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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 7, July 2010, Posted On: 7/2/2010

Pennsylvania Uncorks Wine Kiosks In 2 Supermarkets

Emily Jed
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, vending, vending machine, wine vending machine

HARRISBURG PA -- The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is testing the viability of wine vending kiosks in supermarkets. The first two kiosks in a pilot program, located in Giant and Wegmans outlets, will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and will be closed on Sundays and some holidays.

Developed by Simple Brands LLC (Conshohocken, PA), the kiosks stock several wine varieties and reportedly hold them at optimal temperature. The unit's verification system reads the barcode on a driver's license to obtain age information and matches the license photo with a video image of the buyer at the point of sale. An LCB employee monitors each transaction from a remote location to confirm that the video of the purchaser matches the purchaser's ID.

The kiosks also have a built-in contactless breathalyzer to ensure the buyer is not intoxicated. If a breath alcohol level of 0.02 or higher is detected, the consumer is unable to make a purchase. The entire process takes less than 20 seconds.

If the pilot proves successful, the program will be expanded to some 100 supermarket locations across Pennsylvania.

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