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Vol. 48, No.3, March 2008

Vending Features
Education Program Helps Young Inventor Bring Vender To Market
Emily Jed
NEW YORK CITY (March 2008)  — Basketball legend Allan Houston has been the moving force behind a new program designed to empower aspiring entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills required to be successful business owners. One of the program’s first graduates is in the process of bringing a new food vending machine to market.

JavaFit Brings Branded Functional Coffees To Vending; Plans To Add Pod, K-Cup, RTD Formats To Fraction-Packs
Emily Jed
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (March 2008) — Javalution is rapidly expanding the variety and reach of its JavaFit fortified coffee line with the introduction of new coffees, a branded vending program and the upcoming launch of Keurig K-Cups and pods of its products.

Larry Eils Retires As NAMA Senior Technical Services Director
Tim Sanford
CHICAGO (March 2008)  — Larry Eils, senior director of technical services for the National Automatic Merchandising Association, will retire effective June 1. The industry veteran, who joined NAMA in 1985, will receive special recognition by NAMA chairman Jim Brinton, Evergreen Vending (Seattle), at the Opening Session of the Spring Expo beginning 8:30 AM on Thursday, March 27.

MasterCard And USAT Expand PayPass Cashless Capability To 17,500 Vending Sites Nationwide
Nick Montano
PURCHASE, NY (March 2008) — MasterCard Worldwide and USA Technologies Inc. announced last month the expansion of ePort cashless payment terminals to 17,500 vending machines across the country, adding more than 4,000 new locations that accept MasterCard PayPass contactless payments. 

MB Media Field Tests Show LED Sign Boosts Vender Sales
Emily Jed
PHOENIX (March 2008) — MB Media, which introduced an eye-catching scrolling sign  and advertising display program for vending machines last year (see VT, October 2007), has completed an extensive test of the effect of the program on sales. The sign, an inexpensive LED matrix mounted in a flat enclosure that fits inside a snack machine door at the base of the front glass, receives continually updated promotional and advertising messages over a wireless pager network.

MilkPEP Campaign Publicizes Milk’s Role In Balanced Diet
Tim Sanford
WASHINGTON, DC (March 2008) — The Milk Processor Education Program has kicked off a year-long initiative, the Campaign for Healthy Weight, designed to publicize the value of milk in reversing the increased incidence of obesity in the United States.

Mobile Catering Association Colocates With Spring Expo
Emily Jed
MADISON HEIGHTS, MI (March 2008) — Following the success of last year’s spring conference, the Convenience Caterers and Food Manufacturers Association is again scheduling the event in conjunction with the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s Spring Expo, set for March 26-28 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. 

NAMA Coffee Service Education Summit Ponders Present And Probes Potential Of Workplace Refreshment Business
Tim Sanford
CHERRY HILL, NJ (March 2008) — Industry members from across the United States and Canada thronged the Crowne Plaza Hotel here for the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s first-ever Coffee Service Education Summit. According to Roger Stewart, NAMA’s director of coffee service, about 400 industry members took part in the event...

Tuffronts Expands Vendors’ Restyling Material Options, Plans Enhanced Website To Aid Area Treatment Design
Tim Sanford
DALLAS (March 2008) — “Custom graphics packages are the way to increase revenue,” said Robert Liva, founder of Tuffronts. “They’re a tool for use in negotiating higher vend prices and better commission agreements.”

Music and Games Features
AMUSEMENT SHOWCASE INTERNATIONAL: Annual Springtime Trade Show Will Open Its Doors To General Public For First Time
Marcus Webb
LAS VEGAS (March 2008) — For the first time in the history of the Amusement Showcase International, the general public will be invited to walk the show floor during the exposition’s final hours. Organizers hope the new policy, which is typically seen with coin-op amusements trade shows in Japan, will garner more positive publicity for the industry and help generate favorable word of mouth among game enthusiasts.

Cotton Candy Vender Offers High Markup, Many Options
Tim Sanford
ANTRIM, Northern Ireland (March 2008) — Now available from Intermatic Manufacturing Ltd. is a coin-operated cotton candy vending machine that offers very low product cost, high profit and broad appeal. It spins cotton candy (“candyfloss” in Great Britain and Ireland) onto a biodegradable paper stick and delivers it to the patron in just over a minute.

Ecast’s Fast Track Promotion Closes With 66% Signup Rate Among Leading Operators
Nick Montano
SAN FRANCISCO (March 2008) — Ecast’s Fast Track offer ended last month with more than 66% of the company’s top-earning operators signing up for the program, according to an announcement by company officials. Fast Track, which kicked off last September, allowed existing or new Ecast operators connecting to the music provider’s network by January 31, 2008, to pay no revenue share through the end of January 2010.

Irish Market Gains Momentum; AmEx Planners Ready Early March Show In Dublin
Nick Montano
DUBLIN, Ireland (March 2008) — AmEx 2008, the 29th Irish Gaming & Amusement Trade Exhibition, is shaping up to be one of the largest and best-attended to date, according to show organizers. The trade show is set to take place here at the Lynch Green Isle Hotel on March 4 and 5, Tuesday and Wednesday, on the eve of dramatic changes expected to take place in Ireland’s gaming and amusement markets...

IT Offers 2009 Update For Online Bowling Videogame; New Features Enhance Play And $100K Tourney Backs Launch
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (March 2008) — As of mid-March, Incredible Technologies will ship the 2009 update for its Silver Strike Bowler’s Club online videogame. The new version, costing $299, will be highlighted by a tournament featuring a prominent $100,000 prize pool. 

Marcus Webb, Veteran Trade Journalist, Becomes A Director On Walker Digital LLC’s Marketing Team
STAMFORD, CT (March 2008) — Walker Digital, headquartered here, has appointed Marcus Webb as its director of storytelling. In his new role, Webb will be responsible for generating a wide range of marketing materials, including speeches and audiovisual scripts. He officially assumes his post on March 17.

Merit Ships AMI-Powered Megatouch Entertainer Unit
Larisa Jayne Shewczyk
BENSALEM, PA (March 2008) — Merit Entertainment said its Megatouch Entertainer is now shipping to distributors. The unit, featuring the Wallette’s 17-in. form factor, includes all 2008 Merit games plus nearly 500,000 songs from the AMI Entertainment Network, a combination of content that Merit said will “instantly double the customer base.”

Rock-Ola Jukeboxes Help The Grammys Celebrate 50 Years
Nick Montano
LOS ANGELES (March 2008) — As part of the Grammy’s golden anniversary theme, Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corp. was invited to provide jukeboxes for the music awards program’s interview lounge. The Recording Academy’s annual music awards ceremony was held at the Staples Center here on February 10. 

UK Woes Impair ATEI Attendance; Foreign Participation Strengthens
Marcus Webb
LONDON (March 2008) — A significant drop in traffic for a previously successful trade show is always troubling. But it’s especially regrettable when a weakly attended exposition features a plentiful selection of strong new products.

Bulk Vending
L.M. Becker Distributes Tommy Bear Type II Large-Capsule Vender In The U.S. Market
Larisa Jayne Shewczyk
APPLETON, WI (March 2008) — L.M. Becker & Co. reports that it will distribute a new capsule vender designed for larger merchandise in the U.S. market, and will also provide products to be sold through the machine.

Oak Leaf Acquires Rights To Nerds Gumballs From Nestlé
Hank Schlesinger
TORONTO (March 2008) — Oak Leaf Confections, a leading supplier of ball gum and other confectionary vendibles, has announced the reintroduction of Nerds Gumballs to its product line. A longtime favorite in the bulk vending industry, Oak Leaf acquired the rights to manufacture the brand after Nestlé’s Willy Wonka Candy Factory division decided to discontinue it.

Proper Merchandising Of Bulk Equipment Improves Sales And Customer Retention
Hank Schlesinger
U.S.A. (March 2008) — Merchandising has always presented unique challenges for the bulk vending operator. 

Vroom Foods And Mad Dog Introduce Mint Chocolate Energy Chew In Vending
Emily Jed
COSTA MESA, CA (March 2008)  — The vending partnership of Vroom Foods Inc. and Mad Dog Energy Products Inc. has added Buzz Bites mint chocolate energy chews to its bulk vending, single-serve offering (see VT  February). Like Buzz Bites chocolate energy chews, each mint chocolate Buzz Bite contains 100mg. of caffeine and the energy equivalent of a single cup of coffee or 25% more than the leading energy drink.  

Editorial: Vending
EDITORIAL: Staying On Course
Tim Sanford
The National Automatic Merchandising Association’s recent Coffee Service Education Summit was a solid success, attracting operators from all over the U.S. and a surprisingly diverse lot of suppliers and manufacturers. The interest shown in the new NAMA initiative can be seen as the fruit of an extended, ongoing process...By TIM SANFORD

Editorial: Music and Games
EDITORIAL: The ‘Can-Do’ Industry
Marcus Webb
The global amusements industry is not panicking, but it’s wearing a more worried face these days. From Tokyo to London – and from Bentonville, AR, to Columbus, OH – the first quarter of 2008 has not been reassuring. First, Sega and Namco announced they were closing 160 arcades in Japan and would lay off hundreds of personnel. Then London’s ATEI Show saw attendance plummet nearly 9%. Next, the president of the British trade association, BACTA, warned that as a result of the UK’s restrictive new national gaming regulations, “half of the [British amusements] industry could be out of business this year.”...By MARCUS WEBB

Upfront with the Publisher
Up Front: We All Need To Make Ourselves Available To Newcomers And Encourage Their Participation
Alicia Lavay
By the time you read this column, many of you will be on your way to the National Automatic Merchandising Association Spring Expo or the Amusement Showcase International; both are being held concurrently in Las Vegas at the end of March.  If you’ve never been to either of these events, now’s your chance to check out both shows for the price of one plane ticket...By Alicia Lavay-Kertes

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