Four Square: Raising performance in beverage delivery

The production of authentic, coffee shop quality cappuccino milk foam has long eluded drinks vending machine manufacturers. Our work for Four Square, a division of Mars UK, solved the problem and is now incorporated into Four Square’s Flavia S350 system.


Four Square, a division of Mars UK Ltd, manufactures a highly successful range of drinks vending machines, including the Klix® and Flavia® hot drinks systems; Four Square approached Sagentia to see if we could improve the performance of both machines.

In the Flavia S350 system, Four Square wanted to meet demand for a machine which could make genuine cappuccino and milky froth-based drinks. Success depended on producing a head of dry foam in as short a time as possible. Competitor systems made a wet, soft foam, which lacked authenticity and which could not be sculpted onto the coffee. We were asked to develop a new milk system for the Flavia machine, and to do this we had to rethink the traditional ‘live steam’ milk heating process.

The result is a system which produces first-class foam from a sachet of dried milk, without the use of additives. This perfect head of firm, dry foam is created within 20 seconds, producing a coffee shop quality cappuccino. Launched under the global slogan ‘The Café of ChoiceTM’, the S350 now incorporates the process that we developed and has since sold very well around the world.

We then went on to devise a safe potable water system for Klix vending machines. This was no easy task, as vending machines are designed to operate with minimal attention – only restocking with consumables and routine maintenance – whereas conventional water purification and vending systems require regular skilled intervention. Taking advantage of the Klix machine’s inherent design, we decided to take water from a variety of sources to produce a drink which is guaranteed free of micro-organisms. Our system is robust, safe and requires almost no maintenance – a first for the pure water industry.

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