NAMA launches nationwide Facebook contest
The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) launched the Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest (www.facebook.com/VendLoveWin).The nationwide, 8-month contest invites fans to post creative photos or videos of their favorite vending machines or vended products for a chance to win prizes. Facebook users per month can win $200 for themselves or a charity of their choice, and be eligible for a $5,000 grand prize.
Also at the Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest, entrants and voters are encouraged to check out the “Vend This” and “Vend Here” tabs. These two tabs allow consumers to provide direct feedback to the vending industry about additional products they want to see in machines, plus new and different places where they would like to see vending machines located. This marks the beginning of a larger campaign designed to boost awareness and generate excitement among consumers about the vending experience. Over the next several months, additional initiatives aimed at Gen Y will be revealed, including special events, giveaways, other social media efforts, new consumer technologies, and more.
Coke to test machines utilizing Google Wallet
>> The Coca-Cola Co. and Google have partnered to demonstrate a payment technology that utilizes the Google Wallet for two types of vending machines, a traditional vender and the Coca-Cola Interactive Vender (CCIV). The CCIV is an interactive experience that combines sight, sound, motion and touch to the consumer vending experience. Both of types of machines will be equipped with credit card readers that not only accept traditional credit cards, but are also enabled to utilize Google’s Mobile Wallet. Google’s Mobile Wallet transforms the purchasing process by allowing a consumer to make a purchase via an NFC-enabled Google Android phone. Coca Cola Co. will be piloting at least 200 vending machines starting in September in five markets: San Francisco, Calif., New York, N.Y., Chicago, Ill., Los Angeles, Calif., and Washington, D.C.
Kraft to split up snacks and groceries
>> Kraft Foods Inc. announced plans to create two independent public companies: A global snacks business with estimated revenue of approximately $32 billion and a high-margin North American grocery business with estimated revenue of approximately $16 billion. The company expects to create these companies through a tax-free spin-off of the North American grocery business to Kraft Foods shareholders.
Equity firm buys Next Generation Vending
>> H.I.G. Capital, LLC, a private equity investment firm, has completed the acquisition of Next Generation Vending and Food Service, Inc., a Stoughton, Mass.-based provider of vending services in the Northeastern U.S. H.I.G. joined forces with the management team, led by Chief Executive Officer David Mac Isaac, and Chief Operating Officer Joe Rogan, to consummate the recapitalization.
Snyder’s-Lance acquires New England distributor
>> Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of George Greer Co., Inc., a snack food distributor serving Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire markets.
First Choice Coffee signs distribution pact with Jammin Java
>> Jammin Java Corp. has signed an OCS distribution deal with First Choice Coffee Services, the largest OCS distributor on the West Coast and among the largest in the country. The deal will include a commitment of 1,000 Marley Coffee branded Bunn brewing machine installations in the first year, which will translate to approximately $2.5 million in pods sales on an annualized basis.
Technology firm to buy Energy Innovative Products Inc.
>> mPhase Technologies Inc. entered a letter of intent to acquire Energy Innovative Products Inc. (EIP), a developer of proprietary technologies for reducing energy usage in refrigeration and cooling systems, as well as equipment utilizing AC induction in motors. EIP, based in Fairfield, N.J.
Apriva partners with MEI on cashless
>> Apriva, a provider of end-to-end wireless transactions and secure information solutions, has formed a strategic alliance with MEI, a global manufacturer of unattended payment systems, to bring comprehensive cashless payment solutions to vending operators throughout North America.
Crane partners with USA Technologies Inc.
>> Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc. and USA Technologies, Inc. announced a 3-year agreement to deliver a combined cashless vending solution to Crane customers in North America. Under the agreement, USA Technologies will provide card processing, wireless communications and data services under its ePort Connect Service for Crane’s customers utilizing the new Currenza® cashless bill validator/card reader.
Canteen buys Jackson Brothers
>> Canteen Vending Services Inc. acquired St. Louis, Mo.-based Jackson Brothers, which operated 12 vending and OCS routes and three manual feeding locations, from owner Kendall Jackson. Jackson said all 49 employees will remain with Canteen. The purchase did not include Jackson Brothers operating facility, Jackson said. The purchase did not include Springfield, Mo.-based Jackson Brothers of the South, which became a Canteen franchise earlier this year.