TORONTO -- The Walnut Group is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Candy Cups bulk vending machine, which looks like a traditional vender, but dispenses its product in a cup. The machine's 50-milliliter (1.69-oz.) cups hold between 50 and 55 pieces of candy and are recyclable, and improve food sanitation by reducing hand-machine contact.
"We've been marketing our bulk machines in many parts of the world where people are worried about hygiene," said company founder and marketing director Jason Kikot. He says the Candy Cups machine is ideal for Smarties and hard candies, jellybeans and many other confection types, and it appeals not only to traditional locations, but also to those that have eschewed standard bulk venders.
Candy Cups, which measures 59" high by 15.75" deep and weighs 95 lbs., is available in three variations. The single, double and triple units feature Lexan heads and offer three, six and nine selections, respectively; the machine's cup carousel holds about 630 units. The all-metal powder-coated body is offered in a high-gloss red with chrome trim; custom corporate color options are available. The system's two-key configuration employs separate locking mechanisms that allow access to product or cashbox services. The company is also currently offering a two-year part warranty.
Each model operates mechanically. Customers perform the usual vend process of inserting coins into the coin mech and turning the handle. At that point, the hopper door is locked and the cup drops into place. Once the handle turn is completed and the candy is deposited in the cup, the door is unlocked and the customer completes the purchase. The vender locks down completely once the final cup is dispensed.
"The machine has gone into a lot of high-end locations, restaurants and service-related places," Kikot said. "It is also replacing many of the traditional non-hygienic bulk machines." He added that cups can also be customized. A large bank is reportedly interested in purchasing Candy Cups with its corporate logo on the machines and its cups.
The Walnut Group Inc. is based at 10 Four Seasons Place, Ste. 1000, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M9B 6H7; tel. (416) 649.5740.