Coca-Cola North America has placed 150 of its interactive vending machines in tests around the country at select Simon Malls locations. All of these machines are serviced by Coke bottlers.
The company is reviewing the results from the current placements and evaluating its execution strategy, according to Jeff Busch, director of on-premise innovation and operations.
VEII MIND ADDRESSES NUTRITION DISCLOSURE RULES
Vendors Exchange International Inc. has named its retrofit video touchscreen the MIND (Make Informed Nutritional Decision) because the company views nutrition disclosure as the key driver for the device in the near term. Brent Garson, president, claims the long-term uses for this technology will include more strategic point-of-sale pricing, paid video advertising and other benefits. But for the time being, he claims that most of the 200 MIND screens that have been installed to date are being used to provide nutrition information.
Garson believes the new calorie disclosure rule will raise awareness of both the power of video screens and Web-based data management tools in vending. “It’ll be site (location) driven and operator driven,” he said.
VEII’s MIND requires a 10-minute installation at the machine. The operator can download the nutritional information from a Website onto an SD card and place the card in the retrofit MIND device.
When used in combination with VEII’s universal control board, the digital video touchscreen becomes an even more powerful merchandising and management tool, Garson explained.
Besides displaying nutrition information, the video screen, in tandem with the control board, will allow the operator to display pricing information at the point of sale and allow the operator to change pricing in the machine from a remote location. Because the control board will enable the operator to monitor information such as pricing and profits more easily, he will be able to discount prices at an opportune time, thereby maximizing sales and profits.
The data can be sent to the control board via a cellular signal if the machine has a cellular modem.
Garson is also among those who believe video screens will bring paid advertising to vending machines.
He believes this due to the ability of item level tracking to verify sales in the machine. The item level tracking, in combination with a video advertisement on the machine, will quantify the number of sales that occurred when an ad was displayed on the machine. Garson claims this has already been proven.
New point-of-sale merchandising technologies utilizing new hardware and data management software promise to make the vending channel more relevant to consumers and hence, the food industry.
For more information, contact:
Coca-Cola Co., 800-438-2653, www.thecoca-colacompany.com
Crane Merchandising Systems, 800-325-8811, www.cranems.com
Fast Track Convenience, 419-764-3213, www.ftconv.com
Kraft Vending & OCS, 800-537-9338, www,kraftvendingocs.com
MB Media, 480-332-0844, www.mbmediabrokers.com
Quickstore24, 877-893-8903, wwww.quickstore24.com
Sprout, 908-927-1001, www.sproutretail.com
Vendors Exchange International Inc., 800-321-2311, www.veii.com