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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.4, April 2009, Posted On: 3/30/2009

Kraft, Crane, Samsung And Digitas Collaborate On Touchscreen Snack Vending Machine

Nick Montano
Vending, Vending Machine, Coin-op, Kraft, Crane, Samsung, Digitas, Touchscreen, Merchandising, Merchandising Systems, uVending, diji touch

NEW YORK CITY -- A collaboration of four leading companies from different industries has created a state-of-the-art snack vending machine, highlighted by a 46" LCD touchscreen panel front and controlled by an embedded networked computer. The companies behind the revolutionary vending machine are Kraft Foods, Crane Merchandising Systems, Samsung Electronics and Digitas, a leading e-marketing company.

According to officials, the partnership has striven to develop a 21st century vending machine experience for today's consumers, who are accustomed to seeing radical changes in their everyday lives. As consumers see it, officials say, snack machine appearance and function has been relatively unchanged for the past 30-plus years.

Called "diji-touch," the new machine features Samsung's uVending technology, which mainly consists of the LCD and networked computer. UVending is designed to deliver animated and interactive advertising (both banner and full-screen), as well as video content and promotional offers that can change dynamically, based on scheduling or on a machine-by-machine basis.

Additionally, the uVending platform showcases product selections on screen with 360° views and information on nutrition and ingredients at the touch of a button. The new vending experience delivered by the platform provides the consumer with immediate access to special promotions and the ability to see relevant product details before making a selection.

The first diji-touch machines will be on display at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's Spring Expo, set for April 16-17 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. They will be stocked with, and programmed for, sweet and savory snack selections, including Oreo cookies and Planters Peanuts, at the Kraft and CMS exhibits.

"We're excited about this opportunity to provide consumers with a more engaging, contemporary vending experience," says Frank Guzzone, a business development manager for new vending and OCS strategies and innovation at Kraft Foodservice. "Samsung, Crane Merchandising and Digitas have been terrific partners, and we look forward to seeing how consumers respond to this innovation."

Susan Canvari, executive vice-president of marketing at Digitas, added: "The Kraft, Samsung, Crane and Digitas partnership will create a new channel of interaction between manufacturers and their customers through vending machines. It's been exciting for Digitas to be a part of this transformation, and we're thrilled with the way the user interface, design and media strategy will influence consumers' current and future purchase decisions."

Following its NAMA Spring Expo debut, diji-touch is expected to begin a market test in the second half of 2009.

"We are proud to be a part of something that has the potential to revolutionize the vending industry," said H. Kim, president of Samsung Electronics America's Information Technology Division.

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