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Articles
Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2012

Vending Features
Apriva Broadens Distribution Network, Targets Large Institutions To Accelerate Vending Growth
Emily Jed
The Scottsdale, AZ, end-to-end wireless transactions provider recently authorized many of its 500-plus traditional reseller partners to sell Apriva Vend, an integrated, end-to-end cashless service...

Apriva Wallet Enters Mobile Payments Arena
Emily Jed
Apriva is now offering its own mobile commerce platform, which is available to merchants through the company's nationwide network of merchant acquirers (primarily banks) and independent sales organizations...

California's Weymouth Distributing Closes After 55 Years
Emily Jed
Weymouth Distributing Co. said it is closing its doors after a 55-year run as one the leading vending machine distributors on the West Coast...

Carla Balakgie Officially Begins As NAMA President And Chief Executive
Emily Jed
Upon assuming the National Automatic Merchandising Association's top post, Balakgie pointed to several similarities between vending and electronic transactions, the industry she previously led...

Coca-Cola Pacts With Biotech Firms For 100% Plant Bottle
Emily Jed
The beverage giant signs multimillion-dollar agreements with Virent, Gevo and Avantium, which specialize in plant-based alternatives to traditional petroleum-based packaging...

Coke And Nestlé End RTD Tea Partnership In U.S.
Emily Jed
Coca-Cola Co and Nestlé SA have agreed to scale back their tea beverages joint venture. They will phase out their partnership in U.S. by and focus on Europe and Canada...

College Students Build Subway Charity Vender
Hank Schlesinger
Students at NYU have engineered a card reader that would let riders of public transportation swipe unused portions of their MetroCards to charity..

European Vending Association Elects van Amerongen To 3rd Term As President At Annual Assembly
Tim Sanford
EVA elects Arnaud van Amerongen, Aequator AG (Arbon, Switzerland) and Coffee First BV (Nijmegen, Netherlands), to an unprecedented third term as president...

Evergreen Vending Moves Branch To Courtesy Vending's Portland, OR, Headquarters
Emily Jed
Evergreen Vending and Courtesy Vending, owned respectively by operators Jim Brinton and Paresh Patel, will remain independent companies while boosting efficiencies...

Grand Canyon Bans Bottled Water Sales
Emily Jed
In 2012, visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park will no longer find disposable plastic water bottles in vending machines, shops, hotels and grocery stores...

Hansen Changes Name To Monster Beverage Corp.
Emily Jed
Hansen Natural Corp. has received stockholders' approval to change its corporate name to Monster Beverage Corp., which began trading Jan. 9...

Hostess Brands Files For Bankruptcy
Emily Jed
Th maker of Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today (Jan. 11). The number of creditors is estimated to be as many as 100,000...

Huffington Post Hails Vending's 'Revival'
Emily Jed
The online newspaper was the first media outlet to draw such a conclusion amid a flurry of coverage since the National Automatic Merchandising Association launched its industry growth strategy a year ago...



Japan's Sanden Turns Heads With Transparent Touchscreen Display
Emily Jed
Sanden Corp. is reportedly developing a high-tech vending machine that replaces the typical glass facade with transparent touchscreen display...



Japanese Venders Draw Patrons With WiFi
by Staff Reporter
Japanese drink giant Asahi is planning to deploy 1,000 vending machines equipped with WiFi over the next 12 months. It hopes to have 10,000 WiFi units by 2017...

Kraft Vending Machine Dispenses Free Jell-O Samples; Tells Kids To Scram
Emily Jed
The food giant tests high-tech vending machine at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium that could make its way to grocery stores and sample everything from Oscar Mayer deli meat to Oreos...

Kroger Installs Shop24 At Ohio Northern U
Emily Jed
One of the nation's largest grocery store chains and retailers has installed a Shop24 robotic convenience store on the campus of Ohio Northern University...

MB Media Launches Vending Advertising Brokerage
Emily Jed
MB Media Brokers is broadening its business model with a new service that will help vending operators and telemetry providers sell advertising space on vending machines and display devices...

Medbox Acquires Prescription Vending Machines
Emily Jed
Medbox Inc. bought Prescription Vending Machines Inc. and will operate the acquisition as a wholly owned subsidiary. Both companies market automated prescription medicine dispensing machines...

MEI Conlux Unveils MCM5 Changer With Added Capacity And Options
Tim Sanford
New five-tube changer replaces the CCM5 in the Conlux line, increases tube capacity, adds float options, and enhances durability and aesthetics...

MIT Students Create Vender For Bike Helmet Rentals
by Staff Reporter
A group of undergraduate students at MIT are working with the city of Boston to create a vending machine that dispenses helmets to bicycle renters...

Next Generation Acquires New England Ice Cream's Vending Machine Division
Emily Jed
Next Generation Vending has acquired New England Ice Cream Corp.'s vending machine division. The deal is expected to enhance Next Gen's supply and service partnerships...

NRF Big Show Set For Jan. 16-17 In NYC: StoreBot Debut Puts Automatic Retailing In Spotlight
Emily Jed
Kiosk Information Systems' StoreBot is among the vending-related products set to roll out at the National Retail Federation's Big Show at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center next week...

Seattle Schools Consider Easing 'Junk Food' Ban Amid Vending Sales Slump
Emily Jed
Seattle School Board reexamines healthy vending policy in high schools amid complaints from student governments that say they've lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding...

SEC Investigates Diamond Foods Accounting Practices
by Staff Reporter
Diamond Foods Inc. said it is under a formal investigation by the SEC over how it accounted for payments to walnut growers...

Tuffronts Rolls Out Email-Based Annual Marketing Program For Operators
Tim Sanford
The company that gained fame for vending machine and area styling kits launches a new service to assist operators in finding worthwhile locations...

Tuffronts Unveils Graphic Design Service For Vendor Presentations
Tim Sanford
The new service provides operators with quality full-color presentation materials showing the appearance of vending equipment in styles customized for prospective locations...

U-Select-It Expands Alpine Food Machine Lineup With Elevator And Combi Models
Tim Sanford
USI_Alpine Elevator The Alpine 5000 Elevator is offered in single and variable temperature styles, and is available with a wide variety of options. Its robotic delivery system gently transfers shock-sensitive items from shelves to bin...



UK Company Rolls Out Lightbulb And Battery Recycling Machine
Emily Jed
A reverse vending machine that collects and recycles domestic lightbulbs and batteries is said to be the first of its kind in the world...



UNI Interface Allows Using PC To Make Vending Machine Selections
Tim Sanford
New from Upstate Networks Inc. is an "alternative selection device" that permits replacing the conventional keypad selector on a vending machine with a PC...

Unified Strategies Group Taps USA Technologies As Cashless And Telemetry Provider
Emily Jed
Through USAT's Jump Start program, USG vending operators can install ePort cashless payment and wireless telemetry solutions with no upfront costs...

Upstate Networks Demonstrates Vending Machine Accepting BitCoin Payment
Tim Sanford
The bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be transferred from one owner to another over the Internet by effecting a securely encrypted transaction...

Vending Company Agrees To Cease Sandwich Production Amid Health Safety Concerns
by Staff Reporter
Vending operation in Chicago agrees to stop sandwich production and distribution after FDA investigators reported unsanitary conditions in the vendor's facility...

Vending Tech Pioneer Glenn Butler Joins VendScreen; Operator Jim Brinton Invests
Emily Jed
The Portland, OR, company, which recently rolled out a touchscreen user interface for vending machines, has also acquired the intellectual property of Butler's consultancy...

Music and Games Features
AMI Entertainment Pushes Seven New Games To ML-1 Countertops
Nick Montano
The touchscreen videogame leader delivered its first updates, less than two months after the rollout of its new Internet-based platform, Megatouch Live...

AMOA New York Will Pay Tribute To Jukebox On Feb. 27
Nick Montano
The digital jukebox is one of the coin-op industry's biggest success stories of the new millennium. So it's no surprise that the Amusement Music Owners Association of New York is paying a big tribute to the jukebox during its annual gala...

Azerbaijan To See Construction Of World's Largest FEC
Marcus Webb
In the city of Baku, at the crossroads of Central Asia and Eastern Europe, the Yeni Hayat construction company says it plans to build Megafun, billed as the largest family entertainment center...

C.A. Robinson's Leah Bettelman Dies
by Staff Reporter
Leah Bettelman, often regarded as the materfamilias of southern California's coin-op trade, has died at 94. She was principal of the former C.A. Robinson & Co...

CEC Fined For Child Labor Violations; Launches Online Ticket-Awarding Game
Marcus Webb
The U.S. Labor Department fined nine Chuck E. Cheese's locations in northern California more than $28,000 in December for violating federal child-labor laws...

China's UNIS Takes Giant Step Into North American Amusement Market With Wide-Ranging Product Lineup
Hank Schlesinger
Even if the name isn't familiar, chances are pretty good that most American operators possess some knowledge of UNIS amusement products. Until now, UNIS, derived from Universal Space, has been a quiet player in the coin-op field in the U.S...

Club Lucky's Inaugural $400K Dart Tourney Heads To Kansas City In October; Pearl Vodka Signs On As Major Sponsor
Nick Montano
The Pearl Vodka Dart Tournament of Champions kicks off Oct. 19 in Kansas City, MO. Club Lucky Group announced plans for its ambitious coin-op electronic dart tournament last year...

Coast To Coast Grants ReRave Rights To LAI In Philippines And Singapore
Nick Montano
Alliance with LAI Games and Timezone opens up the Malay Peninsula and Indonesian Archipelago for Coast to Coast's emerging rhythm arcade game...

Court Orders Jukebox Company NSM To Pay PRS License Fees
Nick Montano
The High Court of England has denied NSM Music's appeal of the judgment made against it earlier this year in favor of the Performing Rights Society for Music...

Dave & Buster's Has Strong Q3; EBITDA Up 15%, Amusements 6.6%
Marcus Webb
The restaurant and arcade chain said adjusted EBITDA increased 15.4% to $15.1 million in the third quarter of 2011, compared with...



Dirty Drivin' From Raw Thrills Combines Fast Action And Hi-Def Graphics
Nick Montano
Off-road coin-op driving game featuring a 42" high-definition monitor and a generous selection of courses, rides and vehicle upgrades to keep patron interest high...

Elaut USA Chief Executive Exits; Guarnieri To Focus On Pinball Company
Nick Montano
After three years at the helm, Jack Guarnieri has stepped down as president and chief executive of Elaut USA. Jersey Jack Pinball's Wizard of Oz to enter production on March 13...

Falgas Names Theisen Vending Its North American Distributor
Nick Montano
Falgas Amusement Rides, a Spanish manufacturer of coin-operated kiddie rides, has named Minnesota's Theisen Vending Co. its North American distributor...

Firestone Financial Corp. Honors Cohen And Mooney For Quarter-Century's Service
Nick Montano
Firestone Financial, David Cohen Firestone president David Cohen and senior inside sales representative Helen Mooney celebrated their 25th anniversary with the 46-year-old equipment financing company...

IAAPA Honors The Funplex As America's Best FEC
Marcus Webb
The Funplex was named Top Family Entertainment Center in North America by IAAPA. It has two locations in New Jersey...

IAAPA's 2011 Expo Draws 25,800
by Staff Reporter
Some 25,800 participants from 118 nations registered for this year's IAAPA Attractions Expo, compared with 25,000 people from 96 nations at last year's trade show, a 3% increase...

Jukebox License Office Ups Classic Juke Rates
by Staff Reporter
In 2012, the fee for a jukebox operation's first box goes up to $454 from $439. Each subsequent jukebox licensed by the same business costs $105...

Kansas Expected To Step Up Gray-Area Enforcement
Marcus Webb
The Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission is expected to crack down hard on illegal videogame gambling statewide later this year, according to KRGC's former executive director...

LAI Debuts 6 Redemption, Merchandiser Machines
Tim Sanford
New pieces from LAI Games introduced at IAAPA Attractions Expo include three redemption models (one offered in several variants) and three prize merchandisers...

NC Sweeps Operators Renew Pro-Regulation Campaign
Marcus Webb
Sweepstakes videogame operators hope a deal that allows a Cherokee tribal casino to run live card games will motivate state lawmakers to reconsider regulation of sweeps viddies...

Ohio's Amusement Industry Lobbies For Operator-Run Video Lottery
Marcus Webb
Operators should be allowed to participate in any expanded gambling market in Ohio by owning and running video lottery devices, industry spokesman David Corey testified...



Pac-Man Battle Royale Deluxe Debuts At Dave & Buster's; Last Pac-Man Standing Wins!
Nick Montano
Pac-Man Battle Royale made its first appearance in a supersized deluxe version at select Dave and Buster's locations in December...

Pico Projection: The Latest Embedded Technology Makes Handheld Gadgets Smarter
Hank Schlesinger
It just may be the coolest technology you haven't yet heard about. "Pico projection" refers to tiny modular projectors capable of displaying still or moving images onto a nearby surface. But what could it mean to coin-op?

SciGames Signs Contract For Illinois VLT Central Computer
Marcus Webb
Scientific Games Corp. has signed a contract to design, implement and administer its sixth generation AEGIS-Video Central Communication System to administer video lottery terminals in Illinois...

Sweeps Video Update: Hest Wins SC Case; MA Lawmaker Arraigned; FL Ban Challenged
Marcus Webb
Sweepstakes videogame concerns have seen a mix of legal victories and defeats in the weeks leading up to the year's end. In Fall River, MA, city councilor Leo Pelletier entered "not guilty"...

Timezone Continues Expansion In Asia And Pacific
Nick Montano
The arcade operation of Leisure & Allied Industries strengthens position in India and Singapore. Timezone also began its recovery efforts in New Zealand following the earthquakes on the South Island...

TouchTunes Demonstrates New Virtuo Interactive Features At Verizon's CES Booth
Nick Montano
On display in the Verizon Wireless exhibit at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas is a TouchTunes Virtuo jukebox fitted with new Karaoke and PhotoBooth apps...

TouchTunes Issues 2011 Music Charts, Reports 900M+ Songs Played
Nick Montano
The most-played song across all music genres was "Dirt Road Anthem" by Jason Aldean, which became a hit single for the country superstar. Also making TouchTunes Top 10 list was Kid Rock...

UltraCade Founder Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy Charges; Foley Disputes Key Facts In Indictment
by Marcus Webb | additional reporting by Nick Montano
David R. Foley, former CTO of Global VR and former owner of UltraCade Technologies, pled guilty on Jan. 9 to conspiracy charges stemming from sales of UltraCade game software...

Bulk Vending
Dollar Coin Alliance Fights Obama's Decision To Halt Presidential Coins; NBVA's Goletz Says Eliminating Bill Will Ensure Bulk Vending's Future
by Marcus Webb and Emily Jed
Vice President Joe Biden said at a Dec. 12 cabinet meeting that the U.S. Mint would suspend the production of Presidential dollar coins for circulation as part of the Obama Administration's campaign to cut waste...

Where Else? Coin-Op Weddings Come To Las Vegas
by Staff Reporter
New chapel at Cosmopolitan Hotel will offer "eraser" wedding rings in bulk vending machines. There's also a photobooth to immortalize the moment...

Editorial: Vending
Editorial
There's Dynamite On The Tracks!
Tim Sanford
The United States enjoys a system of representative government that seems, nowadays, to command little respect. Critics might keep in mind that our system, almost uniquely, does give the electorate -- us -- a recurrent opportunity to tell the people who make the laws what sort of laws we want. Problems arise when... by Tim Sanford

Editorial: Music and Games
Jumping Off A Cliff
Marcus Webb
There comes a time in the life of every person, and every business, when the safest thing to do is take what appears to be an enormous risk -- and when the most "reasonable" thing to do is jump off a cliff... by Marcus Webb

The Sturdy And Enduring Optimism Of The Small Businessperson
Hank Schlesinger
Small businesspeople can be much more optimistic than their corporate counterparts. And being on the frontline in bulk vending means coins-in-the-cashbox capitalism... by Hank Schlesinger

Bulk Vending and Crane Products
A&A Global Ups Disney-Theme Bulk Vending Items With Bottle Caps, Cutie Bags, Rings


Allstar Vending Updates Funky Face Disguises, Expands Bulk Capsule Variety


Spotlight On Prizes: New Crane, Redemption Items From A&A, BMI, Coast To Coast, HMS and Redemption Plus


Spotlight on Prizes: Valentine's Stuff For Cranes And Redemption Centers


Coffee Service News
Cafection Taps Betson For Nationwide Parts And Service
Emily Jed
The OCS distributor and equipment manufacturer team up to extend service program for Cafection single-cup coffee equipment in the U.S...

Entenmann's Teams Up With White Coffee For Flavored Hot Beverage Line
Emily Jed
The storied manufacturer of sweet baked goods is launching its signature collection of flavored coffees and cocoas...

Former President Clinton To Keynote 2012 NRA Show
Emily Jed
The nation's 42nd president will share insights into his presidency and his current work with the William J. Clinton Foundation...

Kraft And SodaStream Enter Co-Branding Deal
Emily Jed
The Crystal Light diet beverage line and Country Time lemonade will be first Kraft brands offered for SodaStream machines -- and first Kraft brands offered carbonated...

L.A.'s 'Healthy' Lunches Flop, Burgers And Pizza Make Comeback
Emily Jed
The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeing fewer students -- by the thousands -- participating in its lunch program since it was revamped with healthier fare this fall...

Rosina Food Products Acquires San Rallo Pasta
Tim Sanford
Rosina Food Products Inc. acquired the San Rallo Pasta assets from Mitsui Foods Inc. Rosina president Russell Corigliano said the acquisition is consistent with company's growth plan...

Sara Lee Buys Ultra-Premium Tea Company Ahead Of Split
Emily Jed
Sara Lee Corp. has purchased Tea Forte, strengthening its presence in the fast-growing luxury tea category. Terms were not disclosed...

Smucker Completes Sara Lee Coffee Acquisition
Emily Jed
The J.M. Smucker Co. has completed its acquisition of the majority of Sara Lee Corp.'s North American foodservice coffee and hot beverage business...



Starbucks Adds Lighter 'Blonde' Roast
Emily Jed
The coffeehouse giant began serving a lighter roast color than its familiar dark and medium roasts on Jan. 10...

Starbucks Hikes Prices In Northeast And Sunbelt Regions
Emily Jed
The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain raised prices this week on some drinks by about 1% in the Northeast and Sunbelt regions...



Toronto's Competition Coffee Services Appoints Harrison Fairstein President
Tim Sanford
Competition Coffee Services has appointed Harrison Fairstein president and managing partner. This is the latest move by the 35-year-old workplace refreshment services provider in an expansion plan initiated last year...

White Coffee Acquires First Colony's Bencheley Tea Brand
Emily Jed
White Coffee Corp. has acquired Bencheley Teas from First Colony Coffee & Tea Co. White Coffee acquired the exclusive rights to First Colony's coffee brands in August...

Cover Stories


Plan Ahead: Operators Need Policies For Leaks And Water Damage
Tim Sanford
As the popularity of pure water service grows, office refreshment equipment requires a greater degree of plumbing interconnection than it did in the days when pour-through brewers were dominant. This great enhancement to customer service and volume comes with increased risk of leaks and consequent damage claims...

Guest Columns
How Branding Can Strengthen Location Relationships
by Heidi Olsen-Hughey
As markets and opportunities for vending equipment shrink, and the competitive landscape to find them increases, operators find themselves in situations that require smarter and smarter promotions and selling... by Heidi Olsen-Hughey

In Redemption's Great Debate: Tickets Still Beat Ticketless
by Frank Seninsky
The Great Ticket Debate is still going strong. I touched on this controversy in my previous VT article, "An Updated Survey of Technology for the Amusements Industry" in which I noted "My data show that going ticketless is not the best option." So let's take a closer look at those data... by Frank Seninsky

In This Economy, The Right Estate Plan Often Becomes Your Best Investment
by Irving Blackman
It's sad, but true. All estate plans are not created equal. This article is targeted to help everyone who has a completed estate plan in place, but is not 100% delighted with the plan... by Irving Blackman

NAMA Membership Can Help Define Future Of Vending And Coffee Service
By Marcus "Marc" Whitener, NCE
The vending industry is undergoing historic technological and economic pressures. But the National Automatic Merchandising Association is embracing the changing environment as an opportunity to redefine itself and the industry... by Marcus "Marc" Whitener, NCE

Presentations Part 2: Keep Prospects' Goals In Mind When Preparing Material
by Len Rashkin
You are preparing your presentation, and the biggest challenge that you have with the buyer is...? Stop and give this some thought... by Len Rashkin

Meetings/Events
AMOA States Council Meeting Set For Feb. 10-12
Marcus Webb


Names in the News
Berhnard Goepelt Succeeds Geoffrey Kelly As Coca-Cola SVP, General Counsel
Emily Jed


Brady Distributing Adds Marsha Endres, Pat McGrattan To Sales Team
Tim Sanford


Embed Names Jason Kort Marketing Director
by Staff Reporter


G&J Adds Niemeier, Meyers To Sales Team
Emily Jed


Hormel Foods Corp. Realigns International Sales And Marketing Leaders
Emily Jed


Pyramid Technologies Appoints Rep For Columbia
by Staff Reporter


Small Business News
Smoking Bans Cut Heart Attacks, Says New Report From Mayo Clinic
Marcus Webb


Upfront with the Publisher
Getting That First Impression To Last
Alicia Lavay
I was recently asked to provide suggestions on what works and what doesn't work when advertising to the vending industry. This got me thinking about how important it is to tailor your message... by Alicia Lavay

Vending Machine Products


Bigelow's Coconut Water, Green Tea Mixes




Celestial Seasonings Enters Energy Shot Category


PepsiCo Rolls Out SoBe Coconut Water-Infused Lifewater


ThinkThin Bars Now In Indulgent New Flavors


ThinkThin Protein-Rich Fruit & Nut Bar Makes Vending Debut


Vistar Ships Ultimo! Personal Pizza


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