Vending machine launched that can detect things Gen Z find most annoying

Open-mouth coughing, queue jumpers, and not getting a ‘thanks’ after holding the door open for someone. Just some of the everyday bugbears that annoy the hell out of Gen Z, according to new research from Sprite. 

21% said that they get rattled when they hear music being played on a phone without headphones, while 22% say people putting their feet on seats on the train really gets their goat. 

Also on the list is getting stuck behind people who walk at snail’s pace whilst commuting (25%), your boss making you come into the office for unnecessary meetings (21%), and waiting longer than 8 minutes for a tube. In fact, one in 10 Brits say commuting is the area in life that bothers them the most.

According to the research of 2,017 Brits aged 18 and over, we spend 28 minutes a day feeling hot and bothered, and take 23 minutes to calm down after getting flustered. The nation gets annoyed an average of 12 times a day, but Gen-Zs find themselves frustrated the most at 18 times per day.

Strangers (32%) are the biggest culprits in getting us hot and bothered the most, and a whopping 94% of Brits agree that the smaller things can be more annoying than the bigger things.

To cool down Gen Z this summer, Sprite is launching the world’s first vending machine that reacts in real time to some of the moments that get people hot and bothered, using departure boards, social media, local news, station footfall and weather data as currency.

Whether it’s being stuck behind slow-walking tourists, getting flustered holding up the queue at the ticket barriers or yet another train delay; as heat goes up, a refreshing, ice-cold Sprite drops. Helping people stay cool when they need it the most.  

The first-of-its-kind smart vending machine launched at London’s Kings Cross station on July 12, before being rolled out across Europe this Summer, popping up in locations where Gen Z get most heated.  

“This research sheds light on the unusual and often really specific things that get Gen Z feeling heated. And how much of those are linked to the commute,” said Kiran Ranmal, European creative marketing manager at The Coca-Cola Company. “There’s no denying that train stations and commuting, especially in the heat of the summer, get people hot under the collar. We all have our own commuting icks, but we hope that the Sprite smart vending machine will bring some fun to the daily grind, keeping commuters cool when their journey isn’t going their way.” 


1. Stepping in dog poo

2. People who cough without covering their mouth

3. Queue jumpers

4. Not getting a ‘thanks’ after holding the door open for someone

5. People who chew loudly

6. People who talk loudly all the way through a film

7. Rude waiting staff

8. Kids running around restaurants

9. Having someones’ sweaty armpit in your face on a crowded train or bus

10.  Parents who don’t tell their kids to be quiet

11.  People walking slowly on the pavement

12.  Crowded buses or tubes with sweaty passengers

13.  Smashing your phone screen

14.  People putting their feet on the seats on the train

15.  Train cancellations

16.  People walking while looking at their phone

17.  Playing music without headphones in a public space

18.  Train delays

19.  Partner snoring loudly

20.  Pointless meetings

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

  • Duncan MacRae

    Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

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Tags: customers, emotion, Gen Z


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