Tag Archives: vending industry

Hiring a Refreshment Solution: What You Need to Know

vending copy copy
Hiring a Refreshment Solution: What You Need to Know

When narrowing down search results, consumers can be swayed by the reviews, star ratings, and social media accounts of the companies that offer solutions to their problems. This common occurrence, while inherent with our modernized ways of research, leaves consumers vulnerable to unsafe hiring practices. It’s convenient to assume that a company who promotes itself loudly online must engage in background checks and routine security improvements…but is that always the case?

To help you weed through the Google results, Perfect Choice has put together a checklist for seeking a refreshment solution:

1. Liability Insurance

It is extremely important that your refreshment provider has liability insurance for their employees and work vehicles. Consider the following scenarios that could arise from an uninsured vendor: a slip and fall on your company’s premises, a vehicle collision within your property lines, or an expired product fed to one of your employees. If you have hired a vendor without liability insurance, you could be held medically and legally responsible for the outcome of these situations.

2. Worker’s Compensation

Worker’s compensation differs from liability insurance, only covering injuries a vendor’s employee obtains on your premises. This provides medical expense coverage and any wage loss as a result of that employee’s injury. The two types of insurance – worker’s compensation and liability insurance – must be acquired by the prospective refreshment vendor to account for any and all necessary coverage.

3.  State Registration

Verify that your refreshment company is registered with the state and has all the licenses of operation. Choosing to work with properly registered companies promotes fair business practices.

4. Employee Background Checks

Always work with a company that has run background checks on their employees and incoming hires. Background checks are an essential part of the hiring process, and refer to a broad spectrum of information, not just a criminal record. When a business chooses to conduct background checks on their employees, they showcase responsibility for their business and for the overall safety of their clients.

Other considerations:

– Is your prospective refreshment solution on the rise with emerging technologies?

– Compared to their competitors, is their cost reasonable?

– Do they offer free consultations of your space prior to becoming your provider?

It is my hope that the above information helps you find the best fit for your location’s needs. If you have any questions or want to learn more about hiring a refreshment solution, contact me at lorena@perfectchoicerefreshments.com.

I look forward to chatting with you!

Written by Lorena Ricci, Director of Operations and Business Development at Perfect Choice Refreshment Services | perfectchoicerefreshments.com

Fundamentals of Offering Healthier Snacks in Micro Markets

As consumers become increasingly more health conscious, vending and micro market operators are rising to the challenge of finding a variety of quality items to include in their line of SKUs. In fact this year, nutritious snacks, or healthy snacks, constituted two percent of sales by dollar revenue in the vending industry, according to Automatic Merchandiser’s State of the Industry report.

For the roughly 1,000 micro market operators servicing nearly 10,000 locations in the U.S. as reported by the NAMA, better-for-you category growth offerings are not only necessary but essential to capturing the majority of consumers who say they snack at least once per day.

Look at key trends

In 2016, consumers will be more concerned with what’s in their food than what is not, said NPD Group. The micro market consumer is no exception. Lynn Robles, Automatic Merchandiser 2013 Distributor of the Year award recipient, notes that micro market customers are looking for fresh products, so operators should be sure to offer a variety of items that meet that criteria. “Keep it simple,” Robles said. “Start with three to four offerings of key items such as pre-packaged salads, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs and sandwiches with vegetables.”

‘Fresh’ isn’t the only healthy trend that consumers gravitate towards though.  A growing number of them are moving towards consumption of organic food, with TechSci global market research company estimating the global organic food market to grow at over 16 percent by 2020.

Other key better-for-you growth trends include gluten-free, non-GMO (genetically modified organism), local, simple ingredients, whole-grain and allergen-free. Manufacturers are creating packaged goods that meet the healthy snacking criteria and trends consumers are looking for. Robles recommends offering two to three organic, gluten-free and non-GMO items per market. From there micro market operators should look at offering a non-dairy milk choice, organic juice or lemonades as well as water.

Robles notes that micro markets should have a meal replacement selection such as bars, too. “If operators don’t think these will sell, I point out that this category is one of the largest sections in a convenience store,” she said.

Placement guidelines

Placement of healthy and better-for-you items in a micro market is just as important as the selection of products.

Although micro markets should not be considered the same as convenience stores, Robles recommends presenting healthy item sections similar to the grocery and c-store industry. Healthy, better-for-you items should be highlighted within the markets and displayed in their own section.

Healthy sections can be highlighted through décor such as signage with bright, eye-catching colors and icons that reflect a ‘health-focused’ theme above the shelving or below each rack.

“One of my biggest suggestions is to make sure the section looks top rate!” said Robles. “Don’t mix any traditional vending items in the healthy section; it needs to be a true, dedicated better-for-you area.”

Replace the vending hat

The vending and micro market user experience is fundamentally different; therefore micro marketoperators looking to succeed in that area need to cast their vending hats aside.

Micro markets allow for a much wider selection of items, including better-for-you options unavailable or too large for a vending machine. Micro markets also allow operators the ability to offer items that are of greater perceived value which can then be sold at a higher price.

In order to make the most out of fresh food and healthy items in micro markets, operators should look towards bundling ‘healthy’ item sales such as pairing a better-for-you drink with a healthy snack. Additional business can be captured by offering take-home meals to the micro market customer leaving at the end of the day.

The quality of healthy items has increased since the introduction of micro markets; manufacturers are responding to the consumer demand for health-focused items and micro market operators should as well. Micro market success will come from the quality and the variety of better-for-you options.

Read full article here –>

New Vending Era With Micro Markets

Seattle Visionary Ushers In New Vending Era With Micro Markets

When Jim Brinton, president of Evergreen Vending, felt the impact of the 2008-2009 Great Recession, he was concerned. His 34-year-old vending operation based in Seattle, WA, was weathering the turbulent economic times, but the future didn’t look as bright as the past. His concern deepened as he visited other vending operators around the U.S. in the capacity of NAMA Chairman. “I was feeling the same pain as the operators I was seeing across the country,” he said. With businesses closing or reducing employees, vending locations were disappearing. Wage freezes or reductions were leading to significant decreases in revenue. With no major changes to the vending industry since glass front vending machines and the bill validator, operators found it hard to highlight their service versus their competitor and drive the higher prices they needed to maintain profitability. Many saw a bleak future. However, visionaries see things differently. That is why, despite this time of uncertainty, Brinton decided to launch into a new enterprise that would not only reinvigorate his operation, but the entire industry — micro markets.

Micro markets were a much needed solution to Brinton’s concerns thanks to their ability to attract customers willing to pay higher prices for a greater variety of food as well as meet demands of an increased number of larger locations. In addition, the recovering post-recession economy made it an even more promising time to launch a new workplace refreshment segment.

“I often say the stars aligned,” joked Brinton about how he got into the micro market business. And he also credits it for keeping him in the industry. “I might not be here — my company that is — without micro markets,” Brinton added seriously.

The job he always returned to

Brinton began his vending career in 1976, at age 17. He installed a vending machine in his father’s auto supply store because employees kept enjoying his soda without paying him for it. Once he had one machine, he started looking for other places he could install the venders. When Brinton left for college he turned the business over to his younger brother to run for him. “It wasn’t his passion,” explained Brinton, who had to return to run the company. He grew his business by 250 percent in the next year, organically and by buying a few routes from other operators. Then in 1985, still young and full of too much energy, Brinton decided to also pursue a career in law enforcement with the City of Seattle after the encouragement of some friends. After 10 years, the unpredictability of the job led him back to vending full time. Since then, Evergreen Vending has grown to include 54 routes and 165 employees operating from four different locations throughout Western Washington and Oregon.

An industry is born

After the challenges of the recession, Brinton knew his company’s future had to be different. Probably the biggest change he made, both for his company and the industry, was going into business with another operator on a self-checkout system that did not use RFID tags, but allowed users to scan the existing bar codes on products. Up until that point, the systems marketed to the industry had needed RFID tags affixed to each product which added labor and physical label costs. Brinton thought there had to be another way and placed a few kiosks in locations for testing in 2009…

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Vending Machine Healthy Options Outsell Junk Food

California Study: Vending Machine Healthy Options Outsell Junk Food

Rick Nauret | November 30, 2015

California Study: Vending Machine Healthy Options Outsell Junk Food

The campus-based study found that when given the choice between cookies, chips, and candy bars verse nuts, trail mix, and air-popped snacks, consumers went healthy.The study is believed to be the first of its kind on an American college campus.

As part of the UC Global Food Initiative, the University of California has compiled case studies of how research done at UC campuses, including UCLA’s vending machine study, has contributed to food and agriculture policy.

Among those case studies cited is the study that was done by members of UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative in collaboration with UCLA’s Housing and Hospitality Services.

Researchers planned, implemented, and evaluated a pilot vending machine program aimed at encouraging customers to choose healthier items over conventional snack items without compromising the financial viability of the machines.

“What we aimed to do was methodologically identify healthier products and encourage customers to choose them, all without compromising the machines’ financial performance,” said Joe Viana, a doctoral student at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health who conducted the study…

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Innovation is only way to meet future food challenges | PepsiCo

Lay's wavy and classic original chips
PepsiCo has been actively working on the composition of its food products, including reducing the salt in its Lay’s potato chips.

MINNEAPOLIS — If food companies think there are big challenges feeding today’s world and its 7.3 billion people, even bigger problems face them in the future, said Mehmood Khan, M.D., Ph.D., vice-chairman and chief scientific officer of global research and development at PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y. He gave the keynote address at AACC International’s centenary meeting in Minneapolis on Oct. 20.

Speaking to an audience of cereal scientists, millers and ingredient suppliers, Dr. Khan offered his reasons for describing innovation as the answer.

“If we continue doing in 2050 what we do today, 3.5 billion people will be hungry,” he said. “The world is depending on the food industry to feed the planet. If not, even with today’s high level of conflict, we haven’t yet seen what can result when that many mouths go hungry.”

A decade ago, when PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer Indra Nooyi recruited Dr. Khan, he was charged with changing the R.&D. climate at the company. It boosted its budget for such work by 30% but was quickly plunged into the worldwide financial crisis. PepsiCo’s stock plunged, but the company persevered.

“By 2013, net revenues from innovation accounted for 8% in sales,” Dr. Khan said. “In 2014, it was 9%. Any declines we had in traditional brands were more than offset by these innovations.”

In addition, PepsiCo products accounted for 10 of the Top 50 new products that year.

He advised his audience of scientists, “If you want to make a difference, you have to step out of the norm.”

PepsiCo did that when it hired Dr. Khan. He trained in medicine first and entered agronomy later. He received his medical degree, specializing in endocrinology, from University of Liverpool and his doctorate in agriculture…

Read full article here –>

Vending Machines of the Past

Did you know that vending machines have been around for almost two thousand years? Take a look at what used to be dispensed via this article from Gizmodo below:


9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They’d Sell Anything

9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They'd Sell Anything

Vending machines didn’t always just sling soda and smokes. Did you know the automated peddlers have been around for about two thousand years? In fact, thevery first vending machine was invented by first-century mathematician Hero of Alexandria to dispense holy water using a series of valves, pulleys, and weights. And they’ve been stuffed with just about anything you can imagine since.

It wasn’t until after the Industrial Revolution that vending machines became a normal sight. The first ones, which sold postcards, appeared in London in the 1880s. Then in 1888, they traveled across the Atlantic to New York City, where machines built by Thomas Adams Gum Company peddled chewing gum on subway platforms.

We’ve been buying all kinds of things from machines ever since, from whiskey to hot meals to fruits, and all kinds of foods and oddities in between. Here are some of our favorites.


In 1918, when vending machines were still a recent phenomenon, they dispensed pies. Today’s vending machines should take a hint.

9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They'd Sell Anything


In that same year, vending machines would give you a manicure.

9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They'd Sell Anything


This 1953 machine was ancestor to the modern Great Wall Super Buffet.

9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They'd Sell Anything

Image credit: Life


In 2013, you can’t really imagine a hot meal from a vending machine tasting like anything but warm cardboard, but in 1953? Probably still cardboard, according to this hot meal patron’s expression.

9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They'd Sell Anything

Image credit: Life


It’s safe to assume that the reason we don’t see farm fresh eggs straight from the vending machine is that eggs crack.

9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They'd Sell Anything

Image credit: Central Press


The Book-o-Matic is just as good an idea now as it was when it existed in 1949.

9 Vintage Vending Machines From a Time When They'd Sell Anything

Image credit: Life



See full article here –>