Coke Study Sheds Light On Immediate Consumption Habits, Sales Drivers

The Coca-Cola Co. has released findings from its latest tracking study that analyzes immediate consumption for food and beverages in convenience retail. In the study, called "Individual Shopping Habits, Occasions and Perceptions," Coke said the main takeaways for convenience retailers, much of which applies to vending and micromarket operators, are:

Focus on solutions. The key to unleashing the power of the immediate consumption trip is providing quick and easy solutions that can be put together in minutes.

Make it mobile. Because the immediate consumption trip typically involves less planning, it can be enriched and enabled with proximity marketing and mobile offers that reach shoppers at retail.

Have a conversation. The immediate consumption “social shoppers” use brands as part of their personal identities far more often than other shoppers. So talk to them!

Expand your horizons. The opportunity to expand immediate consumption behavior is tremendous, particularly to fill-in trips where the motivation was not food or beverages. There is also opportunity within immediate consumption trips, particularly with food and still beverages.

AVT Featured On CNBC's 'Make Me a Millionaire Inventor' CNBC's "Make Me a Millionaire Inventor” featured AVT Inc. on Aug. 19. The vending company will appear again on the show's Aug. 26 episode, at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time.

The six-episode series is premised on a mission to find the "best inventions never made" and give them a new life. Engineers scoured the country looking for ideas that could make big money. They tracked down the inventors and gave them a second chance to bring their ideas and dreams to life. The inventors were given the resources and help they needed to take their products from concept to reality.

AVT was selected as the partner for two of the series' six episodes and its founder, Shannon Illingworth, appears on the program.

"People bring us their ideas, and we are uniquely capable of providing all of the components they need for success, including design, manufacturing, business planning, locations, marketing and communications," said AVT president Wayne Salvino.

Chicago Goes Healthy

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicagoans feeding dollars into park vending machines are buying granola bars and dried fruit instead of mini donuts and cheesy potato chips — and they’re not complaining, according to a study by Northwestern University researchers released today.

It found that nearly 90 percent of Chicago park-goers said they were satisfied with the food in the new healthy-options-only vending machines.

What’s more, they spoke with their wallets: The healthier snacks boosted average monthly per-machine sales from $84 to $371 in a little over a year across the Chicago Park District.

Blint Shakes Wins "Best New Machine of the Year" 

The Blint Shakes Automated Kiosk has won our "Best New Machine of the Year" Award. This machine, developed by Blint Shakes in Miami, Florida and built by AVT of Corona, California, is the first of its kind to dispense high quality protein shakes, freshly blended for each customer. The machine uses eye catching graphics and interesting extras to promote traffic and customer use.

According to Blint Shakes president, Oscar Perez, the system is perfect for schools, museums, health clubs and gyms, malls, hospitals, and anywhere that people gather that want a healthy, nutritious beverage or pick-me-up.

Blint Shakes is riding the wave of new vending machines designed to meet the needs of a more health-conscience society. With flavors that include "Rock Chocolate," "Banana Nuts," "Green Clock" and Vanilla Boom," the system has enough variety that customers will want to visit it on a regular basis. Blint Shakes is also working with youth groups to make the healthy drinks available to disadvantaged children. The company is also donating a percentage of each sale to various charities that support children and youth centers.
The machine is now in select markets, and the company is planning a national roll out in 2015. See Photo

Condom Vending in China Wants Your Age

 A condom vending machine in China dispenses free products with the swipe of an ID card. Those age 18-60 can receive a box free of charge. I guess the Chinese don't think that senior citizens are inclined to reproduce.

Starbucks Joins EU Vendors

Starbucks has joined the European Vending Association, following EVA's decision at last fall's annual meeting to extend membership to multinational coffee companies. "As a newer player in office coffee service, the EVA is sure that Starbucks can benefit from the vast experience and innovations of our existing members, as well as sharing their own expertise and ideas of the European coffee segment," EVA said. "Starbucks understands what makes a good quality cup of coffee, and what a customer desires. This knowledge will be valuable to the EVA members seeking to 'premiumize' their self-service coffee offerings." Starbucks entered Europe's vending and OCS market in 2013 when it teamed up with vending giant Selecta to install "vending cafés" in large offices throughout the continent. The European Vending Association represents the interests of the vending industry before European governments and regulatory bodies. Its members include national trade associations, along with European operators, manufacturers and suppliers.

Students Enjoy Healthier Vending Options

Ithaca College researchers Ithaca College have carried out an experiment on two campus vending machines in which they swapped out "unhealthy," high sugar, salt and fat snacks for healthier options and then

surveyed 200 students on their satisfaction and perceptions regarding the snacking options. No promotions or incentives were used to entice students to purchase the healthier options and the foods sold were not labeled as healthier.

Coca Cola to Remove Stevia from Vitaminwater

After complaints from consumers, Coco-Cola announced that it would remove Stevia from its Vitaminwater brand, and return the product to its original taste. 

Red Bull Agrees to Settlement

Red Bull has agreed to refund $13 million to U.S. customers to settle a class-action lawsuit over alleged misleading advertising practices. The energy drink maker denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay $10 in cash or $15 in Red Bull products to any consumer in the U.S. who bought a Red Bull product since Jan. 1, 2002.

NAMA Opposes Sugar Tax

NAMA affirmed its strong opposition to a bill introduced by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) this week in the U.S. House that would impose a national tax on sugar-sweetened beverages DeLauro’s bill, the Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax Act of 2014 or “SWEET ACT,” would levy a one-cent tax on manufacturers, producers and distributors for every teaspoon of sugar in most beverages.

Fresh Healthy Vending Reports Record Results

Fresh Healthy Vending International, Inc., a turnkey healthy vending company, recently announced that it secured 115 locations in July, for the intended placement of 121 healthy snack machines across the country. According to the company’s release, this marks the largest monthly total during 2014 and represents approximately $421,250 in anticipated revenue.

Green Mountain Fights Coffee Rust Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the InterAmerican Development Bank and Skoll Foundation announced support for the non-profit agricultural lender Root Capital’s Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative. The initiative is a collaborative venture designed to stabilize supply chains by investing in coffee farmers at the base of the value chain, who are on the front lines of battling the leaf rust epidemic in Latin America.
Farmer's Fridge Bursts on the Scene

Farmer's Fridge has begun offering a unique healthy vending concept in the Chicagoland area. The company makes its salads, sides and snacks from scratch each morning, using organic ingredients from local farms when possible. It packages them in recyclable plastic jars and delivers them to its machines by 10 a.m. The enterprise uses touchscreen venders wrapped in reclaimed barn wood.

The machines were developed by AVT and Luke Saunders, Farmer's Fridge's founder, who drew from his manufacturing background. Product images, nutrition data and ingredients are displayed in a large, easy-to-read format; patrons can purchase multiple items at once. Each machine contains a recycling bin for the empty plastic containers.

Say Hello to Burrito Box  In a new high for food distribution technology (and a new low for Mexican cuisine), the Burrito Box Company has debuted "the world's first automated burrito kiosk" -- located inside a Mobil gas station store in West Hollywood, California. The innovative machines are designed and built by AVT of Corona, California Like RedBox for DVD rentals, the Burrito Box has an interactivetouch-screen menu that lets you choose between five burrito flavors at $3 each (before tax). 

Once you've chosen between Chorizo Sausage, Roasted Potato, Uncured Bacon, Free-Range Chicken and Shredded Beef, it also allows you to add sour cream, tabasco sauce and guacamole for an extra fee. When the transaction is complete, sit back and enjoy a little music video as the machine warms your food. If you purchased extra condiments, they're dispensed in their own packaging alongside the burrito.

Rollasole Machine at Golden Globe Awards The Rollasole machine, a clever portable shoe dispenser, was featured at this year's Golden Globe Awards. The unique system dispenses pairs of the shoes, rolled up to fit in a purse, and includes a compact bag to carry home uncomfortable heels. They come in a variety of styles, sizes and colors from which patrons can select using an interactive touchscreen display. Engineers and designers at AVT worked with Rollasole to create a unique self-service system th
The Health and Family Planning Department in the north-central province of Zhengzhou is placing high-tech condom vending machines in pilot program. To receive a box of condoms, consumers need only swipe their identification cards. According to local reports, each scan of an ID card is good for a 10-ct. condom box. Those between ages 18 and 60 can receive one box a month free of charge. - See more at:
at would be fun, engaging, and entertaining for consumers. The first Rollasole machines were placed inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas in 2012, and they have been expanding ever since.
Subway vending machine offers beauty products that match riders' outfits The interactive kiosks can detect the colors in an outfit, and then recommend L'Oreal Paris products that she can buy on the spot. Glamour is coming to one of the least glamorous places in the world: the NYC subway system. Riders on the Bryant Park/Fifth Ave. station.on the No. 7 line in Manhattan will be able to get cosmetics tips — and.make purchases — at an interactive kiosk. The machine — named the “Intelligent Color Experience” — detects colors in the customer’s outfit and recommends L’Oreal Paris makeup products.
The kiosk will be in place for two months.



American Green Takes New Approach To Pot Vending 
​Following Operational Challenges
American Green Inc. said the marijuana vending machines it rolled out last year at several dispensaries have "not achieved a sustainable level of sales," so it has changed its service model to improve performance.

In 2009, Tempe, AZ-based American Green became one of the first publicly traded technology companies involved in the medical cannabis industry. Its Zazzz vending machine was developed to automate age-verified dispensing of cannabis-based medicines. It hit the market last year.

Due to regulation in the cannabis sector, the responsibilities of filling and maintaining Zazzz machines defaulted to the dispensary owners, rather than to American Green.

"Despite the company's best support efforts, a busy dispensary cannot devote the manpower required to configure and maintain the Zazz unit on an ongoing basis," American Green said in a statement.

The company said its new service model has American Green affiliated employees rather than dispensaries stocking machines with American Green-branded products available only when purchased from the Zazzz machine.

"Navigating the entire cannabis sector has been extremely challenging due to the amount of uncertainty that remains until the federal government makes the decision to support the industry and regulatory issues are better understood," said American Green's president Steph Shearin. "While this sorts itself out, challenges will be inevitable, and when they happen, it becomes necessary, from time to time, to take a couple steps back to find the best route forward."

Sales Dashboard And Summary Metrics Are New Features On PayRange's Vending App PayRange Inc.'s new smartphone app provide real-time sales information and summary metrics for vending operators. It's part of PayRange's consumer-facing mobile payment app that works with vending machines. Now, when the signed-in user is an operator, the app automatically activates an "operator mode” that prompts additional menu options, including a sales dashboard with charts and summary information.
The app can still be used in consumer mode to make purchases. The operator's information is downloaded from the PayRange server after sign-in, so only operators have access to their data. "When I was an operator, I always imagined it would be so nice if I could view the sales we did yesterday first thing in the morning as I got up, like most people check email," said PayRange founder and chief executive Paresh Patel, a former vending and amusement operator. "Now that dream is a reality."
Crane Merchandising Systems Announces Support For Android Pay Crane Merchandising Systems, a Crane Co. company, said it now supports Android Pay, which rolled out on Sept. 10.

CMS said the Crane Cashless solution supports a seamless payment experience for cash, credit cards and mobile payments, which now include Android phones. The addition of Android Pay provides another means for operators to attract consumers to their machines and accommodate their preferred form of payment, the manufacturer said.

"Vending operators with Crane Cashless and NFC-capable devices are ready to go with Android Pay both for their existing install base of machines with Crane Cashless and integrated cashless on new Media machines," said CMS president Alan Hollis. "This Android Pay announcement provides another great example of how our new technology can engage and educate consumers with over-the-air advertisements."

He said Crane Merchandising Systems has already deployed thousands of screen ads letting consumers know that Android Pay is rolling out.

Self Service

Opticwash a Hit at CES The Opticwash kiosk boasts the ability to cleanse and disinfect eyewear and jewelry in little more than a minute. The fully-automated system prompts users to place their dirtied and delicate items inside the kiosk and then runs a wash and dry cycle that the company saidremoves 99 percent of bacteria. Prototypes deployed to the general public last year have found particular popularity in airports and military bases.

New AVT Kiosk Gathers Data And Rewards Trade Show Participants

AVT said it has developed a data-collection kiosk that engages and rewards consumers. The Trade Show Smart System is reportedly available for rental in the trade show space.

The kiosk can replace several trade show functions simultaneously. Visitors can participate in a company's event by completing such activities as posting with a designated hashtag to social media, sharing a photo or donating to a charity.

After completing the tasks, the participant visits an "automated center" to receive a gift or swag bag. The center creates a contact database, eliminating the need to scan business cards. Participants can be contacted throughout the show and afterwards to encourage more activity, or simply for marketing purposes.

AVT said it is also rolling out the data collection technology in mainstream vending machines.

Chase and Walmart Launch Mobile Payment Apps Banking and retail giants JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are taking on Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay with their own mobile payment apps, Bloomberg reported. By launching its own app, Wal-Mart can avoid paying fees to accept credit cards in its stores and gain access to better data on customers' purchasing patterns. JPMorgan can also circumvent paying fees for mobile transactions made with Apple Pay, Android Pay and similar apps by pushing out its own mobile-payment services. Meanwhile Merchant Customer Exchange -- a consortium founded in August 2012 by merchants including Wal-Mart and Target Corp. -- is testing its CurrentC app with about 200 retailers in Columbus, OH. The service is not yet available nationwide.

N&W Global To Deploy 5,000 Intel-Powered Smart Vending Machines In 2016 
Italian manufacturer N&W Global Vending reportedly plans to deploy a fleet of "smart" vending machines across the United States in 2016. Intel executives, who confirmed the plan at the recent Intel Developer Forum here, reported that the machines will feature its technology.

The demo vending machine that Intel brought on-stage during the IDF keynote session had both a touchscreen that will work as an interactive billboard and a transparent screen integrated into the glass panel that protects snacks, Slashgear reported. | See Slashgear Story and Photo.

The machine enables transactions to be completed by tracking hand movement in front of the control panel, without the user making contact.

Intel’s RealSense cameras inside allow the machine to determine demographics about the user, including gender and age range, as soon as they step up to the machine. That information will be passed back to N&W's servers, providing better insight into purchase preferences and patterns by customer type.​

Fresh Healthy Vending Inks Deal To Franchise Frozen Yogurt Machine Fresh Healthy Vending said it signed a nonbinding deal with Robofusion for the exclusive franchise distribution rights for its Reis & Irvy's frozen yogurt vending machine in the United States and Canada.

The Fro-Style 9 Cube has a 12-sq.ft footprint, is fully automated and delivers up to 60 servings per hour of customized frozen yogurt. Customers can layer or blend up to three froyo flavors (of nine options) and choose from six toppings.

FHVI said it intends to develop a new franchise concept for the frozen yogurt kiosks. With its initial agreement with Robofusion in place, the company said it will begin preparing and negotiating a definitive license agreement. It intends to start marketing the new concept in spring 2016, with delivery of the first kiosks in the fall.
"We have already developed our corporate infrastructure and therefore, we believe that layering another concept on top of our core competencies will allow for us to spread those corporate costs over a larger base of revenues," said FHVI chairman and founder Nicholas Yates.

Chase and Walmart Launch Mobile Payment Apps Banking and retail giants JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are taking on Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay with their own mobile payment apps, Bloomberg reported. By launching its own app, Wal-Mart can avoid paying fees to accept credit cards in its stores and gain access to better data on customers' purchasing patterns. JPMorgan can also circumvent paying fees for mobile transactions made with Apple Pay, Android Pay and similar apps by pushing out its own mobile-payment services. Meanwhile Merchant Customer Exchange -- a consortium founded in August 2012 by merchants including Wal-Mart and Target Corp. -- is testing its CurrentC app with about 200 retailers in Columbus, OH. The service is not yet available nationwide.

AMS Plans January Production For MicroVend Countertop Machine

 Automated Merchandising Systems has announced that its brand-new MicroVend countertop vending machine will enter production at the beginning of next year. The little vender was previewed at several vending and office coffee service trade shows in the spring and fall.

Developed to meet customers' need for a compact countertop merchandising solution, the AMS MicroVend can accommodate a wide range of small, high-value items. These include single-serve coffee cartridges and pods, portion-packed creamers, premium hot drink condiments and energy-drink "shots," among many more items.

"MicroVend meets that need," said AMS president Sharon Shull. "It's perfect for offices, galleys, hotel lobbies and areas with limitations that simply don't have the floor space for a full-size vender. Our customers appreciate that it's compact, cost-effective, easily fits on a countertop and doesn't take up much room."

The MicroVend machine measures 22.25" W. x 25" D. x 40.5" H. It has six trays.

Like all AMS vending equipment, it incorporates state-of-the-art electronics, and many of its parts are interchangeable with most other AMS machines. It's covered by a three-year warranty on electronics and one-year warranty for all other parts (except the paint finish).

AMS is known for its reliable, low-maintenance venders featuring electronic control with DEX data capability.

Women's Payment Group Elects NAMA's Balakgie To Board

The Women's Network in Electronic Transactions, known as, announced that National Automatic Merchandising Association president and chief executive Carla Balakgie has been elected to its board of directors for 2016,

Balakgie became NAMA president and chief executive in December 2011. She served for more than eight years as chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Association before joining the vending association. The 15-member board will be led by incoming president Chris Lee of Moneris. Executive board officers include 2016 president-elect Gloria Colgan,; treasurer Theresa Gongora, TSYS; secretary Carol Grunberg, Google; and immediate past-president Linda Rossetti, Bluestone Payments LLC.

Also elected to the board are Jane Elliott, Global Payments; Diane Vogt-Faro, National Benefits Program; Joan Herbig, ControlScan; Christine Larsen, First Data Corp.; Linda Perry, Linda S. Perry Consulting; Deana Rich, Deana Rich Consulting, Inc.; Holli Targan, Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, P.C; Kelly Tufts, Discover Financial Services; and Mary Uslander, First Data Corp.