Modern Life Vending Trends

Sometimes vending machine operators are faced with ethical dilemmas. One in nine US women use the morning after pill as a contraceptive device. There are machines at one Pennsylvania college that dispense the pills.

The morning after pill is basically a high potency birth control pill that prevents ovulation. It must be taken within a few days after intercourse. Most users are white women who have higher education. They take the pill because they forgot to take preventative measures or they are worried that the method they had used failed, such as a broken condom. The morning after pill was approved for usage fifteen years ago.

Vending Machines

When I first heard about these types of pills being vended I thought that the controversy that would arise would be from the right to life advocates. These pills are viewed by some as abortion pills.
One source said that he didn’t think you could go to a college in the United States and not be able to obtain information about these pills on campus. Those under seventeen are required to have a prescription for the pills.

There are at least five brands of the pills available on the US market and they cost from thirty five to sixty dollars a dosage at a pharmacy depending on the company that makes them.These pills are sold over the counter so an insurer would only pay for some or all of the cost without a doctor’s prescription.

About one in four women in their early twenties have taken a morning after pill. Women who were never married were more likely to take the pill at one in five, and then married women at one in twenty.

In a survey of 12,000 women fifty nine percent claimed to have taken it once, twenty four percent said they took it twice, and seventeen percent said they used the pill three or more times.Women who use the morning after pill three or more times probably need some guidance or counseling regarding a different method of birth control, although it is certainly an advance over actual abortions as a means of birth control, depending on your convictions and ideology. But just in terms of physiological and psychological impact on the woman it is preferable to abortion.

From a lay perspective I would imagine that right to life individuals would still consider a morning after pill as an abortion pill. I think it would be a lot less traumatic for the women involved though. Largely the controversy with these pills being vended is that there are certain side affects but no long term or serious side effects. They are safe for almost every woman.

Slight nausea, headaches, tired, dizzy, lower abdominal cramps, and tender breasts. Dramamine is recommended an hour before taking the contraceptive pill and it is also recommended that if a woman takes a morning after pill and vomits within one hour of taking the dose she should repeat it just to make sure that it has been absorbed.

The warnings would be on the packaging of the pills being vended along with instructions of course but there would be no verbal instructions from a pharmacist and that was probably what the controversy was about regarding medication dispensed through a vending machine.

However, you can now get prescriptions dispensed in hospital trauma centers and emergency rooms. There is a service called InstyMeds that does just that. The patient enters a security code that details there prescriptions and insurance coverage. Naturally pharmacists object to a machine replacing their knowledge and expertise. InstyMeds stresses that it is not a replacement for pharmacies but rather something that can cut down wait times in an emergency.

A study done by InstyMeds show that 90% of patients that use their machine actually fill their prescriptions as opposed to 30% that go unfilled the traditional way. As well, most calls about medication and script involve insurance questions rather than questions about how to take the medication and possible side effects.

Regardless, this seems like it will be a growing trend. It could cut prescription costs by reducing the dispensing fee. There might be increased access because of a twenty four hour trauma center when you could fill a prescription at any time. So there are likely opportunities and challenges in a new frontier for savvy and forward thinking vending machine operators.

Vending Machines Are Fun!

Vending machines are ingenious and interesting. People love them. They are fun to use and convenient. The first vending machine, in the first century, dispensed holy water.

Vending machines came into prominence in the industrial age. The first vending machines sold post cards in London in the early 1800’s. The first American machine was built in  1888 by Thomas Adams Gum Company, selling gum on New York City train platforms.

Very old candy vending machine Continue reading

Keeping Your Vending Machine Safe

There have been numerous stories in the news recently about vending machines being vandalized and robbed, so much so that it might actually be enough to stop people entering the lucrative vending industry. While the news is always disturbing, you also have to look at where the vandalism is taking place. You rarely hear about a vending machine being trashed when it is located inside a mall or other area that see’s a ton of traffic. Those are without a doubt the most lucrative spots for machine owners, which is why it’s important to think carefully about placement when starting a vending machine business.

There are people that will get into the industry by purchasing a refurbished machine online or from private seller in their area. The problem with going that route is that you are then forced to get out there and try and find places to put the machine. Depending on how much you paid for the machine, you may settle for a place that you know isn’t the best choice, simply because you have to start generating some income to recover your initial investment. This is where you have to ask yourself if the money you might save by buying from a private seller is worth the hassle of searching out your own location.

iPod vending machine © by D.L.

Where you choose to place your vending machine might also very well depend on what the contents of said machine are. A simple little gumball or coke vending machine might go unscathed in a dodgy location, but a machine that holds high end electronic products isn’t likely to last very long in that same spot. Choosing the perfect place to put your machine involves a little bit of thought, which is why you are better purchasing your machine from a professional distributor, such as yours truly.

We have been in the vending machine business since 1968, so it somewhat goes without saying that we know a thing or two about, not only the machines, but where they should be placed. There are certain types of machines that do better in certain locations than others. For example, an iPod machine is not likely to go over that well if placed inside a dollar store, just as a sugary snack machine may not be suitable for a fitness club. Some of it is just common sense, but it’s easy to have that go out the window when you are excited about starting up your own business.

Another reason to consider buying from a distributor is because you will then have access to any new parts, flavor tags, or other miscellaneous items that are essential to keep your vending business running smoothly. Taking the time to purchase from a trusted source and really thinking about where your machine should be located will prevent your machine from becoming a notch on the vending vandals bed post.

Grab A Coke, Count The Calories

It wasn’t so very long ago that cigarettes were the only products, other than harmful chemicals of course, that came with warning labels attached. It now seems that they are everywhere  thanks in large part to a health conscious group of folks that want everyone to be aware of what they put in their bodies. While not necessarily considered health warnings, calorie counts have become very common on food packaging, letting the consumer know just how many calories they will be ingesting when they drink that soda or eat that pack of chips.

The feeling has always been that people don’t really pay attention to what is printed on those labels, so there is now a movement on to make sure that everyone gets to see that calorie number up close and personal. McDonald’s recently announced that they would be putting calorie counts beside every item on their menu, as a way of keeping the consumer informed as to just what they are eating. It sounds like a fair enough idea, but you have to wonder just how much attention people are really paying to those numbers on the menu, as the addition of them hasn’t really done much to halt the sales of Big Macs.

Coca-Cola are the latest to join the calorie counting craze, having recently announced that their latest vending machines will come with the number clearly displayed on the selection button. This is a forward thinking move by Coke, who many believe are trying to stay ahead of the new regulations that are expected to appear next year. Although not yet full ironed out, it’s believed that the new regulations will require restaurants and vending machines to display calorie counts for every item that they serve.

How many calories? © by hermyzzz

In addition to the calorie counts being displayed on the labels and the coke cans themselves, the coke vending machines are also expected to have stickers that will encourage consumers to check the number before they buy. Rather than taking the negative side of this decision, Coke has actually welcomed the move, stating that they like giving their customers more choice. it’s their belief that folks will still buy Coke products, but may instead try something a little different as opposed to just sticking with the same soda that they choose every time.

It seems as though vending machines and fast food chains have come under fire more than ever in recent months, but that has done nothing to stop people from using both. If you are someone that was interested in perhaps starting your own vending machine business, this is not news that should make you question that decision. Coke is very much on board with these changes and is delivering the new machines to prove it. If they really believed that the vending machine business was in any danger, do you really believe they would continue to produce machines? The answer is no, because they are well aware that the vending machine industry is one that continues to expand and pull in huge dollars each and every year.

All You Need For School From A Vending Machine

I’m pretty sure that most of you have heard about some of the stuff that ends up being sold in vending machines across the world. There are all kinds of weird food items, high-end electronics, and all manner of items that you wouldn’t normally think would end up in a machine that sits side by side with a soda can vending machine. The fact that these new machines continue to pop up is testament to the love affair that the world seems to have with vending machines. The latest group to hop on board the vending train are the great minds at Harvard, and unlike some of the pother crazy machines across the globe, the items in the school of higher learning machine makes perfect sense.

While you might expect the average vending machine at a university to be filled with snack foods and energy drinks, the Momba machines at Harvard contain items that every student needs in order to survive. The machines contain such essentials as shampoo, toothbrushes, red cups, and of course phone chargers so that students can call home for an extension on their credit card. They can actually use those cards to pay at the Momba machines, as well as cash and even campus currency.

Harvard University campus © by First Daffodils

While some may be quick to write off this new breed of vending machines as nothing more than a cool little gimmick, the reality is that the idea actually delivers on a need that students have. The university is located in an urban area and has experienced a recent spate of violent attacks and rapes on and around campus. the last thing a student wants to do is run out of something vital, only to be forced outside late at night. The Momba machines allow them to get the items they need without putting their personal safety at risk.

The name Momba is derived from the phrase “mom bot’” because, let’s face it, it’s usually the matriarch of the family that is responsible for making sure that their child received regular care packages filled with all those essential items. The machines aren’t likely to take the place of Mom any time soon, but they can help cover the students during those times when they run out of the essentials before the next care package arrives.

It’ll be interesting to see just how well the machines do at Harvard, with success likely to lead to Momba machines showing up in schools all over the country. If you have given some thought about getting into the vending machine business and think that the Momba machines will take away some of your potential business, think again. As much as students need toothpaste and cell phone chargers, they still need those energy drink and sugary snacks to help them cram through the night for that next big exam.

Vending For Charity

You only have to look at the vending machines that sit side by side in schools, malls, and superstores to see that the war between Coke and Pepsi is very much alive and well. it is a battle that has raged for longer than most of us can remember, with many people thinking that both sides have gone a little too far in the name of corporate greed. The reality is that there is more than enough room on the block for both, with the majority of people choosing a side based on taste rather than some forgettable celebrity endorsement.

There are many people out there that have become more than a little jaded with this ongoing fight for dominance, but the Coca-Cola company has just implemented something on their vending machines that is sure to make people see them in a much better light. What they have done has enabled some of their machines to be able to accept charitable donations on behalf of the American Red Cross. Before everyone automatically jumps up in anger and assumes that Coke is somehow guilting you into buying, it’s worth noting that you can in fact leave a donation without purchasing a coke product.

American Red Cross © by The Eggplant

At the moment the machines are only available in the metro Atlanta area, but if all goes well, it would appear that the charitable possibilities are endless. The way the machines work is pretty straightforward. Once you have made your purchase you will be given the option to donate an amount of your choice via debit or credit card. As we already mentioned, you can also just choose to make a straight donation via the vending machine, even if you choose to buy a soda from the Pepsi machine next door.

What this does is give people an easy way to donate to a worthwhile charity, no matter which side of the soda war they sit on. This is all about a company setting aside the business of sales and marketing for a minute to focus on what’s really important in the world  Yes, there are likely to be those that remain skeptical and believe that Coca-Cola are doing this for their own selfish needs, but that would be a cynical approach that is most likely very far from the truth.

Vending machines have long been used to bring convenience to the consumer, and this charitable enterprise is just one way that the people can say thank you for the service that is being provided. By that, we don’t mean the service of the good people at Coke, but the ones delivered by the caring souls at the American Red Cross. How great would our world be if the help they provided was available to all for free via a vending machine. Alas it’s not, so we urge you to support them by making a donation at one of the Atlanta malls were the charitable vending machines are housed.

The Coke Machine Of The Future

Science fiction movies always have a way of teasing us with products that don’t yet exist, but which we wish were available now. We might not yet be anywhere near the day when we all have flying cars, and robots that do all of our housework, but we are about to see a much smarter vending machine. As much as we all love those wonderful machines that dispense our favorite drinks and snacks, we can all agree that there is still a little room for improvement.

It seems that the good folks at Coca-Cola think so too, as they recently revealed the Coke vending machine of the future. The new machine comes equipped with a Core i7 microprocessor, has wi-fi capabilities, a rather impressive digital display, and a high-definition camera loaded on board. Think of it as an oversized laptop, albeit one that can dispense your favorite beverage if you shove a dollar inside. Oh, and for those of you wondering about that camera on the machine, you might just say it’s a preventative measure against those that get a little frustrated when the machine decided to keep your money as a souvenir.

Coke Machine at the Wingstop © by donjd2

The camera serves a purpose other than catching vending vandals red-handed, and that is gathering information about the user. Don’t worry, we aren’t talking about some sort of retinal scan here, but the machine will ask you if you want a picture taken, which can then be used by Coca-Cola for demographic targeting purposes.

The digital display on the vending machine will feature pictures of the drink choices, doing away with the buttons and flavor strips that we have all come to know and love. If you have ever used any of the new coke machines, like the one pictured above, that allow you to make different drink combinations, then you’ll have an idea of what we are talking about.

The new machines are the brainchild of Coke and Intel, who of course were the brains behind the internal workings of the machine. This really does look like the vending wave of the future, and while they are only on display in South America at the moment, it is only a matter of time before they start spreading to other parts of the world.

What this should tell you is that the world of vending is one that is constantly on the move, with more and more companies opting to sell their products via machines. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that seems to get bigger and better each and every year, and which is a solid investment for someone looking to start their own business. There is no need to wait for the next wave of vending machines to drop before getting started, as the ones that we see every day wherever we go still work perfectly fine, and are just as popular as ever.


Starbucks Joins The Daily Vending Grind

We wrote recently about how coffee machines are making a welcome return to the world of vending. Coffee has become big business in recent years, with people seemingly happy to pay ridiculous amounts of money to get their hands of a nice cup of java. At the head of that movement was Starbucks, a Seattle based company that somehow transformed the morning cup of Joe into a luxury item that came with the customers name scribbled on the cup. Barista became part of the working mans lexicography, as did paying $5 for a single cup.

The dismal economy of the last few years has caused Starbucks to look at the way they do business and institute some changes. We are not yet ready to admit that we can see the future when it comes to vending machines, but the news that Starbucks are about to start placing their own machines in offices, airports and gas stations does make our earlier coffee vending machine post look a little prescient.


The big selling points with the Starbucks vending machines include the fact that they will be using freshly ground beans in every cup, delivering the drink at a cheaper price than in stores, and also offering 280 different drink variations from a single machine. While that all sounds great in principle, there is still some question as to whether or not regular Starbucks customers will embrace such a move.

The majority of folks that get their coffee fill from Starbucks retail stores claim that they do so because the quality of the coffee they receive there is better than anywhere else. The feeling may be that by going the vending machine route the , Starbucks will somehow be “slumming it” and delivering coffee that is far below their usual standards.

The jury is out on whether or not customers will embrace the Starbucks vending machines, but what we are sure of is that it will create a fabulous opportunity for those looking to get into the vending machine business. The same people that frown upon the Starbucks way of making coffee will be looking for an alternative to the big name java makers. What that means is that coffee vending machines that offer a quality product at a great price will be able to go head to head with the Starbucks machines.

Coffee vending machines are back and here to stay, just as we said they would be. The fact that a company that makes their money off of the coffee bean is jumping aboard the vending ship should be the ultimate proof in that pudding. If you have thought about dipping your toe into the vending machine business, then now might be the best time to do so. There are new and used machines available that will fit any entrepreneurial budget, so why not take a look to see what’s available right now and then jump right in with both feet.

Got Milk? Vending Machines Do.

When most of us head to the vending machine to snag a cold beverage, it’s usually with a water or a soda in mind. As much as we enjoy a nice cold glass of milk, it’s not something that we would ever expect to get from a machine, but that’s all about to change, at least in the heart of the English countryside.

Local farmer Adam Fleming has been in the dairy industry all his life and has grown tired of the way in which major supermarkets have been handling his beloved white liquid. Mr. Fleming’s main concern is the way in which supermarkets seem happy to sell milk at ridiculously low prices, which he believes makes the whole business completely unprofitable for dairy farmers. There seems to be some truth to his theory, especially when you look at the number of dairies that have shut up shop in recent years.

Rather than allow Nell’s Dairy, which operates on his land, to meet the same fate as many that have gone before, Fleming decided to follow the lead of dairy farmers in Europe who offer their product directly to the customer, totally bypassing the supermarket route.

DSC06533 © by Bryce Edwards

The milk vending machine at Nell’s Dairy operates much in the same way that water stations work in supermarkets. Customers bring their own containers, or purchase one from the vendor, and them simply reuse them whenever they need a refill. The dairy sells liter glass bottles for £1 each, which they can then fill with milk for a further £2.

You might wonder why anyone would think about paying more for a bottle of milk than they would at their local supermarket, but Fleming says it’s what’s inside that makes all the difference. By all accounts the milk that comes from the vending machine is brimming with creamy goodness, not to mention a healthy helping of Omega 3′s. With more and more shoppers jumping on the healthy bandwagon, there is a chance that this type of milk delivery could really take off.

Fleming has no plans for world domination just yet though, especially since the farm only has a grand total of 8 cows from which to pull the milk. He does foresee his little venture moving from Eyford Hill Farm in the Cotswolds and moving into some of the bigger towns in the surrounding area. Fleming’s real hope though is that other dairy farms across Britain will look at what is happening in his little part of the world and follow his lead.

Only time will tell if customers are willing to pay more for a little extra flavor in their milk, but you have to admire someone who is willing to take that leap of faith. Perhaps the day will come when we can grab a soda from a Coke vending machine before heading to the next machine and picking up a healthy bottle of milk.

Different Types of Coke Vending Machine

In most people’s lives they have used a Coke vending machine more than once. As the world has slowly been going towards energy efficiency there have been many new innovations with Coke vending machines. One of the newest innovations from Coca-Cola comes from Japan in the Fuji electric retail systems company.

They have developed a new type of Coke vending machine that is able to keep beverages cold without using power for up to 16 hours a day. This new game changer in Coke vending machine technology not only helps save money it also saves the environment.

Coke vending machines

One of the reasons Coca-Cola had to focus on more energy-efficient Coke vending machines in Japan had to do with the Japanese 2011 earthquake. The slow shift in types of energy use in Japan has had Coke shift its R&D department towards more environmentally friendly and cost-effective vending machines. The system used is called the A011 peak shift. This allows the Coke vending machine to shift the use of its power for cooling from the unusual peak midday to the nighttime.

How it works is that all the products and the machine are cooled at night so the rise in the machines temperature is limited even after the cooling has begun to stop for a long period of time. Also the machines vacuum insulated materials help reduce the impact of the outside temperature. The airtight doors also prevent cool air from escaping the machine, which helps reduce the overall impact of outside temperature. This is a good way to save money and save the environment at the same time.

Another type of Coke vending machine is a blast from the past antique vintage Coca-Cola soda machine. These type of Coke vending machines are wonderful way to sell a unique Coca-Cola product in a glass bottle. In certain places these types of vending machines are highly desirable and are still very useful in selling glass bottle Coca-Cola.

Some people for these types of Coke machines for the nostalgia purposes while some younger kids enjoy the unique variety that a glass Coca-Cola bottle has to offer. These types of Coke machines I started to get restored and are normally sold for around $3000 range.

Another type of Coke vending machine is the Coca-Cola robot vending machine in Japan. This robot vending machine walks around Japan in 2011 was just a man in the suit from the Coca-Cola advertising agency Japan. And it was a very cool idea and spawned a lot of interesting height and commercials.

The new Coke vending machines are currently doing a check in on Coca-Cola vending machines. These particular new innovation in Coke vending machines allows its customers to check in then choose an avatar that would fit their personality with the use of QR codes. There presently around 400,000 vending machines in the country with QR codes and around 420,000 more machines will be a start with QR codes by the end of 2012. This is part of Coca-Cola’s happiness quest campaign.

Of course this QR code vending machine happiness quest is taking place in Japan. Coca-Cola is hoping to fix personalities to different Coke machines across Japan. They’re hoping that by giving each machine its own unique identity it will help people almost develop relationships with these coke vending machines.

It is a very unique marketing approach to coke vending machines. Who knows before you know it you might be checking in at foursquare at a particular vending machine with a personality. Overall there are many different types of Coke vending machines out there and these are just some of the brand-new to old-school types.