LAS VEGAS -- The Walnut Group's novel Candy Cups machine was on display at the recent National Automatic Merchandising Association's OneShow, held late April here. Candy Cups is an all-mechanical bulk-loading machine designed to dispense popular bulk confections in disposable, recyclable 50-ml. (1.69-fl.oz.) cups, rather than directly into the patron's hand (see VT, December).
PHOTO: Showing off Candy Cups vender at NAMA's OneShow in Las Vegas, from left, are Naomi Stroud, The Walnut Group, Annie Tsai, United Sheetmetal (Fremont, CA), Walnut's Ty Nickel and United's John Hsieh.
The cup holds about 50gm. (1.76 oz.) of candy or gum, equivalent to 50 to 55 pieces of M&M's. The model on display had three chambers, each holding 210 cups (630 total), and can dispense three product selections. Couplers are available to join two or three machines into a center or island display with all-around access. The complete vend cycle -- dropping the cup and filling it -- is entirely powered by the patron's turning the knob that actuates the coin mech.
Cups can be imprinted with location, operator or product logotypes, and Walnut Group reports that the system is being warmly received by high-end clients concerned about hygiene.