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Looking back on 2012

December 27, 2012
By Stefanie Wallace


Dec. 27, 2012 – As we reflect back on 2012 and gear up for 2013, here's our take on some of the year's hottest news
in the vending and OCS industries.

Dec. 27, 2012 –
Happy holidays from all of us at Canadian Vending and Office Coffee Service magazine! As we reflect back on 2012 and gear up for 2013, the World Wide Web is full of stories recapping the year's most newsworthy stories and trends. Here's our take on some of the year's hottest news in the vending and OCS industries.

New research from Mintel revealed that consumers prefer to savour their java one cup at a time. The research found that although instant, ground or whole-bean coffee are still the most popular choices for the at-home barista, the single-cup coffee audience is growing. The most popular draw, according to the research, is convenience, followed by flavour and value.

Headlines in January also highlighted the first of many reports that Canada's new polymer money might not be the most durable after a man in Montreal reported that a new $100 bill shrunk when dropped on a baseboard heater.



Time's Brad Tuttle looked at the future of vending machine with high-tech devices. From movies and coffee to phones, emergency contraception and gold, Tuttle predicts high-tech machines will continue to grow. 


A veggie vending machine in Ireland looked for a bigger slice of the market in March. A farmer in Ireland set up two machines dispensing vegetables and eggs near his property, looking to provide his customers with fresh foods without having to sell through shops and markets.

Purchasing convenience for those on the go launched to a new level in March when Best Buy launched Best Buy Express at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
More than 60 product skus, including headphones, chargers, MP3 players and travel adaptors are available in the kiosks.


Canada's new $1 and $2 coins entered into circulation on April 10. The Royal Canadian Mint said the new coins incorporate advanced security features and are more cost effective than their predecessors. Shortly after their release date, reports and complaints began flowing through the media from consumers and vending operators alike about the lighter coins. Many companies and coin-operated machines were not prepared for the new coins, and many municipalities had to update and recalibrate equipment to accept the new coins. 


In an attempt to promote British Columbia's many activities and attractions, a gigantic 14-foot-tall vending machine was placed in San Franciso's Justin Herman Plaza in May. The machine dispensed mountain bikes, kayaks and surfboards in an attempt to show the people of San Francisco all of the travel experiences available in British Columbia.


Months after the launch of Canada's new coins, reports continued to surface with complaints about them.

Meanwhile, in British Columbia, a company negotiated with the city to implement a massive public rental bicycle system in spring 2013 announced its plans to sell helmets in vending machines to comply with the province's mandatory helmet laws.


The penny lives! . . . for a little while longer, anyway. Originally slated for elimination in fall 2012, the federal finance ministry announced in July that the penny would live on until Feb. 4, 2013. The revised date was meant to provide those participating in the transition to phase out the penny more time to prepare their businesses and staff, and to better inform consumers, the ministry said in a press release.


When the Olympics hit London in July and August, cashless payments took over the city. But the implementation of cashless payment systems at Olympic venues across the city was met with mixed reviews, including complaints of long lines and malfunctioning machines.


The Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association made its mark on Niagara Falls with the 59th annual CAMA Expo . This year's show, held on Sept. 28 and 29 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, brought 42 companies and 250 attendees from across Canada and the United States to the Falls to gain network info and industry insights.


Euromonitor International, a market research firm, forecast in October that sales of coffee pods will expand to nine per cent of Canada retail coffee sales in 2012.

In Toronto, a scandal involving debit cards and subway passes made headlines. Five Toronto men faced fraud and conspiracy charges after purchasing subway passes from self-serve vending machines that were not yet protected by PIN-chip technology.


As predicted, when the $20 polymer note launched in November, the media reported on several complaints from vending firms and companies who weren't prepared to accept the new bills. A Bank of Canada spokesperson confirmed in November that the first attempt at counterfeiting Canada's new bills had been made.

Vending machines in Chicago Park District got a makeover in December, when their traditional contents of candy bars and potato chips were replaced with granola bars and veggie chips. Overseas, the European Vending Association convened in Brussels, Belgium on Dec. 13 and 14. The mission of the association's general assembly was to bring renewed growth to the European industry.

Lots of exciting things happened in 2012, and we're looking forward to bringing all of 2013's news to you on Best wishes for a successful and prosperous 2013!

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