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What’s A Snack and What’s A Treat – What’s the Big Deal

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By , May 31, 2016 1:22 pm


The Washington Post recently published an article detailing the difference between a snack and a treat. Snacks were considered more nutritious, such as thnuts, fruit, vegetables, etc. Most cookies, chocolate, candy, etc. were called treats, not snacks. The article broke the snacks down further into nutritious and “Healthy-ish convenient snacks.” This last category included chips, crackers, crisps, granola bars and many prepackaged snack items found in the vending and micro market channel.

Editor’s note: With health and wellness becoming such as a concern, operators might have to reevaluate how they categorize products, both in ordering from suppliers and in selling to customers.


 Operators and the Vending Industry need to begin today knowing the difference between snacks and treats.  Even though we have called it one or the other doesn’t mean its what the customers refers to.

When you hear the word “snack,” do images of cookies and potato chips come to mind?

Those are treats, not snacks.

Most Americans snack every single day, and these between-meal choices make up a quarter of our daily calories. That’s a pretty big chunk of the diet, so it makes sense to choose snacks that boost wellness, rather than treats that simply add calories, sugar and salt.

Now, we’re not doing too badly. Nutritious options such as fruit, peanut butter and vegetables are among the top 10 most-consumed snacks. But chips and chocolate still take first and second place.


Treats (limit these): When nutritionists recommend between-meal snacks, we’re not talking about chips and cookies washed down with soda. Small quantities of treats can be part of a healthy diet, but they should not be confused with nourishing snacks.

Chocolate bars, chips, ice cream, cookies and candy are obvious treats. Soda and sugary coffee drinks account for half of our daily snack calories, so those count as treats, too.

Sometimes it’s harder to tell, so just remember this:


Chips with a dusting of spinach and carrot powder are not vegetables.

Muffins are cupcakes without icing.

Fruit-flavored candies like Skittles and gummy bears don’t count as fruit.

And those chocolate-dipped granola bars and antioxidant-rich chocolate-covered blueberries? Those are candy.

Registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom is president of Words to Eat By, a nutrition communications company specializing in writing, nutrition education and recipe development. She is the co-author of “Nourish: Whole Food Recipes featuring Seeds, Nuts and Beans.”



ParLevel VMS Systems Help Vending Operators Succeed

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By , May 30, 2016 3:15 pm

ParLevel Systems is helping our vending industry and our businesses become more efficient and profitable.  Check out how ParLevel Systems can manage your vending business to help make your job easier and to grow your vending business.

Check their website out for more details:  https://www.parlevelsystems.com

Vending Management Systems (VMS) can help vending operators run their businesses more efficiently by giving them increased insight and control over their operations. But just how much can a VMS really help your vending business? 



Carts Blanche offers a new platform to take vending to the masses “VendaCarts” mobile automated retail stores rolls vending into new locations.

Once on site the sides open exposing from 6 to 10 profit centers.  With new technology it takes the guess work out of ordering and scheduling.


Mintel 3 Part Report – Comfort Food “Salty Snacks”

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By , May 30, 2016 2:39 pm

U.S. Consumers Turning to Salty Snacks for Comfort

Mintel: Meat snack sales growing the fastest.

May 16, 2016, 02:58 pm


CHICAGO — Just like 50 is the new 40, salty snacks are the new comfort food.

Three in five consumers (62 percent) are eating salty snacks as a stress reliever, compared to 16 percent of American snackers who attributed stress as a reason for snacking one year ago, according to new research from Mintel.

In addition, 30 percent of consumers eat salty snacks when they are bored, with half agreeing that salty snacking is a good way to relieve boredom. In 2015, the firm’s research showed that a quarter of consumers (25 percent) snacked because they were bored.

The portability of salty snacks allows consumers to alleviate their stress on the go, as Mintel pointed out. One-third of salty snackers are eating them away from home and 26 percent are eating them at work.

Parents are among the most likely salty snack consumers. Specifically, 41 percent choose the snack offering while on the go, 36 percent while at work and 34 percent throughout the day. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to agree that snacking is a stress reliever. Roughly one-third of parents are indulging in the same salty snacks as their children.

Moreover, parents are significantly more likely to agree that it’s healthier to snack throughout the day than eat regular meals, 58 percent compared to 21 percent of non-parents.

“Consumption of salty snacks is largely driven by emotion, including stress and boredom. Consumers are looking for ways to manage their wellbeing, and the impact of food on emotional and mental health is becoming more important. Our research reveals this is especially true among parents, with the majority agreeing that salty snacks relieve stress,” said Amanda Topper, senior food analyst at Mintel.

“Not only do parents’ hectic lifestyles force them to snack while on the go, but the majority who buy salty snacks agree that snacking throughout the day is a healthy alternative to regular meals. Brands that highlight health and wellness benefits can appeal to parents that are often buying snacks that can be consumed by themselves and their children,” she added.


Happy Memorial Day

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By , May 25, 2016 3:49 pm


Enjoy a safe Memorial

         Day Weekend and Remember

  Those that Gave their Life for Our Freedom

    Carts Blanche, LLC – Home of VendaCarts


Who Are Potential Vending Customers For VendaCarts?

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By , May 25, 2016 1:12 pm



  • Entrepreneurs who are looking for a lucrative part time or full time small business will find our new and exciting mobile automated retail store a great opportunity for specialty events, construction sites and manufacturing locations. NO FRANCHISE FEES
  • Veterans 4 Vending“Veterans 4 Vending” a division of Carts Blanche, LLC is calling all veterans to view our VendaCarts Mobile Automated Retail Stores – A Revolutionary Business Opportunity! We are committed to investing in and delivering a platform of support to enable veterans to become successful business owners. Carts Blanche’s “Veterans 4 Vending” mentoring program is a business solution that gives the customer a clear understanding of the operations of the VendaCarts mobile automated business. Consultants work with customers providing tools for success, from planning to business launch. . The mentoring program is “FREE” and is offered prior to any commitment of purchase. The program focuses on three key areas: Business Operations, Equipment Acquisition, Custom Design Options
  • Marketing/Promotional Companies and Corporations who are looking for the latest concept for the marketing and promotion of products can engage audiences with new interactive robotic machines. VendaPromotions is the latest solution for experiential marketing and branding campaigns. Utilize the VendaCarts vehicle in their marketing and branding promotions campaign for new product launches and media exposure in non-traditional locations.
  • Construction Companies can add VendaWorks to their locations for the catering of workers. Automated machines deliver food and beverage products faster than traditional catering food trucks. The vending machines can also vend tools, supplies and equipment need at jobsites.
  • Vending Machine Operators can expand their existing routes through work site installations at building/construction sites and shut downs with our small businesses. NO FRANCHISE FEES
  • “BABY BOOMERS” – Active Retirees interested in making a living while traveling to specialty events of interest will enjoy the ease of operating our kiosks and the profits earned. The vending machines are easy to fill and require little time.
  • Commercial food service providers looking to broaden industry demographics by creating satellite venues on university campuses, sport/ entertainment facilities, parks/ resorts. VendaCarts offers on-the-go service to their customers.
  • Catering companies who supply food in the hospitality industry, job sites and outdoor events can now offer a wider selection of foods and beverages by using our mobile food catering kiosk.


Contact (215) 786-5852  or Via Email   info@cartsblanche.com

Vending Industry Challenge for More Profits – The Bottom Line on Dual vs. Single

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By , May 25, 2016 10:24 am

Vending industry challenge is for more profits, and to capture additional sales is possible by optimizing your vending machine through shelf configuration.

www.hersheysvending.com sources:

Vending Industry Bottom Line – Single vs. Dual Small Spiral Shelf Machines

The Bottom Line on Dual vs. Single

Independent research from three different approaches all support the increased sales and profitability of dual small spiral shelf machines.

Dual small shelf machines provide:

  • Increased product and category variety.
  • Increased unit and dollar sales.
  • Increased vend operator profit.

Maximize profits – Allocate space NOT spirals

Small spiral shelves offer a big advantage Extensive Machine Conversion Testing with end operators determine that a dual small spiral shelf configuration produces significantly higher dollar and unit sale.  Small spiral products generate 45% snack  sales.  Dual small spiral shelf represents only on third of the snack machine, the space yet produces nearly half of all spiral machine sale. Replacing a small spiral with larger spiral shelf will  increase small item sale by approximately 14%.

The small spiral footprint allow for twice as many products – presenting greater results in increased consumer demand and profits.  images

Converting to a dual small spiral shelf configuration

from a single can generate more than 6% gain in

total machine dollar sales


Vending Operators Research Studies by The Hershey Company

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By , May 25, 2016 9:20 am


Vending Operators check out this  great site from The Hershey Company on vending product, sales, profit.



Candy/Snack Product Profit Analysis

The Research Findings

Handling costs are substantially lower for small sprial product

Small spirals deliver more profit than large spirals

True profit – Considering machine space required.

Small spiral products have a 2-for-1 footprint versus large spiral products. Operators must consider the profit contribution of two small products against each individual large spiral product when comparing profit levels.

Products must deliver profit based upon machine shelf space used

A full-sized glass front merchandiser actually has 65 product positions – 60 potential small spirals (10 per shelf, 6 shelves) and 5 gum and mint positions. Considering only the 60 spiral product opportunities:

  • Small spiral products require only one product “position,” or 1.67% of the machine
  • Large spiral products require two product “positions,” or 3.33% of the machine

Every snack product must deliver total profit based upon the percentage of the machine space it requires. Due to their double space requirement, large spiral products must generate twice the profit of small spiral products to optimize machine profits.

Source: Vend operator/ Candy/Snack Category Profit Analysis, Bachtelle and Associates, Spring, 1998.

Packaged Facts Report Single-Cup Brew A Vending Operators Dream

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By , May 24, 2016 11:14 am

Screen shot 2013-06-29 at 8.20.53 PM



Vending Operators can stay on top of what is hot and what is not “Coffee is Hot”.  Packaged Facts offer the latest news to help you decide which product to offer.



Single-Cup Brew Beverage Products in the U.S.: Coffee Pods and Beyond, 2nd Edition

Packaged Facts forecasts the market for single-cup coffee to reach $4.37 billion in 2015, up 18.4% from 2014. For 2015, we expect the broader single-cup beverage market, including coffee, tea and other beverages, to generate sales of roughly $4.6 billion. As detailed in Single-Cup Brewed Beverages, we see a market undergoing major transition related to the migration of licensed branded single cup coffee onto the Keurig 2.0 platform, a broader influx of brands into the single-cup space, an increasing gap in pricing between branded and private label portion packs and Keurig’s push into the private label space, and the emergence of new brewers—coffee and otherwise—keen to compete against the Keurig platform.

imagesConsumers will benefit from exploding single-cup coffee variety, ranging from super-premium to value-oriented; a wider array of less expensive portion packs from which to choose, and the ability to purchase single-cup brews priced under $100. We believe tea and cold beverage innovations will add at least incremental sales to single-cup beverages. Down the road, we envision cold beverage platforms broadening the market for single-cups beverages to teenagers and children, providing a plethora of new potential drinking occasions.

Single-Cup Brew Beverage Products in the U.S.: Coffee Pods and Beyond, 2nd Edition analyzes industry and consumer trends shaping the U.S. market for single-cup beverages. In particular, the report:

  • Trends retail single-cup coffee sales estimates through 2018, sizes single-cup tea sales for 2015, provides private label versus branded sales comparisons, trends single-cup system and office brewer placements, and estimates unlicensed K-Cup marketer share.
  • Analyzes leading single-cup coffee marketers and brands, as well as top-growing and up-and-coming single-cup coffee brands. We include detailed analyses for Keurig Green Mountain (including non-coffee), Starbucks, J.M. Smucker and Kraft Foods.
  • Analyzes the cost per pound of single-cup format versus other packaged coffee formats, the impact of private label growth and pricing on the single-cup space, related margin and pricing analysis.
  • Presents custom market growth hypotheticals that frame growth potential related to 1) increases in brewer placements among a wider swath of household income brackets; 2) forecasting usage uptake among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups by population (including brand and product opportunity analysis); and 3) coffee category sales growth related to single-cup usage migration.
  • Presents opportunity analysis related to widening the scope of beverage types offered in single-cup formats; and emerging brewer types.
  • Trends coffee and tea flavors ripe for single-cup introductions; and identifies single-cup private label innovation.
  • Identifies single-cup packaging and branding introductions that target sustainability, brand partnerships, and maximizing flavor; and beverage trends beyond coffee.

Part 2 – Key Tips in Salty Snacks for Vending Operators

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By , May 24, 2016 8:44 am

Vending Operators can begin doubling up on salty snacks, check out the ingredients less is best.  Lots of healthy options in salty snacks are offered by manufacturers.  Especially popular are the many spicy flavors available.  Taste overrides price and calories, remember this is a guilty pleasure for your vending customers.

snacksWith 94 percent of Americans overall purchasing salty snacks, and 13 percent replacing meals with them, Mintel research found that 74 percent of consumers are interested in healthier salty-snacking options. Along these lines, another three in five agree that salty snacks have too many artificial ingredients, while four in five believe it’s important to be able to recognize the ingredients in salty snacks.

In addition, 58 percent of salty snack purchasers agree that it is important to buy salty snacks that contain only a few ingredients.

Healthier options aside, taste trumps all when choosing salty snacks. Notably, three in five consumers agree taste is more important than how healthy a salty snack is. In fact, a new flavor is the most influential purchasing factor for American salty snackers (cited by 38 percent), followed by spicy flavor (30 percent) and limited-edition/seasonal flavor (22 percent).

Taste is also a key purchase factor among consumers who view snacking as a guilty pleasure (69 percent) and indulge in salty snacking as a way to reward themselves (63 percent), Mintel noted.


30% Spicy/Hot Flavor in on the rise in most all FOODs  Spicy hot– This past year was filled with spicy sauces (Louisiana Hot Sauce, Sriracha, Ghost Peppers, etc.) used on everything from burgers to chicken sandwiches and wings to pizza and fries. The New Year will bring even more creativity to menu innovation, expanding into other unique sauces and ethnic cuisines. These sauces will also be used as additives or ingredients for in-home meals and snacks.

Vending Operators Promotional Sales and Marketing Tips

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By , May 20, 2016 9:46 am


These marketing and sale tips apply to you the vending operator.  Your vending machine is your best marketing device.

When you purchase a large quantity of snacks or at a promotional price from your source; offer these items as specials in your vending business.

When your per-unit profit goes down, the number of units you sell goes up exponentially. This is where those “wild profits” internet marketers talk about come in. Give your customers a bargain and they’ll line up to buy.

• Just as you do with your free incentives, put a time limit and post on your social media sites along with signage displayed.  Get the Word Out.

Whenever you run a sales promotion, put a time limit on your sale-and stick to it. Bump your price back up at the end of the time period. Then, when customers miss the sale, you can let them know you’ll offer it again soon. This will keep more people watching your social site for deals!

• Don’t undercut yourself by charging dirt-cheap rates. Even if you’ve built your entire marketing campaign on a shoestring, you are in business and deserve to be compensated for your time, if nothing else. If you’ve set your rates wisely from the beginning, you should be able to offer big discounts and not end up “scraping by.”

Consider investing a little more time in marketing your sale. IVS_Luna

Social Media Exposure is FREE

Come up with a catchy special name, use attractive signage on product and machines.  Utilize your digital signage.

Remember, sale items sell faster and in greater quantity than regular priced items, so be prepared.  Restock more,

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