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AVT Predicts Automated Retailing will Experience Wider Consumer Acceptance

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By , December 29, 2015 12:01 pm

AVT Releases Predictions For The Vending Industry

“We believe that automated retailing is coming into a period of wider consumer acceptance,” Salvino said, “driven by the integration of new technologies, and fueled by the type of innovation that is so abundant at AVT.”http://www.vendingmarketwatch.com/news/12152644/avt-releases-predictions-for-the-vending-industry

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“We are fortunate to have some of the best thought-leaders in the vending industry on our team,” said Wayne Salvino, President of AVT, Inc. “We have compiled some of our predictions for 2016, and are sharing them with our colleagues, the media, and the general public.”

  1. FDA Compliance Will Force New Technology into the Market. We believe new FDA rules regarding displaying nutritional information on vending systems will have the net effect of improving the industry as a whole. By forcing operators to adopt new technologies, the consumer experience will be enhanced, and the vending experience will continue to improve.
  2. Smart Systems will Capture and Utilize Marketing Data to Improve Sales. New automated retailing systems will be outfitted with technology that will capture consumer demographic information, and will harness that data to improve sales, deliver targeted messaging, and provide operators with valuable insight.
  3. Social Media will Become Integrated into Self-Service Systems. Already in use by a few early adopters and forward-thinking companies, social media will be integrated into automated dispensing systems for a variety of applications, including employee and customer engagement,
    1. dispensing systems for a variety of applications, including employee and customer engagement, brand evangelization, goal/reward activities, and expansion of marketing campaigns.

     

Comparing the Vending Business to the Snack Box Business

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By , December 22, 2015 11:26 am

www.vending-business-information.com/Vending_Business_Information-backissues.html

Comparing The Vending Business To The Snack Box Business

The vending business and snack box businesses are similar in many ways but they are also different in many ways. Today we will examine the two businesses.

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Account Size

When you are looking at the size of the accounts the two businesses service there are big differences. A full line vendor (a company that uses machines to sell coffee, snacks, cold food, and soda) normally will not take an account that doesn’t have at least 50 employees that are in the location of the machines for 8 hours a day.

A snack box company will normally place a box in a business that may only have one person working there on a full time basis. One employee can eat enough product to make a nice account. To be fair a lot of snack box companies are looking for locations that have 3 or more full time employees or have a good walk in business.

Commission Versus Honesty

In the vending business most companies of any size will ask for a commission off the sales you receive from the sales at their location. Usually the larger they are the larger the percent they will ask for. It is not uncommon for a good vending account to receive between 10% to 25% of your gross sales.

I’m asked on a regular basis from people just starting out in the snack box business if they should offer a commission to their accounts. The answer I always give is no. A company in the snack box business will not get paid for every item that moves through the box so they consider that the items that are not paid for are like a commission the vendor is paying.

Frequency Of Service Days

A good vending account will need to be serviced at least once per week and that is if they don’t have a cold food machine. Most accounts will need to be serviced 2 times a week even if they are a smaller account. Larger accounts will get serviced once per day if you want to hold onto them.

A good snack box operator will normally see each of their accounts every 12 working days. This was the service cycle I used until I retired. If I had an account that needed service more often (which were few) I would try to put them on two routes or I would leave more than one box at their location.

Stale Product

No matter how large or how small a vending account may be there will be stale items. In general the vending accounts want a good variety for their employees and with vending machines you have several slots to fill in each of your machines. Cold food is always the machine that you will get the most stale items out of. Most vendors will not put a cold food machine in an account unless they can figure on getting the snack, coffee and soda business. The reason for this is most cold food machines do not make money, they are normally no better than a break even proposition.

The snack box company will have stale items to contend with, also the items in a snack box that are normal items to go stale are chips and crackers. Most of the other items that are handled in a snack box have good long codes and by rotating the boxes from one account to another it helps to hold down on stale items. Snack box customers are normally not as hard to get along with as they know they are not a large source of income and it takes many more accounts to make a route.

Number Of Customers Needed To Make A Route

If you are a vending company with only one employee (yourself) one sizeable account can make all the work you can handle. Many times an account with 700 or more employees will work weekends and you will be expected to take care of their employees on the weekend.

If you have 6 snack box routes and see your customers every 12th working day you will need 360 customers to make a route. One day you are running the route and the next day you are counting and refilling the boxes getting ready to take them back out the next business day. The weekends for a snack box operator are free from running a route.

I just had a run of boxes made. Prices have been creeping up and I’m going to be forced into raising my prices on the boxes. If you are thinking of purchasing more snack boxes in the near future I would suggest you go ahead and do it by December 20th.

Wishing you success!

Dennis


 

Gold To Go – THE GOLD ATM Vending Machine

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By , December 14, 2015 3:26 pm

GOLD TO GO – THE GOLD ATM VENDING MACHINE

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Thomas Geissler, CEO of Ex Oriente Lux and inventor of the Gold To Go vending machines, says the majority of buyers will be walk-ups enamored by the novelty. But he says they’re also convenient for more serious investors looking to bypass the hassle of buying gold at pawn shops and over the Internet.

 “Instead of buying flowers or chocolates, which is gone after two or three minutes, this will stay for the next few hundreds years,” Geissler told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

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McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Is Luring in Customers

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By , December 14, 2015 2:00 pm

http://www.wsj.com/article_email/mcdonalds-all-day-breakfast-is-luring-in-customers-study-finds-1449609778-lMyQjAxMTA1ODA5OTQwMDk5Wj/

McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Is Luring in Customers

One-third of customers who bought breakfast at McDonald’s beyond the traditional breakfast hours hadn’t visited McDonald’s at all in the month before the company’s all-day breakfast launch in early October. “That’s pretty significant,” said NPD restaurant analyst Bonnie Riggs, who conducted the study by analyzing a database containing receipts from more than 27,000 survey participants in the month before and after the launch.

McDonald’s launched all-day breakfast on Oct. 6 in response to consumer demand for breakfast items beyond the usual 10:30 a.m. cutoff. It marked the biggest strategic move the company made since it rolled out McCafe specialty coffee drinks nationwide in 2009. It was also one of the biggest initiatives made under Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, who took over on March 1.

The broader availability of breakfast items also might help McDonald’s lunch business, which has been a slow-growing meal time for the chain, the NPD study found.

 Egg McMuffin for lunch? McDonald’s is betting that serving breakfast past 10:30 AM can turn around its recent sales decline. WSJ’s Julie Jargon joins Lunch Break With Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty

Most customers who ordered breakfast items did so during lunch, which is contributing to higher overall spending. Among consumers purchasing breakfast foods at McDonald’s during lunch hours, 61% of their receipts also included non-breakfast items. “Because of these non-breakfast food add-ons, McDonald’s total check among all day breakfast users grew versus checks during the prelaunch period,” the study states.

The study is based on spending information from thousands of people who voluntarily submit to NPD all receipts of everything they have spent at food and other retailers each month, which is how the firm was able to figure out how many of those people bought something from a McDonald’s before and after the breakfast launch.

Coffee Lovers Rejoice – Something New is on the Horizon “Geisha or Gesha”

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By , December 14, 2015 10:48 am

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I was so excited to hear about this rare coffee, one I am positive we won’t be seeing in vending machines.  But a gal can hope, that in my lifetime I will be able to taste this liquid gold.

“Geisha” or “Gesha” is a rare Ethiopia-derived botanical variety of coffee that boasts elongated beans and a distinctive floral and chocolate cup. Coffee Review described the coffee, which earned 97 points (out of a possible 100) as “Immense, sweet, juicy, intricate. Lilac and jasmine, peach, apricot, rosehip, much more in aroma and cup.” The coffee beans, which were priced at $120 per pound, sold out long ago.

Panama Geisha is grown in the highlands of the Boquete region in the Chiriqui Province of western Panama. The particular coffee that won these awards was Esmerelda Special grown by the farm Hacienda La Esmerelda where elevations are from 1,450 to 1,700 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mt. Maru.

Distinguishing Characteristics of Panama Geisha Coffee

Geisha coffee plants are known for their elongated fruits, or coffee cherry, and the Geisha coffee is distinguished for its light body with honey and citrus flavors that provide an outstanding taste profile and cup character.

Geisha coffee exhibits a subdued yet intense floral and jasmine-like aroma and a distinct though delicate acidity, balanced and bright with shimmers of white wine and notes of berries, mango, papaya, and mandarin oranges. The long aftertaste/finish provides distinct bergamot-like notes.

Nicevend’s Launches Quinzee Automated Frozen Drink Vending Machine

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By , December 11, 2015 12:28 pm

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http://www.nicevend.com/quinzee/introduction/

The quinzee™ is the world’s first fully automatic vending machine for frozen drinks.

quinzee’s unique concept offer beverage brands to get frozen and present their same known product, in a frozen textured concept, everywhere!

 

The opportunity

Any instant powder or syrup can be transformed into a frozen textured drink serving in repeatable, automatic ~50 seconds cycle, enabling a whole new world of innovation for food&beverage brands that can now be served frozen!

Fruit juices, iced tea, coffee, sodas, yogurts, energy, protein, ice cream and many other brands that used to be sold as a liquid beverage, could now get frozen and open a new segment of consumption, brand innovation, awareness and uniqueness .

 

Frozen drinks on-the-go

With the quinzee, brands already offering frozen drinks in-house can now reach their customers and new audiences outdoor. quinzee-machine-2-211x300The quinzee can be placed at airports, schools, universities and other outdoor locations, enabling an enhanced sales interaction and an easier way to connect with your customers.

A serving preparation process takes about 50 seconds and includes an automatic dispensing of a branded cup and a straw followed by the frozen drink’s chosen flavor, after which the machine is immediately ready for next drink’s flavor order. An automatic cleaning cycle is integrated as well.

The quinzee offers a selection of 8 frozen flavors made instantly form a verity of 4 syrup packs and 4 powder canisters.

Washington Butcher Launches Owens Meats Vending Machine

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By , December 11, 2015 12:11 pm

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Butcher-Launches-Vending-Machines-Packed-With-Meat-352411571.html

CLE ELUM, Wash. — On the main street in the heart of Cle Elum, there’s a candy store for the carnivore. That’s how the owners of Owens Meats describe their butcher shop that’s remained in the family for more than a hundred years.

Identical twins Doug and Don Owens knew one day the shop, that started with their great grandpa in 1887, would one day be theirs. Doug said he always knew he was going to be a butcher and that’s why he didn’t apply himself as much as he should have in school.

The meat shop struggled during the depression in the 1930’s and the recession of the 1980’s but business 151120_meat_vending_lghas exploded in recent years. Some days they total 600 customers looking for T-Bone steaks, pork chops, spicy pepperoni, and landjaegers. That’s good for business but rough on personal schedules.

“When I come in here after hours to get a steak for myself, I have to sneak in through the back door and I have to kind of hide behind the counter,” said Doug Owens. He said he’d be serving customers, who peer through the windows after hours, all night if he left a light on.

This summer he had a brainstorm to satisfy meat lovers who were craving their products but found the shop closed. “While I was hiding behind the counter it just kind of hit me that we need a vending machine out front,” said Owens.

The twins installed their first Owens Meats Machine at a bookstore in Ellensburg and the second one is right in front of their Cle Elum shop. Customers say they’ve never seen anything like it. “I thought it was movies or candies, I can’t believe that it was beef jerky,” said Jane Hongladarom of Seattle.
The brothers have big dreams for their machines. “We’ve got 10 machines now that are gonna be around the state within the next week. Within months or next year, hoping to have 100 to 200 to 300 machines,’ said Doug.
The vending machines loaded with pepperoni by the yard and summer sausage is already bringing home the bacon. On a good night, Owens said it pulled in $300.

Vending Operators Offer Customer Loyalty Programs

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By , December 7, 2015 10:18 am

As a vending operator, do you have a customer loyalty program?  There are ways to offer a program, do your homework first.  It’s a great way to build your customer base for social media.

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We know how it is. You’ve launched your customer loyalty program and watched it go through ups and downs and now you’re at a crossroads. Where do you go from here? There are many paths you can take to overcome poor results and engage members. The good news is that the potential is there, waiting to be tapped. By auditing your loyalty program, you can fortify your value proposition, build loyalty, differentiate yourself from the competition while increasing customer share, and improving bottom line results. Reviewing the tips below can be your first stop on a new route to success.

Grow Enrollment

  • Only require and gather customer information that you plan on using.
  • One easy way to entice more customers to join your program is offer them an incentive at enrollment.
  • Don’t just focus on adding members. To get results, you need member participation. Create a customer development process to engage and grow the value of new members.

Educate and Reward Employees

  • Make it easy for your staff to talk about the benefits of the loyalty program by giving them a script.
  • Make sure your employees know the benefits of your loyalty program and that they don’t keep it a secret.
  • Enrollment in your loyalty program lagging? Create an employee contest to see who can enroll the most new customers.
  • Participation and enrollment lagging. Secret shop your loyalty program to see if there are training issues.
  • Consider implementing a minimum loyalty program enrollment requirement for employees and make it a component of their employee evaluation.
  • Create an Internal Communications plan so all stakeholders and employees knows how why the program is important.

 Upgrade Value Proposition

  • Have you diluted your value proposition so that your customers don’t feel valued? Customers will carry your loyalty card if your customers see value in the program and if they are engaged in your brand. Maybe its time to revaluate how you reward and grow your best customers.
  • You need a mix of hard and soft benefits. Hard benefits reinforce value and soft benefits build emotional connection.
  • Enhance your loyalty program by tailoring soft benefits to resonate with key growth and retention customer segments.
  • Tier your loyalty program so customers a reason to give you a greater share of wallet and loyalty.
  • Clarify the customers’ wants and needs. Research customers’ impressions of the current loyalty program, how it impacts their shopping behavior and which benefits drive behavior.
  • Deepen customer engagement by giving customers more to love through evaluation and prioritization of your unique value proposition.

Communicate

  • Include social networks in your customer communications plan. Loyal customers are your best advocates.
  • It’s essential to equip your employees with current customer data. Share customer insights across the organization and include a dashboard of results at the program, customer and employee level.
  • Develop customer-segment driven communications to retain and grow customer lifetime value.
  • Listen to social chatter. Conduct searches on social sites to see what your customers are saying and how they really feel about your loyalty program.
  • Synchronize messages to grow share of customer purchase through relevant cross-sell; upsell meeting more of the customer’s needs.

Customer Insight Group helps you update your loyalty program so you can leave competition behind.

Need help mapping your way to improved ROI? Call Customer Insight Group today at 303.422.9758 to learn how we can help enhance your program to boost customer relevance,

Check Out Customer Insight Group      http://www.customerinsightgroup.com/loyaltyblog/overcome-poor-loyalty-program-performance

Are you offering gluten-free products in your vending business?

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By , December 7, 2015 8:18 am

Mintel research uncovers how customers really feel about gluten-free diets and products.glutenfreerecipe

Despite skepticism of gluten-free diets, Americans are consuming gluten-free foods more than ever before.
New research from Mintel reveals that nearly half (47%) of consumers agree that gluten-free diets are a fad, compared to 31% in 2013. What’s more, one quarter (25%) of consumers report that they consume gluten-free foods, a 67% increase from 2013.

A testament to innovation in the category, Mintel research shows that some 90% of gluten-free food consumers are satisfied with available gluten-free food options, and 35% agree that the quality of gluten-free foods is higher than before. So much so that some Americans are willing to pay a premium for gluten-free options, including 26% of consumers who agree that gluten-free foods are worth their added cost.

When looking at the reasons why consumers gravitate toward gluten-free foods – aside from a gluten intolerance or sensitivity—Mintel research shows that consumers perceive foods with any free-from claim to be both healthier and less processed. Likewise, growth of gluten-free foods is driven by health concerns, with 37% of consumers reporting that they eat gluten-free foods because it’s better for their overall health and 16% doing so because “gluten is bad for you.” Another 11% of consumers eat gluten-free foods because a healthcare professional suggested they eliminate gluten from their diet.

Despite linking gluten-free foods to health, consumers who eat these foods for weight loss dropped from 25% to 19% 2014-2015, suggesting that consumers are more likely to view gluten-free products as a contributing factor to their overall well-being than simply as a weight loss tool. This is evidenced by the 23% of consumers who report that they only incorporate gluten-free foods into their diet some of the time.

Skeptical attitudes toward gluten-free diets have done nothing to hinder sales of gluten-free foods, as the category has experienced growth of 136% from 2013-2015, reaching estimated sales of $11.6 billion in 2015.

With over one quarter (27%) of gluten-free food consumers looking for gluten-free labels on food packaging, gluten-free food sales exploded from 2.8% of total food sales in 2013 to 6.5% in 2015.

mintelHowever, trust in gluten-free product claims has slightly decreased, with 45% of consumers trusting that products bearing a gluten-free claim are actually gluten-free, down from 48% in 2014. Another 45% of consumers agree manufacturers should not label products as gluten-free if they never contained gluten in the first place.

“While some consumers view the gluten-free diet as a fad and are looking for improved nutrition and ingredients in gluten-free foods, consumption continues to trend upward. Large and small manufacturers are entering the gluten-free category, increasing the availability, quality and variety of gluten-free foods while Americans display interest in incorporating these foods into their diet,” said Amanda Topper, senior food analyst at Mintel. “However, since trust toward manufacturers’ labeling of gluten-free foods has slightly waned, they should consider providing messaging about the steps taken to ensure their products are gluten-free to reassure consumers. Americans have come to expect brands and products to be transparent and trust that the items they purchase are as advertised.”

http://www.cstoredecisions.com/2015/12/04/how-customers-view-gluten-free-foods

Carts Blanche, LLC (@VendaCarts) | Twitter

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By , December 2, 2015 8:20 am

The latest Tweets from Carts Blanche, LLC (@VendaCarts). VendaCarts wheels vending machines into the future for new marketing promotional and business opportunities increasing retail, sales & profits. Mobile, Alabama USA

Source: Carts Blanche, LLC (@VendaCarts) | Twitter

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