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Vol. 46, No. 3, March 2006

Vending Features
Kraft Launches South Beach Vend Entrees
Tim Sanford
NORTHFIELD, IL — Kraft Foods has introduced three breakfast specialties and three mainmeal items for vending, under the South Beach Diet brand. They conform to the nutritional guidelines of the famous diet developed by Florida cardiologist and author Dr. Arthur Agatston. They’ll make their formal industry debut at the National Automatic Merchandising Association Spring Expo in Las Vegas on March 23 and 24.

NBPA CONVENTION: Operators And Suppliers Examine Portion-Pack Brewing Opportunity
Tim Sanford
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — Proprietary portion-pack and open-system pod brewers have been attracting international attention for the past several years, and many coffee service operators have experimented with the growing number of machines entering the market. In concept, single-serve cartridges offer the promise of wide selection, easy preparation and minimum waste. Pods add the ability to purchase product from a variety of suppliers, while removing the assurance of proven compatibility between equipment and product.

Music and Games Features
ATEI, ICE Shows Break Records, Draw Decidedly Mixed Reviews
Marcus Webb
LONDON — There was good news and not-so-good news from the first big international trade show of 2006. The Amusement Trades Exhibition International took place at Earls Court from January 24 through 26 and the good news was the record-breaking exhibition size: an unprecedented 311 companies in 12,558 square meters (representing a 1.6% increase in terms of companies and a 9.2% increase in terms of space over last year). According to preliminary figures, the overseas visitor quotient rose 11.6%. The total count of unique visitors for the first two days of ATEI (that is, not counting multiple visits by a single person) was 13,310 from 94 countries – up less than 1% from 2005.

Ecast Board Confirms Taylor’s Role As CEO
Nick Montano
SAN FRANCISCO — Ecast Inc. on Feb. 14 announced that its board of directors has approved the change in John Taylor’s title from acting to permanent chief executive officer.

Operators Realize Strong ROI From ICE’s Super Trivia
Marcus Webb
Innovative Concepts in Entertainment continues to expand its line of amusement equipment with a satellite-style video game concept called Super Trivia. Available in a four-player or six-player simultaneous competitive format, the game seats players at individual stations facing a 60-in. monitor.

Bulk Vending
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS - OK Manufacturing’s Kurt Ostler Takes On Equipment Diversification
Hank Schlesinger
SALT LAKE CITY — Few manufacturers of bulk vending equipment have kept up with industry trends as effectively as OK Manufacturing. The company, which started out producing "giant" and "spiral" bulk venders, has consistently remained in the vanguard of equipment trends by either offering enhancements to its popular line or expanding into market segments such as prize redemption and interactive machines.

Sugar Prices Leave Bitter Taste For Many In Candy Arena
Hank Schlesinger
NEW YORK CITY — The news isn’t quite so sweet these days when it comes to sugar. The price of the sweet stuff has continued its near-historic rise on the world commodities market, sending tremors throughout the confectionary industry. According to the United States Department of Agriculture and commodities analysts, the price of sugar is now at its highest level in more than a quarter century. For comparison, sugar sold for approximately 4.5¢ a pound on the world market in 1999, while today it is 19¢ a pound.

Editorial: Vending
Tim Sanford

Editorial: Music and Games
The Biggest News, So Far, Of 2006
Marcus Webb


Upfront with the Publisher
UPFRONT: Succession Planning And Exit Strategies
Alicia Lavay
Succession planning always has been an important topic in entrepreneurial industries. Whether or not the founder has children, or whether or not more or fewer family members want to purchase the founder/owner’s interest in the business, the various “exit strategies” are long-time topics of operator conversation...by Alicia Lavay-Kertes

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