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Vol. 50, No. 3, March 2010

Vending Features
Arkansas Puts Finishing Touches On April 1-2 Hot Springs Confab
Emily Jed
The Arkansas Vending Council will bring industry members together for an update on legislative and regulatory developments at its upcoming annual membership meeting and convention. The event also will afford participants ample opportunity for networking and family recreation. It will be held April 1-2 at the Clarion Resort on the Lake in Hot Springs...

Beverage Giants To Post Calories On Package Fronts, Vending Machines And Fountains
Emily Jed
Answering Michelle Obama's call for support of her "Let's Move" program to combat childhood obesity, the American Beverage Association reported that its members are committed to making calorie information more consumer-friendly by putting it on the front of all their packages, vending machines and fountain dispensers. The voluntary commitment contributes to the first lady's efforts to help families make informed choices as part of a balanced lifestyle...

Buffalo Rock Plans To Deploy MEI Cash Recyclers After 9-Month Test
Tim Sanford
Buffalo Rock Co. (Birmingham, AL) will begin installing MEI's CashFlow VNR bill recycler in about half of its 50,000 vending machines in the southeastern United States, according to MEI. The full-line vending operator and Pepsi-Cola bottler tested more than 20 recyclers, which can return banknotes as change, and recorded sales lifts of 15% to75%...

Coke To Buy Largest Bottler's North American Business
Emily Jed
Coca-Cola Co. agreed last week to buy the bulk of its largest bottler, Coca- Cola Enterprises Inc., in a deal valued at $12.17 billion, including debt. The announcement came on the heels of PepsiCo closing its $7.8 billion purchase of its largest bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. PBG (see story above)...

Colo. Ends Sales Tax Exemptions For Soft Drinks And Confections
Tim Sanford
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr. has signed nine bills that eliminate or suspend the state's tax exemptions and credits. One of them, HB1191, imposes the state's 2.9% sales tax on candy and soft drinks. These previously had been tax-free, as is all food purchased for home consumption. This measure takes effect on May 1...

Cost Cuts Boost Kraft's Fourth Quarter Profits
Emily Jed
Kraft Foods Inc. reported that its 2009 fourth-quarter net income more than tripled to $710 million compared with $178 million for the same period in 2008. Sales during the quarter rose 3.2% to $11 billion. The vending food leader completed its three-year restructuring plan at the end of 2009 by shedding less-profitable brands, discontinuing product lines, closing plants and reducing its workforce...

European Vending Association Grows With Entry Of Bulgarian Group
by Staff Reporter
The European Vending Association has welcomed the new Bulgarian Vending Association as a constituent national member organization. The addition of BVA brings to 20 the number of national trade groups now enjoying direct membership in EVA...

Federal Vending Machines Face New Wellness Standards
Emily Jed
President Obama is pushing his wellness initiative on federal employees. The U.S. General Services Administration said it will deliver healthier food choices in federal vending machines, dining facilities and "greener" cafeterias. The White House Offices of Management and Budget and Health Reform, working together with GSA, have created a new national template...

First-Ever OneShow Promises To Inform, Inspire And Please
Emily Jed
The National Automatic Merchandising Association is billing its inaugural OneShow as a more powerful, impressive and fun event than any the industry has previously seen. Combining NAMA’s long-running national and Spring Expos into a single annual event, OneShow 2010 will run from April 28 to 30 at Chicago’s new McCormick Place West Hall...

Great Dane Trailers Acquires Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies
Tim Sanford
Great Dane Trailers, a producer of dry van, refrigerated and platform trailers, has purchased Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies, a leading manufacturer of insulated fiberglass vocational truck bodies and all-electric refrigeration systems. Great Dane said the acquisition is a strategic addition to its sales platform...

Harold W. Young To Host New England OCS & Water Expo On March 4
Emily Jed
Vending and OCS broker Harold W. Young will display product and equipment for the workplace refreshment market at its New England OCS & Water Expo next Thursday, March 4. It will run from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn at 319 Speen St. in Natick, MA, near the firm's corporate headquarters. The vending sales company will also present a business-building seminar series...

Imperial Tobacco To Contest UK Vending Machine Ban
by Staff Reporter
The United Kingdom's Imperial Tobacco is seeking a judicial review of an impending ban on cigarette vending machines throughout Britain. The move to outlaw vending machines is due to take effect from October 2011 as part of the UK's new health laws, which aim to prevent children from buying cigarettes. Imperial's vending division is challenging the effectiveness of the UK government's proposed ban...

In Philadelphia, Mayor Proposes Big Tax On Soda
Emily Jed
Philadelphia's mayor has included in his 2010-'11 budget a plan to levy what some are calling the highest tax in the nation on all sweetened beverages. The proposed 2¢-per- ounce tax -- dubbed the ""Healthy Philadelphia Initiative" -- would apply to fountain syrups and powders, based on the number of fluid ounces they produce...

Missouri School District Implements Nutritional Scoring System For Vending
Emily Jed
Starting this fall, all high and middle schools in Independence, MO, will "grade" the foods offered in their cafeterias and vending machines using the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System. The NuVal scale ranks all foods on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher a food's score, the more nutritious that food is overall..

NAMA Calls For Innovation Awards Entries
Emily Jed
Innovation will be the dominant theme at NAMA's upcoming OneShow, which will host the association's inaugural Innovation Awards recognizing the industry's most original products, ideas and services. All exhibiting companies at the show, which will be held April 28-30 at Chicago's McCormick Place West, are invited to enter innovative products and services for judging...

NAMA Hails Policymaker Turnout For Innovations Showcase In DC
Tim Sanford
vending, kraft The National Automatic Merchandising Association reports that hundreds of policymakers visited its Vending and Coffee Service Innovations Showcase, held in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building on Feb. 3. The showcase attracted considerable media attention, from television news coverage and newspaper articles to blogs...

New York State Vending Association Rallies NYC-Area Operators To Oppose Gov. Paterson's Sugared-Drinks Tax
Nick Montano
More than 70 industry members from the New York City metropolitan area assembled in New Hyde Park, NY, on March 3 to support the New York State Automatic Vending Association's campaign against Gov. David Paterson's proposed "soda tax" and the effects of the state's new bottle deposit bill on the vending trade...

PepsiCo Completes Bottler Acquisitions
Emily Jed
PepsiCo announced said it has completed the $7.8 billion acquisitions of its two largest bottlers, Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. and PepsiAmericas Inc. With the completion of the mergers, PepsiCo stakes its claim as the largest food and beverage business in North America and the second largest in the world...

Redbox DVD Rentals Drive 50% Revenue Growth For Coinstar In 2009
Emily Jed
Coinstar reported a higher Q4 profit, but the nationwide operator of coin-counting and DVD-rental machines remains concerned about a legal battle with movie studios. For the quarter, Coinstar had a $5.5 million profit, or 18¢ a share, up from $4.2 million a year ago, as revenue rose 44% to $328 million. Full-year revenue for 2009 rose 50.3% to $1.1 billion. But limited access to new releases could impair Redbox performance in the future...

Redbox Signs Distribution Pact With Warner Bros.
Emily Jed
Redbox, Coinstar Redbox said it has dropped a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group after striking an agreement with the studio that allows the Coinstar subsidiary to rent new-release DVDs and Blue-rays through its kiosks 28 days after the latest discs hit the shelves...

Stuart Daw, Champion Of Quality Coffee, Dies At 81
Tim Sanford
Stuart Daw, coffee service Stuart Daw, a veteran of more than six decades in the coffee business and pioneer of both specialty coffee and office refreshment services, died here early this month. He was 81. Daw, a native of Canada and passionate defender of the free market, entered the coffee industry in 1950...

Tiburon Lockers Unveils Electronic Model With Enhanced Efficiencies
Tim Sanford
An all-new electronic locker rental system introduces innovations designed to improve profitability, increase customer satisfaction and maximize operational efficiencies. Made by Tiburon, which says it's the largest rental locker company and wants to work with operators, the new L3 system offers such enhancements as remote monitoring and revenue audit...

Tri-State AMC Explains 48" Rule In PA Building Code Enforcement
Tim Sanford
Some operators in Pennsylvania have reported that local building inspectors are demanding that vending machines installed in a new building incorporate selector assemblies that are not more than 48" above the floor. Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council president Lou Pace has put the problem in context, and outlined steps by which it may be solved...

Vendgogh Partners With Travel Plaza Operator On Gas Island Vending Machine
Emily Jed
Vendgogh, vending Vendgogh and WilcoHess, an operator of travel plazas and convenience stores in the southeastern U.S., announced a partnership to pioneer gas-island vending at selected WilcoHess locations. Vendgogh specializes in integrated gas island vending solutions...

Vending Association Rallies NY Operators To Fight Proposed Soda Tax
Emily Jed
New York State Automatic Vending Association president Mike Esposito is asking operators in New York to take action against Governor Paterson's proposed soda tax by sending a message directly to legislators. The governor's proposed tax increase on sugar-sweetened beverages in his fiscal 2011 budget is similar to one introduced last year, but failed to pass...

White House Announces Anti-Obesity Taskforce; NAMA Pledges Support
Emily Jed
President Barack Obama signed a memorandum on Feb. 9 that establishes a new federal taskforce charged with turning an ambitious national campaign unveiled by First Lady Michelle Obama into action. The vending industry it is on board and taking immediate action to support the initiative. Separately, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will ask Congress to improve childhood nutrition by eliminating sugary snacks and drinks from vending machines as part of the reauthorized Childhood Nutrition Act...

Music and Games Features
AAMA To Honor Richard Oltmann With Lifetime Achievement Award
by Staff Reporter
Richard Oltmann The American Amusement Machine Association will present its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award to operator, game inventor and manufacturer Richard Oltmann of Family Fun Cos. Otlmann is 48-year coin-op veteran who is an accomplished operator on the street and with FECs. The honor will be bestowed at the upcoming Amusement Expo in Las Vegas...

Alabama High Court Backs Raids; Nearly 20 Electronic Bingo Halls Shut
Marcus Webb
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and his antigambling taskforce got the ruling they wanted on Feb. 5 when the state Supreme Court voted seven to two to permit law enforcement to raid electronic bingo parlors. The verdict invalidated the prior week's temporary restraining order by a circuit court judge, which had prevented the taskforce from raiding...

Alabama Pro-Bingo Forces Run Into Roadblocks
Marcus Webb
Public work on a bill to legalize electronic bingo machines in 10 venues around Alabama was put on hold indefinitely this week, said Sen. Lowell Barron (D-8th Dist.), who chairs Alabama Senate's Rules Committee. Barron said he would not bring up the bill for a vote until supporters can guarantee 21 votes in favor, the minimum number required to pass...

AMI Entertainment Releases 'Access' Remote-Control Enhancement
Nick Montano
AMI Now available from AMI Entertainment Network Inc. is a new program update for operators who use its digital network. Called AMI Access, the program gives Megatouch operators control of their broadband-connected Ion touchscreen videogames through a browser running on a PC, wherever they happen to be, "as if they were right in front of the machine," the company explained...

AMOA Hosts First-Ever Legislative Webinar To Review National Issues
Marcus Webb
AMOA hosted a webinar on Feb. 4, which offered a lively discussion on taxes, product safety, smoking regulations and copyright law enforcement, among other topics affecting amusement vendors. AMOA president Gary Brewer of Brewer Amusement (McMinnville, TN) moderated the association's first-ever webinar featuring legislative expert Mike Zolandz, who is based in the nation's capital...

Ecast Jukes Deliver ‘Don’t Drive Drunk’ Message
by Staff Reporter
Ecast The Texas Department of Transportation ran a 20-second animated ad to curb drunk driving during the Super Bowl on Ecast’s interactive jukebox platform. Delivering the message: “It’s not whether your win or lose, it’s how you get home,” the promotion also included an interactive game...

First Amusement Expo Is Set For March 10-12 Las Vegas Run; IAAPA's Fun Expo Exhibits Join The Coin-Op Showcase
Marcus Webb
The first-ever edition of the Amusement Expo will take place from March 10 to 12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center where exhibits will be commingled with Fun Expo, rather than having a demarcation of space for two different exhibit areas within a single hall. The latter layout had characterized Fun Expo's collocations with AMOA Expo from 1999 to 2008. The new Amusement Expo is co-owned by AMOA and AAMA...

Illinois Machine Operators See Anti-VLT Bias By Chicago Press
Marcus Webb
Key members of the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association charge that Chicago's leading newspapers display consistent bias against the state's planned video lottery industry. When local communities decide to opt out of the VLT market, the impact is exaggerated in big headlines, they claim. But when jurisdictions vote to participate in the gaming program, those stories receive scant coverage...

In Alabama Bingo Halls Are Raided, Legalization Bill Fails
by Staff Reporter
A gambling taskforce raided a bingo hall in Chickasaw, AL, on Feb. 25, seizing 25 electronic bingo games but making no arrests. The owner-operator said his machines meet the six tests outlined by the Alabama Supreme Court in its landmark bingo verdict last year and are therefore legal. But on March 3, the state Senate voted 18 to 16 against further consideration of a bill that would permit, regulate and tax electronic bingo in 10 venues statewide...

New DOJ Taskforce Will Combat IP Crimes
Marcus Webb
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice has formed a new taskforce to combat the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes. Deputy AG David Ogden will chair the new unit, called the Task Force on Intellectual Property...

Regional Operators Merge Into National Amusement Firm
Marcus Webb
Four leading amusement and music operations have merged into a new entity called Entertainment Experts LLC. The founding partners of the new operation, also known as E2, are Jason Rubin of AJ Video of Baltimore; Gary S. Cohen and Matt Pascal, who own Denver's Amusement Vending-JE&S Video and Travel Center Specialists; and Jeff and Kama Reed of BJ Novelty, based in Covington, KY...

Stern Introduces Big Buck Hunter Pro-Themed Flipper Game
Nick Montano
New from Stern Pinball is a flipper game based on Big Buck Hunter Pro, the popular arcade videogame developed by Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix. Highlights of the new piece include a motorized buck that runs across a forest-themed playfield…

Tricorp, The East Coast's Largest Operator, Is Expanding Nationwide
Nick Montano
Through a new entity called National Amusement Service Network, Tricorp Amusements Inc. will establish operating offices in Orlando, FL, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco...

Bulk Vending
Mall Giant Simon Bids For Rival
Hank Schlesinger
Simon Property Group Inc., the nation's largest shopping mall owner, made a $10 billion bid on Feb. 16 to acquire rival General Growth Properties. Terms of the offer were made public after General Growth's board failed to respond to a formal offer by Simon. Simon's properties were among the first malls to feature amusements and bulk vending...

NBVA Appoints Interim Officers To Fill Vacated Posts
by Staff Reporter
The National Bulk Vendors Association reported that key elected officers have resigned from the association. As a result, NBVA's board of directors has appointed interim executives, as the association prepares for its annual convention in April. The board has named Lauri Logue of Brand Vending Products vice-president, a post previously held by...

Editorial: Vending
Vender Kicks Man: That’s News
Tim Sanford
The colorful John J. ("Jimmy") Walker, who served as mayor of New York City on the eve of the Great Depression, was quoted as telling newspaper reporters investigating a scandal, "I don't care what you write about me, as long as you spell my name correctly." Mayor Walker was not the first nor the last to believe that any publicity is good publicity. We thought of that viewpoint while reading news reports on the National Automatic Merchandising Association's Innovation Summit in Washington, DC... by Tim Sanford

Editorial: Music and Games
One Show At Last…
Marcus Webb
After 20 years of everyone agreeing that the U.S. music and amusement industry had "too many shows." At last … after 20 years of well-intentioned talks between a long series of negotiating teams from the AMOA and the AMMA. At last … after 20 years of association boards that could not, or would not, agree on management, money or scheduling. At last … after 20 years of painful compromises and tentative proposals that never quite jelled into signed contracts... by Marcus Webb

Who Needs Common Sense?
Hank Schlesinger
In reviewing our editorials over the past year, it seems that none has gotten more response than the modest rant against what is usually called "common sense." Judging from some of the emails we've received, you'd think that we kicked their dogs or advocated a change to the metric system. With that in mind, I've decided to double down and revisit the topic... by Hank Schlesinger

Coffee Service News
Consumer Reports Find No Coffee Blends Worthy Of Top Rating
by Staff Reporter
None of the 37 varieties tested by Consumer Reports coffee experts for its March issue earned "excellent" or "very good" ratings. Starbucks House Blend and Green Mountain Signature Nantucket Blend Medium Roast, however, were among 14 caffeinated blends that earned a "good" rating from the magazine...

Emilio Lavazza Dies; Led Family Business In Rise To Global Stature
Tim Sanford
Emilio Lavazza, coffee Emilio Lavazza, who headed Lavazza S.p.A. between 1979 and 2008, is dead at the age of 78. The Lavazza organization was founded in 1895 and Emilio joined in 1955. He devoted considerable attention to the campaigns that became an unforgettable part of Italian advertising history, while extending the coffee company's reach to 90 countries...

Guest Columns
Gauging New Technology's Impact Is Tough In Down Economy
by Dave Levine
With all the new technology coming out for vending, it is important to have a process for evaluating new products and ideas. However, I have encountered a unique challenge when it comes to assessing the worth of new technologies. Typically, when you look at the idea of adding remote monitoring or cashless or some other innovation...by Dave Levine

MARKETING INNOVATOR: Why Incredible Technologies Is A Role Model For Entire Industry
by Kevin Williams
In a tough market that has driven numerous amusement and music companies out of business, it's always worth giving closer study to the handful of companies that don't just survive, but thrive. One of the companies that ranks highest on that short list is Incredible Technologies... by Kevin Williams

Upfront with the Publisher
The Builders
Alicia Lavay
I was deeply saddened by the news that Stuart Daw, a genuine pioneer of the coffee service and specialty coffee business, had died. I only met him briefly, a few times. Nevertheless, I felt I knew him through his son, my friend Kevin, and through the many admiring accounts I heard of his incisive (and wildly popular) presentations at conferences held during the early days of the office coffee service industry. Through this acquaintance, secondhand though it was, I came to respect and admire Stuart’s passion for everything he undertook... by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

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