ASTORIA, NY -- Champion Vending USA Corp. has added two New York City universities to its higher-education business. The Queens-based operation has had vending machines up and running since late May at Adelphi University's campuses in New York City and on Long Island, and at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. Champion replaces Canteen Vending at Adelphi and a full-line PepsiCo distributor that served Manhattan College.
Altogether, Champion has placed 65 machines at Manhattan College and 37 at Adelphi University, all customized with the schools' logos. The state-of-the-art equipment includes Crane Co.'s high-tech Merchant Media machines with 7" touchscreen and Bev Max 4 glassfront beverage venders. They're complemented by U-Select-It's elevator-delivery Alpine 5000 food machines.
All of the machines are equipped with credit card readers. They also feature PayRange's new Bluetooth-enabled mobile payment system, which allows customers' phones to handle the entire transaction process over the cellular network.
Champion has also installed Kraft's Interactive Diji-Touch snack machines on both campuses to provide an advertising platform for the schools to promote events and manufacturers to market the products featured in the machines.
Champion president William Mandile said food is an important component of the vending programs at both Adelphi and Manhattan College. Fresh sandwiches, wraps and salads for the food machines are supplied by Nick's Deli, located near Champion's headquarters in Astoria, which is well known by city residents and has proven to be a big draw on campus.
"Students can get a gourmet fresh salad with walnuts and dried cranberries and dynamite, deli-quality fresh wraps and sandwiches made with Boar's Head meats and cheeses for $5 to $6.50," Mandile said. "And they can get a drink or snack to go with it and have a whole meal for $10, which in New York is a good deal. The margins are low, but we are providing what today's college students want, and wherever we have food machines, snack and drink sales jump at least 20%."
Mandile refers to Champion as "The Whole Foods of Vending" and emphasized that merchandising snacks like Kashi, Kind and Clif bars and gourmet chips in place of traditional vending fare is key to serving the sophisticated collegiate New York market.
Champion Vending now provides vending services for 11 colleges and universities, including New York's Fordham University, Queensboro Community College, Hunter College and the City Institute of Technology, along with Connecticut's University of Bridgeport.
The company, founded by Mandile 23 years ago in Brooklyn, serves more than 200 customers throughout the tri-state metropolitan New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area.