing would result in a failed connection, and could lead to lost business, frustrated customers, and trigger a costly engineer site visit. 

Why Costa chose Eseye

Overcoming the hurdles of Smart Vending

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High machine uptime

An eUICC compliant, embedded multi-IMSI AnyNet+ SIM enables automatic mobile connectivity to deliver near 100% connectivity uptime, across 190 countries.

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Cost savings

Real-time telemetry supports continual operational monitoring and preventative maintenance for lower service costs and higher availability.

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Customer satisfaction

With our low-latency OTA device communication, Costa can easily create a seamless and personalised shopping experience with on-screen marketing.

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Take a deeper dive into Costa’s IoT journey. Find out how we helped them overcome smart vending hurdles that might stall your IoT project, and see how we can help your business succeed with IoT.

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Costa harnesses multi-RAT connectivity

Eseye has supported the company in deploying IoT-enabled vending machines, with confidence, and on a global scale.  

IoT hardware and connectivity expertise

Each machine is fitted with Eseye’s Hera 604 IoT router and AnyNet+ SIM which work hand-in-hand. The Hera router can handle multiple radio-access types (RAT) including 3G, 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi connections.

Eseye’s AnyNet+ SIM connects to any available mobile network, enabling cellular data access anywhere and communication to the back-end systems as soon as one of the machines is powered on. With access to over 700 mobile networks in 190 countries, Eseye’s connectivity solution promises network resilience and device uptime with near 100% connectivity.

Eseye Hera 604 Router

Connecting the edge

The Hera router combines multiple sensors, units, and data points. For the Costa Express machine, the services on the embedded device aggregates over 90 sensors including health monitoring, local time synchronisation and data route information. This reliable exchange of real-time data reduces the total cost of ownership and allows Costa Express to be more proactive.

The coffee vending machines report problems directly to Costa Express’ platform, making diagnosis and problem solving quick and easy. The basis for this is an elaborate alarming system: detected error messages from the machines are pre-processed and then transferred to the IoT platform according to priority.


Costa Vending Design - How We Did It

Real-time telemetry

Costa Express coffee machines around the world are reliably and ubiquitously connected, enabling intelligent condition monitoring and alert notifications. 

In the event of a malfunction, such as a disrupted water flow or when coffee beans and milk run out, the IoT solution immediately triggers the appropriate alerts. These alerts are addressed directly to the right contact person, which reduces the time needed to solve the problem. Detailed reports on downtimes and troubleshooting times also enable Costa Express to communicate optimisation suggestions to operators and service partners, thus making the machines more profitable in the long term.

Costa Express hot and cold

A smart vending pioneer

Iced coffee has captured a significant portion of the worldwide coffee market and today one in five coffee purchases are iced, whether that’s milk coolers or fruit cordials.  In response to this, Costa Express is diversifying its vending remit by rolling out the world’s first integrated hot and iced drinks self-serve machine, all centrally managed through its IoT platform.

Under the ownership of Coca-Cola, Costa Express will look to add to its international market stronghold and continue to develop new machine propositions with IoT at their heart.

Costa Express cooler

Eseye’s fully redundant fault-tolerant network provides a managed connectivity service with a global footprint, whilst support for multiple cellular networks in each geographical region enables close to 100% connectivity uptime. This means that we can deploy connected devices and deliver premium quality drinks virtually anywhere in the world. A real advantage as the company is seeking to expand rapidly across international markets

Paul Borrett, Systems & Data Director

The phenomenal and continuing success of the IoT enabled Costa Express brand is something we are incredibly proud to be part of. The combined use of Eseye hardware and cellular services helps us to ensure Costa Express can easily deploy almost anywhere in the world, keeping connected, receiving valuable data and delivering a premium experience for their customers, and of course great growth for the business

Nick Earle, Chairman and CEO

The technology used in these state-of-the-art machines is nothing short of a gold-standard level of innovation – a world’s first for the self-service coffee machine industry. What’s more, we are giving our customers what they have been asking for from us – their favourite crafted coffee, personalised for how they want it and when they want it.

Nick Orrin, Director UK and Ireland

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