I’ve heard that things move slowly in vending. But not in 2014. The industry faced many changes this year; some challenges and some sighs of relief. I had the wonderful privilege of writing VMW’s first blog post that brought us into 2014 and now, I finish out the year with our final 2014 blog. Here are the most popular news items of each month in 2014. Twelve things you should have learned in 2014:
Jan.: Young Vending Entrepreneur Unconcerned With Calorie Disclosure – This news topic brought us into 2014 and is taking us out of it as well. Calorie disclosure is a hot topic with operators, and rightfully so. Stay tuned to VendingMarketWatch in the coming weeks to find out what you will need to do in the next two years to comply with new regulations.
Feb.: Fresh Healthy Vending Looks To Acquire Micro Market Division, Corporate Refreshment Services, LLC – Locations love micro markets for their fresh food options. Micro markets will continue to grow in 2015, and it looks like “healthy” preferences will, too.
Mar.: Rogers Family Co. Files Lawsuit Against Keurig Green Mountain – The Rogers Family Co., a family-owned, Lincoln, Calif.-based roaster, packager, grower filed a lawsuit against Keurig in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California for violations of federal and California antitrust and unfair competition laws.
Apr.: Internet Ruling Could Have Adverse Effect On Micro Markets – This conversation is currently going on today. We reported back in April the Federal Communication Commission ruling could have adverse effects on the vending industry – specifically micro markets. In January 2014, the FCC’s rule was challenged in federal court and the bandwidth aspect was overturned. The issue had affected at least one micro market provider who was forced to renegotiate with its existing Internet service provider or switch to a new service.
May and June: Massachusetts-Based Next Generation Sells All Vending Routes and Brothers Reacquire New York Vending Business— Acquisitions and reacquisitions were the most popular news items for both May and June. Next Generation Vending, LLC based in Stoughton, Mass., completed a series of transactions which resulted in the sale of all of its vending operations. The effective date of the transactions was Friday, May 16, 2014. Meanwhile in June, John and Tom Houseknechts reacquired the family vending business and renamed the business Crickler Vending.
July: New Mobile Coffee Maker: It Could Be Added Competition For OCS Operators – A new personal mobile coffee maker called mojoe™ made its debut in July. The product allows the consumer to brew a cup of coffee on-the-go, however, when the consumer is in the office, they aren’t thinking about having to brew their own coffee.
Aug.: AMS Announces New Ownership – Automated Merchandising Systems (AMS) President Sharon Shull has announced the purchase of the vending machine manufacturing company by AMS Group, Inc., led by its CEO, Roger Tovar.
Sept.: G & J Announces Three New Independent Contractors – G & J Marketing and Sales added three independent contractors to the G & J team: Brad Barton, Nick Porcelli and Raju Chuganey.
Oct.: Crane Merchandising Systems Announces Crane Cashless Support for Apple Pay – I think this was important to many readers because mobile payments are in their infancy both in retail (for the most part), and in vending. But mobile payments won’t be in their infancy for long.
Nov.: FDA Finalizes Vending Machine And Menu Calorie Labeling Rules – This is a biggie. Refer to “Jan.” above. We found that readers were also most interested in finding out how our industry leadership responded to this issue. A very close second was NAMA’s response.
Dec.: Former Vermont Vending Operator Talks About Tough Times In Vending Due To R-Factor – Josh Patrick, former vending operator, recently shared his experience of vending’s infamous R-factor (reduction factor) in a New York Times blog and how it caused him to sell his family vending business in 1995. We also wrote about the R-factor in our April issue.
So what are some other critical issues that were close seconds? Coin content will stay the same, for now. Minimum wages may have started increasing in your state or city. Consumers are demanding healthy food, although some operators say it doesn’t sell as well.
Think we missed something? Let us know what was most important to you this year – comment below or send us a tweet @VendingMagazine.