Vending: Something for Everyone

Paul Partyka |

CHICAGO — If you attended the recent National Automatic Merchandising Association show, you are well aware that there are plenty of options when it comes to vending. Here are just some of the newest vending offerings:

  • Do you want to cater to your early-bird customers? The new Quaker Oatmeal on the Go machine provides hot oatmeal with up to two toppings per serving.
  • If your customer base tends to be health-conscious, one machine sells vegetables and fruits, including whole bananas. Sealed packaging slows down the ripening process.
  • A college clientele might favor a kiosk that buys and sells used video games. Sellers are likely to get between $6 and $8 for their games.
  • Looking for unusual snacks? Laundry owners can offer crispy fruit chips in mango, pineapple, apple, melon and banana varieties, and veggie chips in sweet potato, taro and pumpkin. One California company features lunch-sized bags of dried sweet corn, apple, roasted edamame and tropical blend and strawberry-banana combinations.

Even if you offer soft drinks, laundry owners will have a hard time matching up with Coca-Cola’s new interactive machines. These machines allow customers to purchase about 100 of its drink brands. They also feature 46-inch LCD touch screens, motion graphics and high-definition video.While some laundries have experimented with selling alcohol, some Pennsylvania businesses have taken things a step further. The state is showcasing the first vending machine for wine. All customers have to do is swipe their driver’s license, look into a surveillance camera and blow into a breath sensor.Upscale venders offer iPods, T-shirts and even baby formula.Is there an ultimate vender? Well … a hotel in Abu Dhabi vends gold. The Gold To Go machine sells 24-carat gold bars weighing 1, 5, and 10 grams as well as gold coins from various countries. Each comes in a gift box. If you spend a lot of time worrying about your changers, just think about the nightmares this machine would cause! 

About the author

Paul Partyka

American Coin-Op

Paul Partyka was editor of American Coin-Op from 1997 through May 2011.


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