Red Bull, known for its energy drinks, has launched a line of organic sodas, available in early June.
New Zealand is the first country to launch Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar, the first cola by the company that is sweetened solely with stevia.
PEZ Candy, Inc. announced on May 2nd, the auction of an exclusive Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dispenser set in support of Make-A-Wish® UK. 
Canadian company GreenSpace Brands Inc., launched Meatbar™, a new product  aimed at snackers who want high protein, simple ingredients and convenience.
CLIF launched a line of nut butter-filled bars that will be available in June this year.
Lampados International, Ltd. has created Liteez, a 3D meringue kiss sweetener for hot beverages. A new eco-friendly facility was just completed to reduce energy and water use.
Sydney, AU – The popular corn chip brand, Doritos is testing out Australia’s market for crackers. Targeting millenials who are already familiar with the corn chip as a snack, PepsiCo hopes this will attract a new fan base.
Consumers’ confusion in the “mixed messages” and the prices of some premium bars are cited among reasons for low sales of snack bars this year. Douglas Yu of Confectionery News reports. | READ MORE
Bazooka Candy Brands’ innovative use of 3D-printing technology resulted in creating Match-Ems™ interlocking gummy candies.
CEO of Snack It Forward creates a line of nutritional, gluten-free “flavour-forward” lentil based snacks.
A new flavour was just launched by The Original CakeBites. Cinna-Crumb Streusel CakeBite is the newest addition to the CakeBites line, and is available in family-pack formats as well.
Canada’s first spring water to be packaged in Tetra Paks, now has two new products in their organic flavoured water line. Organic Strawberry + Rose and Organic Watermelon + Lime will be released in April.
When I asked the Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association’s (CAMA) new president Chris Stegehuis how he embarked upon a career in the vending industry, his story — like many of ours — involved a bit of coincidence. His post-secondary study had him pointed towards a career in golf course management but an off-season job with a vending company made him pivot.  
It was a beautiful mid-September Sunday morning in Montreal!  Nothing but blue skies, as Ella Fitzgerald sings.  I had just finished a 20 km bike ride and was sitting in Canada’s favourite meeting point (namely, Tim Hortons) at the corner of Bégin and Côte-Vertu, close to the airport.
When Black Box Vending opened its doors for business in 1995, dial up modems were cutting edge technology, Bill Clinton was president and DVDs were newly launched. It boggles the mind to think how far we’ve come in terms of technological advancement. It boggles the mind to think about how profoundly technological advancement has impacted the vending industry. For Black Box Vending; embracing change has helped them avoid becoming irrelevant.
The Brew Centre of Brampton, Ont., has a history as rich as any Colombian coffee sold there, but it also has a fresh new look and approach.
Lewiston, NY – Ted Morton founded Casco Bay Vending in Lewiston in 2008 with two employees and a vision. The Business Sun Journal reports. | READ MORE
Lorna Kane is a superwoman in the vending industry. The owner and sales manager for Kane's Distributing Ltd. based in St. Catharines, Ont., Kane is the 2016 recipient of the Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association's Don Storey Memorial Award. She is also the first female to receive the honour.
Entrepreneur Richard Zinck’s latest venture has him thinking of how to do micro markets differently. Loyalty Markets has tapped into technology, abandoned the need for a warehouse and developed a system for training its customers with a free credit.
Albert and Sophie Eskow aren’t your typical retirees. Instead of walking the beach and playing golf in sunny Florida, this hard working couple dedicates 12-hour days to their business, Alberta Vending Services, located in Leduc, Alta. Tending to over 400 vending machines in nearby Edmonton and the surrounding area, they drive their route together each day, and say they are happy to be doing the work they love.
Condo dwellers who run out of milk typically have two options: do without or dash out. But at a growing number of Toronto condos, there’s a third option: pop down to their building’s common area and pick up cream, bread or eggs from a vending machine. Providing that kind of convenience is the motivation behind Grab’nGo Vending’s Micro Shops – small footprint automated kiosks that sell basic grocery items and  essentials.
Ryan Company Ltd. is a fourth-generation family business that provides vending and office coffee service across much of British Columbia. Though its history spans nearly eight decades, Ryan Vending is a progressive company, firmly rooted in the present and always with an eye on the future.  
A PET bottle-collecting machine that pays users through their smart phones? An app that you can use to order pickup of recyclable items from your home? One Beijing company is trying to bring recycling into the “smart” era – and make money at it. Plastic News reports. | READ MORE
May 8, 2015 – The Stewart family is synonymous with Savco Food Services Ltd., a small company that, over 53 years, has built an enviable reputation for high-quality service you’d expect from a small-town business.
PayRange Inc., the in-app mobile payment service for automated retail, announced that WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems (WASH) has selected PayRange to be the technology provider of its mobile payment solution.
Newton, MASS – Paytronix Systems, Inc., an innovator in online payment and marketing systems, announced the next version of its branded mobile app with native online ordering, a self-service content management system.
Portland, OR – Cecil Ledesma, a veteran of cashless payment systems at USA Technologies has recently joined the ranks of PayRange Inc., as vice president of enterprise sales.
Whether your inclinations fall total techie, staunch Luddite, or somewhere fair to middling, I bet Apple’s next big thing that you have opinions about technology meandering in and out of your mind most days. Whether we are trying to escape it, reaching for it, cursing it or loving it, it’s presence is pervasive; cue understatement.
Parlevel Systems, a technology provider for vending, coffee and micro market operators, has announced an integration with Quickbooks accounting and bookkeeping software.
Quebec – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has created a new unit to monitor bitcoin after filing charges against PlexCorps, a Quebec cryptocurrency company that was promising investors returns of 1,354 per cent in 29 days or less. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
There are many digital platforms to use when it comes to paying without cash. Moneycontrol News reports on the features and differences in 10 of the big ones. |READ MORE
Toronto – Google has introduced Android Pay in Canada, enabling Android users with participating cards to make Interac Debit, Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit card purchases with their Android mobile phone or tablet.
About 30 years ago, when Chuck Pifko got a job working for a Coca-Cola vending business straight out of college, he had no idea he would land in a high-tech business.
Edmonton – Back in 1987, the $1 coin was met with excitement by transit operators in Edmonton, but vending machine operators saw the coin as an added expense. CBC News reports. | READ MORE
Toronto – Canadian consumers and businesses are using the Interac e-Transfer service at record levels with more than 158 million transfers made over the platform in 2016, Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation (Interac) said in a news release.
Toronto – India mobile payments and commerce company Paytm has launched bill payment service for Canadians.
The international automatic distribution showcase, Venditialia, will discuss balancing the trend towards healthier food choices, while meeting the need for snackified, hand-held convenience.
Competition for creating sustainable containers and cutlery to reduce plastic waste is heating up.
Confection company Nielsen reported that the two weeks leading up to Easter of 2016 generated 20% more sales than Halloween. In total Easter candy generated over $1.1 billion U.S. Confectionery News reports.
The next time you look at a tulip, reflect upon that fact that in the late 1500s, one tulip was valued at as much as an estate. The flower had been imported from the Middle East, contracted a virus that made a variety of pretty colours appear on its petals and people became convinced foreigners would pay a fortune for them.
Toronto – More than half of Canadian human resources managers reported their organization has decreased their health and wellness offerings in the past five years, according to recent surveys that also delve into employee habits.
The Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association (CAMA) celebrated the 60th anniversary of its annual trade expo in the heart of Quebec City. The expo was held at the Quebec City Convention Centre from Oct. 12-14.
Salt Lake City, UT – Vending machines installed by the LDS Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, let people donate gifts to those in need around the world and receive a tax receipt on the spot. The Deseret News reports. | READ MORE
Amazon gobsmacked the retail sector this year when it piloted small grocery stores without cashiers or checkouts. Amazon’s Seattle-based test store used computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion, like that found in self-driving cars. Amazon branded it “Just Walk Out” technology.
Rebekah Iliff talks to Visa's Jack Forestell about the push to move into a cashless future. The HuffPost reports. |READ MORE
Sports bloopers often about preventable errors that favor the other team. The classic is when players score against their own side. In the world of business, there are similar blunders - particularly during buying conversations with potential customers - that end up favouring the competition. As I explain in my seminars for sales teams, it's not always a shortfall in your company's product, price, or service that ruins a potential sale. Often it's inadvertent comments that put customers off just enough for them to choose your competitor. Unfortunately, sales reps are usually unaware they commit these offences so they keep repeating them. See if you or your team members ever make these top six selling gaffs.
David Furman has upped his single shot of espresso to a double shot.
Like so much about the vending industry, choosing which beverages to stock is about balance.
Coffee has gained in popularity among emerging economies where the fashion of drinking it is seen as Western. The popularity of coffee in China alone has contributed to the growth in demand with supply doing its level best to catch up. The International Coffee Organization (ICO) reports that Chinese consumption of coffee grew by over 16 per cent per year from 2013 until now.
Millennials now outnumber boomers in the workplace, indicates the 2018 Nourish Trend Report , so it comes as no surprise that they influence the majority of trends this year.
Costa Rica – Costa Rica will lift a 30-year ban on Robusta coffee trees, a crop that is considered of lower quality than Arabica but that is more resistant to diseases and rising temperatures, the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed. Reuters reports. | READ MORE
Da Lat, Vietnam – With Vietnam’s exports accounting for just $3.4 billion US per year of the coffee-based beverage market out of $500 billion worldwide, there is room for the country to increase exports, said its agriculture minister speaking at a seminar in Da Lat. VietnamNet Online reports. | READ MORE
College Station, TX – World Coffee Research have teamed up with FlavorActiV, Coffee Enterprises and Square Mile Coffee Roasters to develop a set of 24 global standard flavour references that allow tasters all around the world to have an identical reference point.
About a decade ago, butter coffee started to surface as a “thing”. The idea was founded in more than just a very rich caloric beverage; the aim was to enhance the well-being of the consumer through an Atkins style regime based on ketosis (limiting carbohydrate intake in favour of fat and proteins).
The perfect tea blend is sometimes elusive. You had the perfect cup of tea on vacation: was it the water, was it the way it was steeped, was it the perfect temperature and time or was it the perfect blend of tea, herbs and spices?
Quebec — Italy’s N&W Global Vending and Canada’s Les Entreprises Cafection shared that they will team up to manufacture and sell coffee machines in North America. European Supermarket Magazine reports. |READ MORE
Old-school coffee roasters have an obsession with their product. This is a good thing: whether it involves the selection of the green, the blending of the beans or coaxing out the finest flavour development in the roasting process – the final proof has always been the taste in the cup.  
Coffee is a right of passage. It’s often the first adult-only beverage one consumes when entering the teenaged years.
Los Angeles – The Research Center of the Specialty Coffee Association is teaming up with the recently established UC Davis Coffee Center on a two-year project to re-evaluate the scientific assumptions, measurement tools, sensory information and consumer research that underpin coffee brewing. Global Coffee Report has details. | READ MORE
Orlando, FL – Brew Coffee Co., a registered non-profit and privately branded single-serve coffee company operating out of the Northeast United States, will expand into all 50 U.S. states and Canada with eight flavours, the company said in a press release.
With the economy expanding in Canada, many owners are wondering if this is the year to consider selling the business. In most of the major regions of Canada there are five specific reasons why it would make sense to sell in sooner than later.
For private equity groups, there is lots of money, but no deals available in the vending industry.
Atlanta, GA – Gimme has released a teaser for its augmented reality micro market tool for the vending and foodservice industry.
For private equity groups, there is lots of money, but no deals available in the vending industry. At this time, there is more money in the system than anyone can imagine. But there's also a shortage of vending companies to acquire and good projects to invest in.
We’ve been dividing people into four personality types, styles, or patterns since the time of Plato. These days, online personality tests are everywhere. After a number of fun questions you can discover which animal, shape, colour or celebrity you’re aligned with. Or take a serious personality test to help identify your management, leadership, or communication style.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is notably attributed the quote “there is nothing permanent except change.” Incarnations of this statement have been said each way from Sunday, eight days a week, upside down, inside out and over the rainbow. Knowing the truth of this sentiment doesn’t mean we see it coming. Life is constant dichotomy between the change we choose and the change that chooses us.
There are as many quips and quotes about change as there are stars in the sky, so I’ll not labour singling one out here. Change is everywhere, eternal and the one thing that can be counted on (aside from death and taxes, of course). Don’t like what’s happening right now? Don’t worry, things will change. Loving every minute? Enjoy it, because it won’t last either.
Famous leaders are often praised for their passion, assertiveness, focus and intelligence. However, when CEOs were asked to name the most important quality people desire in their leaders, they gave a surprising answer—humility. |READ MORE
When baby boomers took their first "real" jobs upon entering the workforce, their demands and expectations were ridiculously low by today's standards. On their first day on the job they got an employee handbook that they took home and scanned while eating dinner or watching TV. Company training, if there was any, was minimal.
According to one Gallup poll, 50 per cent of employees leave their job because of their bosses. However other studies have shown that employees can leave for a number of other reasons such as opportunity, better pay, or more responsibility.
"While succession is challenging for all businesses, it often becomes even more complicated when family relationships must also be considered," writes the staff at Entrepreneur magazine. Here, the publication offers five tips to help best plan family succession. |READ MORE
The board of directors for CAMA has been very busy through the winter months. As a board we meet regularly for an hour or so, every month, via conference call.

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