National Automatic Merchandising Association Honors 21 Innovation Award Winners

The National Automatic Merchandising Association recently released a complete list of all 21 i-Spot Award winners. Some were honored during a special presentation at the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) OneShowSM. VendingMarketWatch reported on the presentation shortly after the OneShow in April. The awards, presented by lead judge Paul Schlossberg, were based the following categories: features, benefits, creativity, image, productivity and profitability.

The 21 i-Spot Gold winners include: 

  • VendScreen, the day’s biggest winner, with five Gold i-Spot awards:
  • For Realize, a user interface turns an “ordinary” machine into a smart vending machine.  All operations are handled through an interface with touch-and-swipe controls already in use on mobile devices.
  • For Redeem, a mobile wallet app for payments, enabling users to browse and use coupons as part of the payment. The system is powered by Apriva and works with any smart phone and any credit card. With Redeem consumers can pay, use coupons, view information, and get a receipt in the app. This resolves concerns for cashless vending transactions.
  • For React, an iPhone and Android mobile app, helping operators and service techs track and view service calls in real-time and then map out travel to the next call. Through the app machine service techs are able to access manuals and send a refund code directly to a customer’s cell phone.
  • For Realm, a real-time graphical dashboard, delivering key performance indicators on a PC or iPad. Designed by a leading operator, Realm includes important measures and formats and provides actionable information for decisions about daily operations.  
  • For Revolution, a retrofit Android-based device with a touchscreen that can be installed into almost any existing vending machine in the field operating on a standard MDB interface. The four key features include cashless acceptance, a complete nutrition facts panel, data to track usage and advertising and promotions.

Other winners recognized at the show (listed in alphabetical order) include:

  • Avanti Markets, the global leader in the micro market industry, uses a state of the art self-check-out system to provide customers with the most innovative, reliable, and easy to use system in the industry. 
  • CNC Vending, a Safford, Texas vending operation, which executed the industry growth strategy at the local level – vend-love-win and connect for cash using social media to connect and communicate at vending machines and un-manned markets. More than 100,000 Facebook users saw the positive recognition posted by CNC customers and the company reports that sales are up by 15 to 20 percent. 
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle™ for its proprietary fountain dispenser. The sleek, stylish fountains are touch screen operated enabling consumers to select from more than 100 regular and low-calorie branded beverages. The machine was in development for more than four years and represents a complete departure from anything The Coca-Cola Co. has offered previously.
  • Conlux® for the company’s M-C-M-S coin changer. Installation is simple, and the changer automatically recognizes the coin configurations saving time and cost on training, installation and service calls. Operators can interchange between the two preset coin tube configurations to match their pricing strategy. 
  • Crane Merchandising Systems for the company’s innovative media platform which creates new opportunities and benefits for consumers, operators and brands. The platform is immediately online so users can monitor sales data, provide content, and execute cashless payments. An integrated payment solution with a credit card reader allows easy payments and higher dollar transactions. Wireless data feeds support nutrition information, advertising and a range of promotions to engage consumers and drive higher sales. 
  • Fairy Touch, Inc. for Gabby’s Choice Rice n Simple, an all-natural microwave cooked Jasmine Rice with Tasty Sauces that is shelf-stable for one year requiring no refrigeration. 
  • Follett Corp. for its 7 Series under-counter ice and water dispenser which supports the growth of iced coffee and iced tea in the OCS environment. The dispenser is compact, features a drain-less design, sanitary dispense and consumer-preferred chew-able Chew-blet® ice.   
  • Keurig® for the Vue™ V-1200 single-serve brewing platform with Custom Brew Technology™. The system adjusts water pressure, timing and airflow to meet individual taste preferences including customizable settings for stronger, bigger and hotter. The system also includes a specialty beverage capability to brew delicious, frothy café beverages.
  • MicrotronicUS for its newest Market Place, a self-check-out kiosk and the only system working in conjunction with today’s vending equipment. The system is user friendly and speeds the check-out process with low credit card processing fees and a flat, low monthly kiosk support fee. 
  • Promotion in Motion Inc. for Juicefuls, an 80-calorie, delicious and better-for-you snack alternative. The company claims product is the first and only fruit snack made with real fruit and 100 percent real fruit juices in the center.
  • Terra Cup for its three-dimensional printing with a unique bio-degradable foam layer which excels in design and function. The patented foam outer layer protects the user’s hands, maintaining exceptional insulation qualities. In addition, the innovative three-dimensional printing offers aesthetic benefits not available elsewhere.
  • 365 Retail Markets for fundamentally transforming the way employees view the break-room. A 365 Smart-Shop is a 24/7 un-manned self-check-out micro market offering fresh food and beverage alternatives to vending.
  • U-Select-it Corp. for its i-View vending machine which allows operators to develop their own vending applications on various operating systems or third party applications. Operators can communicate machine usage instructions, product features, nutritional data, offer promotions, discounts and combinations and issue coupons or QR codes, all while using in-house own graphics and video on multiple screens.
  • U*tique Shop was recognized for its premium and patented automated shopping experience. The company has developed the world’s first interactive, high-tech self-service store bridging the gap between e-commerce and traditional retail. Each U*tique Shop features an original touch-screen interface, interactive LED lighting, and a behind-the-scenes robot to deliver products to consumers.   
  • Sanden Vendo America for The Pouch-Link vending system which offers a new and revolutionary way to deliver popular beverage brands to consumers. Using the new system healthy, high juice content and flavored water drinks are produced on-demand mixing flash chilled water with bag-in-box concentrates in flexible pouches. The machine uncaps and fills a pouch with a chilled, filtered, fresh drink before recapping and delivering it.
  • Your Are Hollywood for creating the SnackWarZ mobile app game where the vending machine is the hero. The objective is to portray vending in a hip, fun and humorous way. No other industry has ever used a mobile app, specifically a mobile game, to be part of an industry growth strategy. 

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