Tired of the long lines at the pharmacy? The wait may soon be over. This year companies have unveiled prescription pill vending machines. They work similar to an ATM machine: enter a pin number, password and the vending machine vends your prescription. Once you fill your initial prescription you can register to get the refills from the vending machine. California and Virginia are already embracing these new vending machines. ScriptCenter and their rival Distributed Delivery Networks Corp. are waiting for approval from the Wisconsin Pharmacy Examining Board. Another company, InstyMeds has vending machines used in emergency rooms instead of pharmacies. The emergency room vending machines are stocked with commonly used prescriptions and located in the waiting room. Doctors can send an electronic signal to the vending machine for the prescription that will print a label and vend the drug to the patient.
Coca-Cola Co. is introducing a new product this year called Coca-Cola Zero. Coca-Cola Zero is a new diet soda drink that will soon be available in Vending Solutions vending machines everywhere. Coca-Cola Zero is sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium.
Coca-Cola Co. is trying to increase their market share across the board including in vending machines. They have had disappointing performance with past products such as C2. Coke products have been losing their market share for 4 years in a row due to bottled water and energy drinks becoming more popular. Coca-Cola Zero is an attempt to win back the 18-24 age group.
Coke plans on starting a new ad campaign next month to promote Coca-Cola Zero. The new ad is actually a remake of the classic 1971 “Hilltop” commercial. It featured a cast of young people signing: “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony / I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” The new Coke commercial is dubbed “Chilltop” and the new lyrics are: “I’d like to teach the world to chill, take time to stop and smile / I’d like to buy the world a Coke and chill with it awhile.” Only time will tell if the new ad campaign is a success. Vending Solutions will offer Coca-Cola Zero in our vending machines as soon as it is available.
VinoVenue, a wine bar based out of San Francisco, is trailblazing a path into the future of wine tasting. When entering the wine bar the first thing you notice is there are no servers. VinoVenue is entirely self-service. VinoVenue has sleek wine vending machines with over a hundred different types of wine. The newly introduced wine vending machines are truly a treat for the avid wine lover. The wine vending machine can vend one-ounce samples of wine. Samples vend between $1 and $28 with over 100 wines to choose from. VinoVenue issues reusable smart cards for use in the wine vending machines. The smart cards keep track of what wines you have tasted and how much money you have spent in the vending machines.
There have been a slew of new energy drinks released in the past year. One of the new products being released by Coca-Cola Bottling is called Full Throttle. Full Throttle is a citrus flavored beverage that contains a combination of ginseng, caffeine, taurine, and guarana. Full Throttle is available in Vending Solutions Coke machines across the country. Pepsi-Cola Bottling also has its own line of energy drinks released through South Beach Beverage Co., Sobe Adrenaline Rush and Sobe No Fear. Both products are available in Vending Solutions Pepsi machines.
Another product, recently released by Anheuser-Bush, is called BE or B to the E. BE is a beer and energy drink hybrid that contains caffeine, guarana and ginseng. BE contains 6.6% alcohol and comes in three different flavors. Vending Solutions will not be able to feature BE in our vending machines due to the alcoholic content; however we do recognize that beer and energy drink hybrids are a growing market trend.
Energy drinks have helped to accelerate sales in vending machines everywhere. Over the past 5 years the energy drink market has expanded tremendously due to savvy marketing campaigns and a higher demand for the products. According to Information Resources Inc. Red Bull sells 7 times more than the next highest selling energy drink, Rockstar Energy Cola. It is no surprise that Dietrich Mateschitz, the CEO of Red Bull, is on this years billionaires list.
The Japanese have had credit card ready vending machines for years now. According to the Nilson Report, many vending machines in the United States will be able to accept credit cards by the end of the decade. The days of wishing that you had a crisp dollar bill or another quarter for the Coke machine will soon be over. The new credit card ready vending machines will slowly replace the existing vending machines. According to the Nilson Report, about half of all vending machines will be able to accept credit cards by 2009. Industry insiders predict a large gain in revenue generated from coke machines and pepsi machines due to the new credit card ready vending machines.
Pepsi-Cola North America is one of the first companies to adapt the new credit card ready vending machine technology in their Pepsi machines. Pepsi-Cola has reached a deal with a company called Paymentech to process all debit card and credit card transactions for every Pepsi machine. Coca-Cola will soon follow suit and start providing debit and credit technology for their Coke machines. The beverage industry is quickly adapting the technology for soda machines and snack machines are not far behind.
Many of you have heard of the issues with putting soda machines in our children’s schools. Many parents would like to stop the proliferation of carbonated beverages in schools due to the high sugar content and the supposed health issues. What many parents do not realize is that many school districts are losing significant amounts of money as a result. According to a School Nutrition Association 2004 trend survey revenue losses in the Los Angels school district alone will be close to $700,000 per year and in the Chicago area it will be very close to $3,000,000 a year. As state budgets continue to be stressed the schools will be hard pressed to make up for the loss in revenue generated by the soda machines. Many people don’t realize what a big business the vending industry actually is. There is a lot of money that your company could be missing out on as well.
Over the past decade or so bottled water consumption has been increasing dramatically. People who never considered paying for water in the past now consider it a necessity. Bottled water machines are appearing in new locations every day. According to Mintel, a research firm, per capita consumption was up 9.8 % in 2003 from 2002. In light of this recent news, Vending Solutions is happy to provide a variety of water machines featuring both Dasani and Aquafina products. Water machines are the perfect healthy solution for gyms and fitness centers, as well as offices and schools.
Diet drinks have been slowly gaining in popularity since the 1990s. Diet sodas’ market share has increased over the years. One day, it may eventually surpass even non-diet sales. This is still a long ways down the line. According to the Seattle Intelligencer diet sales were up more than 6 % from 2002 to 2003. Much of this has to do with our diet conscious society. Given the choice, many people will choose the healthy alternative. Luckily we have lots of diet drinks available in all of our drink and soda vending machines, including a plethora of recently released non-carb and other diet flavors.
Throughout 2004 both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola released a number of new products. Coke and Pepsi have created new lines of healthy alternatives to their classic formulas. Coke released “Coca-Cola C2” and Pepsi released “Pepsi Edge”. However one thing that is really turning heads this year is the seasonal products released that Pepsi Cola has released including “Mountain Dew Pitch Black” and “Pepsi Holiday Spice”. It will be interesting to see if these strategies pay off for Coke and Pepsi. According to Vending Times Magazine, more than half of soft drink buyers will by 6 or more types of soda. Having a variety of drinks may help drive both Coke and Pepsi’s sales for 2005.