Oct 07 News

Currency equipment manufacturers will offer vending operators tools to update their bill acceptors to accept the new $5 bill before the new currency is introduced to circulation next year. Vending equipment manufacturers said they have secured prototypes of the new currency in order to develop software upgrades in advance of the new bill's introduction. The Bureau of Printing and Engraving recently introduced the design, which includes more secure features to prevent counterfeiting.

Craig Lewis, director of product marketing for Crane Payment Systems, said his company will be issuing “SIM” cards that will allow operators to update their bill acceptors in 10 seconds. Lewis said one SIM card will enable a vending operator to update as many machines as necessary. He said the SIM cards will cost $25.

Tom Mattingly, national sales manager at Coin Acceptors Inc., said vending operators will need a handheld device to update their bill acceptors. He said operators will be able to get this at a Coinco service center. He said there will be a fee for downloading the upgrade, and at this writing, he wasn't sure what the fee will be.

Chuck Reed, director of marketing at MEI, said his company will offer a free upgrade to operator customers, but the operators will need to have a handheld computer to perform the upgrade.

Dave Elich, vice president of commercial sales at JCM American Corp., said his company will make software upgrades available free to operators. The software will be sent to operators in an electronic file via e-mail. It will also be available for operators to download over the Internet.

NAMA seeks to revise dollar coin requirement on federal properties
The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) is working with Congress to revise a requirement that all vending machines in federal properties accept dollar coins.

When Congress enacted the law providing for Presidential Dollar Coins that are now available, a section was included to encourage the removal of barriers to circulation of the coin. This section basically said federal agencies and businesses on federal properties, including vending machines, should take appropriate action to ensure that by Jan. 1, 2008, business operations involving coins or currency are fully capable of accepting and dispensing dollar coins.

Signs and notices indicating such capability are to be displayed, including on each vending machine.

NAMA reported that it is working with congressional staff to address recent concerns that have been raised about this requirement. Most vending machines on federal property should have the capability to accept dollar coins, but not all can dispense the coin in change and this raises questions about the actual extent of the requirement.

Vending operators are encouraged to refer questions to Brian Allen, NAMA senior director and counsel, government affairs/Central Area; phone: 312-346-0370 ext. 222;
e-mail: ballen@vending.org.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE) has entered into an agreement with The Coca-Cola Co. to distribute glacéau brands smartwater, vitaminwater, and vitaminenergy. CCE will carry all major package sizes and flavors of each brand in the majority of its U.S. territories and channels beginning Nov. 5, 2007. The glacéau brands further enhance CCE's beverage portfolio, which was recently strengthened through the portfolio additions of FUZE, Campbell's, and Dasani Plus enhanced waters.

“Adding these highly successful brands demonstrates significant progress against our first key strategic objective, which is to strengthen our brand portfolio,” said John F. Brock, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. “The Coca-Cola Co.'s acquisition of glacéau is a powerful boost to our system, and we are committed to helping maximize the growth of these industry-leading brands.”

Who's Your Daddy will acquire San Diego, Calif. distributor.
Who's Your Daddy, Inc., an energy drink manufacturer that markets to the vending channel, announced that it had signed a letter of intent to acquire substantially all of the assets of King of Energy San Diego, Inc., a distributor based in San Diego, Calif. that sells the company's King of Energy™ drinks to over 700 accounts in San Diego County.
KOE was founded in early 2007 and has used its full-function warehouse facility to increase revenues to an annualized revenue rate of over $350,000. The assets of KOE will be acquired by sharing 50 percent of the profit from the operation with the owners of KOE until a total of $100,000 is received by them. The transaction was expected to close in September, following successful due diligence and documentation.

ConAgra Foods Inc. buys Lincoln Snacks
ConAgra Foods, Inc. announced that it has acquired Chicago, Ill.-based Lincoln Snacks, a privately-held popcorn snack manufacturer.

Lincoln Snacks' priority brands include Poppycock and Fiddle Faddle and various retailers' private label products. The brands align with ConAgra Foods' strategy of optimizing its portfolio to continue sustainable, profitable growth.

Acquired by Chicago-based Ubiquity Brands in 2004, Lincoln Snacks generates approximately $45 million in annual sales. Lincoln Snacks' Lincoln, Neb.-based manufacturing facility will continue to produce the two brands.

Warren Money Systems discontinues operations
Warren Money Systems Inc., a vending equipment distributor based in Cleveland, Ohio, recently discontinued its business operations. In a letter to the Ohio Automatic Merchandising Council, Ralph Warren, president, said the company has stopped “normal operations” as of July 31, 2007.

According to the company's Website, Warren Money Systems provided pickup and delivery in the following states: Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

Coca-Cola Enterprises forms recycling unit for package recycling
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. announced the launch of Coca-Cola Recycling LLC. Based out of CCE's Atlanta, Ga. headquarters, Coca-Cola Recycling will focus on capturing beverage packaging materials in North America for recycling within the Coca-Cola system.
The Coca-Cola Co. announced plans to build the world's largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C., and revealed its goal to recycle and reuse 100 percent of its plastic packaging in the U.S. – a goal that Coca-Cola Recycling will play a large part in helping to achieve.

Coca-Cola Recycling is dedicated to recovering and recycling packaging materials used in North America – including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, aluminum, cardboard and plastic film.

The company will develop cost-efficient solutions for reclaiming used beverage containers and establish centralized recycling centers throughout North America with a goal of recycling 100 percent of the packaging materials generated by the Coca-Cola system.

Beverage firms respond to concerns about waste by supporting recycling
Following months of negative news coverage, including a resolution by the U.S. Conference of Mayors calling for research into the impact of discarded bottles on municipal waste, the beverage industry is stepping up efforts to promote recycling and use more recycled plastic in production of its soda, water, juice and tea bottles, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Some companies are reformulating containers to reduce the amount of plastic.

AVT will install digital advertising screens in public pay phones
Automated Vending Technologies (AVT), the technology-based vending manufacturer, has signed an agreement with Green Eye Media to install AVT's custom designed 7-inch LCD PC and patent pending digital signage software into 2,000 pay phones from San Diego, Calif. to San Francisco, Calif. as part of a pilot program. With the sale of digital advertisements through the installation of the software, both companies are looking for significant revenue increases to be generated through this program.

Canteen adds PayPass readers to machines in Jacksonville, Fla.
Canteen Vending Services Inc. is installing e-Port terminals that accept MasterCard PayPass on vending machines in its Jacksonville, Fla. marketplace.

Canteen has installed and is testing the credit and debit card payment systems and contactless capabilities in vending machines across a variety of its Jacksonville markets, from colleges and education, healthcare and retail, to lodging, business and the workplace.

Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Roseburg, Oreg. to build distribution center
Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Roseburg, Oreg. plans to construct a 35,000-square-foot distribution center at an industrial site owned by Douglas County, according to news reports.

The Coca-Cola Co. discontinues its Blak coffee drink
The Coca-Cola Co. has discontinued U.S. sales of the blended Coca-Cola and coffee concoction it introduced 17 months ago in 8-ounce bottles wrapped in mocha-brown plastic, the company confirmed, according to Beverage Digest. The company spent two years developing Coca-Cola Blak to try to make inroads into the growing coffee and premium beverage markets, according to news reports.

Pepsi Bottling Group to close Newport, N.H. plant
The Pepsi Bottling Group will close a facility in Newport, N.H. as part of its recently announced realignment. The company wants to improve efficiencies and streamline certain field operations, according to news reports.

Mars opposes candy industry efforts to change standards of identity for chocolate
In contrast to recent industry efforts to change the standards of identity for chocolate, Mars Snackfoods US announced its support for the current definition of chocolate and pledged to continue to make pure, authentic chocolate with 100 percent cocoa butter for all of its U.S. chocolate products.

Changing the standard of identity for chocolate could allow manufacturers to make chocolate with cocoa butter substitutes.

“Changing the definition of what chocolate is would be a mistake. The bottom line is that we're not going to change our chocolate. Today, Mars US chocolate products are pure, authentic chocolate and they're going to stay that way,” said Todd R. Lachman, president, Mars Snackfoods US, in a prepared statement. “Even though we could save millions of dollars, we simply won't compromise the purity and authenticity of our chocolate by diluting it with a cocoa butter substitute. This company was built on quality – it's one of our core principles – and we will not lower the bar on chocolate quality. ”

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United Inc. builds Plant in Baton Rouge, La.
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United Inc. recently broke ground on an $80 million production, distribution center and office complex in Baton Rouge, La.

Hormel Corp. acquires Burke Corp.
Hormel Foods Corp. has purchased privately-held Burke Corp., a manufacturer and marketer of pizza-toppings and other fully-cooked meat products, for approximately $110 million. The company anticipates annual net sales of $125 million, and expects the deal to be accretive to its fiscal 2008 earnings. “This acquisition increases our production efficiencies and adds manufacturing capabilities, enabling Hormel Foods to grow in this important category,” said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO.

Barry Callebaut will sell its Brach's candy to Farley & Sathers
Barry Callebaut will sell its U.S. consumer confectionery business, Brach's, to U.S. candy group Farley's & Sathers, according to news reports.

Innovative Vending Systems buys SmartMech Corp.
Innovative Vending Systems (IVS), Walled Lake, Mich., has acquired exclusive U.S. and Puerto Rico distribution rights for SmartMech Corp., a computerized system that audits cash in bulk vending machines, according to Crain's Detroit Business. IVS will also have nonexclusive worldwide distribution rights. The company will offer the technology to all coin mechanism manufacturers and OEMs. SmartMech Corp. was a wholly owned subsidiary of Ronnebegrer Computing Inc.

SuperPro Vending Group liquidates its vending machine and vending products subsidiary
SuperPro Vending Group has opted to liquidate its vending machine and vending products subsidiary, SuperPro Vending Group Inc. The subsidiary will be sold back to the original owners of the company via an exchange of shares in the company held by the original owners of SuperPro for all of the shares of the subsidiary.

The company also announced that its officers and board of directors stepped down as of August 21, 2007. Marc Jablon will now take over the responsibility of directing the company as the new president and CEO.

General Mills will close plants in Ontario and Allentown, Pa.
General Mills Inc. will close its frozen dough plant in Trenton, Ont., by early 2009, affecting 470 employees. The company is also getting out of the frozen waffle business and will close its frozen waffle plant in Allentown, Pa.

People in the News

Fast Track Convenience/Freedom Shopping Tabs Crane's Gene Stutzenstein
Gene Stutzenstein recently left his sales position at Crane Merchandising Systems to become business development manager at Fast Track Convenience/Freedom Shopping. Freedom Shopping is a self checkout retail kiosk that uses radio frequency identification technology. Fast Track Convenience markets the kiosks.

The kiosk consists of a checkout station where products are scanned by an RFID reader. Products in the immediate area are displayed in baskets, racks or in refrigerated or frozen coolers.

H.A. Franz & Co. Tabs Coin Acceptors' Steve Ten Barge
H.A. Franz & Co., a vending equipment distributor based in Houston, Texas, announced that Coin Acceptors veteran Steve Ten Barge has joined its Houston sales staff. Ten Barge will be responsible for vending sales in East and Southeast Texas as well as the Valley.
He comes to H.A. Franz & Co. with 20-plus years in the vending industry as branch manager of Coinco's Houston office. He can be reached at 713-523-7366 or at stevet@hafranz.com.

Kinsey Succeeds Woodward As Senior Vice President And CFO At Flowers Foods Inc.
Flowers Foods, Inc. announced that due to family reasons, Jimmy M. Woodward, senior vice president and chief financial officer, will retire as an officer of the company. Woodward will continue to serve in an advisory capacity for financial and related matters. R. Steve Kinsey, previously vice president and corporate controller, has been appointed senior vice president and CFO by the company's board of directors.

Automated Merchandising Welcomes Tom Hutchison As Western Regional Manager
Tom Hutchison, formerly of Mountain Coin Machine in Phoenix, Ariz., has joined the sales management team of Automated Merchandising Systems Inc. (AMS) of Kearneysville, W.Va. Hutchison is AMS' new western regional manager, serving customers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. He was the vending manager at Mountain Coin and before that he was a sales manager for American Coin Machine in Seattle, Wash.

Solo Cup Co. Names Ronald Wesel Vice President Of Foodservice Marketing
Solo Cup Co. has appointed Ronald Wesel as vice president of foodservice marketing. Wesel, 43, was most recently employed by Pregis Corp., a global packaging company specializing in protective, flexible and foodservice products, where he served as vice president of marketing and sales development.

Farmer Brothers Co. Names Roger Laverty Chief Executive Officer
Farmer Brothers Co. announced that Roger “Rocky” Laverty has been elected to the board of directors and will become chief executive officer. He has served since 2006 as president and chief operating officer. Laverty, 60, will succeed Guenter Berger, 70, as CEO. Berger will continue as chairman of the board after retiring in December 2007 after 47 years with the company.

Dean Foods' Dairy Group President To Exit His Position
Dean Foods Co. announced that Alan Bernon, president of the company's dairy group, will leave his position. He will continue in his role as a director of the company.

Former Aramark Executive Richard Wyckoff Joins Herbal Water Board of directors
Richard Wyckoff has been named to the board of directors of Herbal Water, Inc., Herbal Water co-founder Albert Cahana announced. Wyckoff is owner of both W. Strategic Consulting and W. Strategic Investments, LLC, and will help the company develop its new, all natural and refreshing beverage with no calories, no preservatives, no artificial additives and all the health benefits associated with herbs.

NAMA Names Tom britten a knowledge source partner
The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) recently named Tom Britten as a Knowledge Source Partner. Britten operates Britten Management Service, LLC. He served in executive positions at Macke, Service America Corp. and Canteen Corp.

Kraft Names Timothy McLevish Executive Vice President And Chief Financial Officer
Kraft Foods Inc. announced that Timothy McLevish, 52, will become executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective Oct. 1, 2007. McLevish joins Kraft from Ingersoll-Rand Co. Ltd., where he has been senior vice president and CFO since 2002.

Dean Foods Names rick Zuroweste Chief Marketing Officer Of its Dairy Group
Dean Foods Co. named Rick Zuroweste to chief marketing officer, dairy group. He will provide strategic leadership for the dairy group's portfolio of brands and lead the development of new product offerings.

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