Vending Machines and Bitcoin: The Next Wave?

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What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

A vending machine accepting this cryptocurrency sprung up at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Perhaps as an ironic twist of it accepting Bitcoin, the vending machine only sells Soylent.

Are Bitcoin-accepting vending machines in our foreseeable future?

While MIT is not pioneering the Bitcoin-accepting vending machine frontier, it is an early adapter. Some of the first Bitcoin-accepting vending machines were spotted in 2012.

Chris Smolen, founder of Utica-based Upstate Networks created a  Bitcoin-accepting vending machine. Smolen said: “I thought it could be as big as email in terms of the advent of the Internet,” further explaining: “Once people realize the ease of these payments, they’ll never go back to Visa or MasterCard.”

It is commonplace to find vending machines that accept credit cards and debit cards now. Of course vending machines still accept cash as payment, and coins. As we progress as a society with different methods of payment, vending machines are adapting as well. Due to their incredible ease of use, and convenience, we are confident vending machines are here to stay. Perhaps we will see more and more vending machines accepting Bitcoin as payment systems continue to diversify and become competitive.

Backed by over 80 years of manufacturing and serving vending products, USelectIt currently stands as one of the most reliable names in the business. From snacks and sodas to lattes and cappuccinos, our vending machines for sale will leave an impression on your customers and keep them coming back. No matter what you would like to vend, we have an industry-leading machine for you.

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Update on GMO Labeling Reform

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In July 2016 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the GMO labeling reform bill, a bill that would establish a mandatory national standard for GMO labeling, keeping states from issuing their own mandatory labeling laws. The bill was passed last week by the U.S. Senate, and will now be sent to the President for his signature.

If passed, the bill prevents states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods that contain genetically modified organisms, often called GMOs. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which passed 275-150, would instead create a federal standard for the voluntary labeling of foods with GMO ingredients.

Opponents have pushed back against the legislation, saying it will keep consumers from knowing what’s in their food and stop FDA from crafting a national GMO-labeling solution.

Proponents of the legislation, however, claim a patchwork of labeling laws at the state level would drive up food costs.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association said state-level GMO labeling mandates would increase grocery prices for a family of four by as much as $500 per year and cost food and beverage manufacturers millions of dollars to change food labels and supply chain systems. Democrats maintain that labeling would ensure transparency.

The House rejected two Democratic amendments to enhance GMO-labeling requirements. One would have banned the use of the term “natural” on food that contains a genetically engineered plant. The other would have forced any U.S. company that labels a product as containing GMOs in a foreign country to label the equivalent product the same way in the United States.

USI participated in this year’s NAMA FlyIn to represent the vending machine industry on the hill. Stay posted to our blog for more info on the upcoming reforms.

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U-Select-It and NAMA Take the Hill

We’re proud to be a sponsor for the 2016 NAMA Fly-In.

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The NAMA Fly-In is open to all NAMA company member representatives, industry leaders, and customers who want to be an advocate for the industry.  The NAMA team will facilitate face-to-face meetings with your representatives, giving you the opportunity to tell them more about issues affecting your business. Attendees will meet in small groups with the Congressional Members or Congressional senior staff. Each group will be accompanied by a NAMA staff representative.

Join fellow business and industry leaders to bring the Voice of the Refreshment Services Industry to Members of Congress in Washington, D.C.  

There is no registration fee for attending the NAMA Fly-In.  However, your information is required to correctly schedule your congressional visits.  Please visit the registration tab or click here to register and attend!

 

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Sustainability and Vending Machines

What do vending machines and sustainability have to do with each other? Well, they are more linked to one another than you may believe.

The four pillars of sustainability are:

Environmental responsibility

Some vending machines offer the ability to recycle your plastic, even going as far as accepting a recyclable item as a method of payment. In Japan, there are vending machines that run on solar power. There are current vending machines that allow the purchaser to donate clothes in exchange for vending goods.

Cultural/knowledge vitality

The role of a vending machine is to deliver things we need when we need them. This reaches far beyond simple food and drink. Goods dispensed through a vending machine are now ranging from computers to books, to medical supplies.

Social good/well-being

Vending machines can be used to generate social awareness. With the influx of bike sharing programs, a few vendors have gotten creative and installed helmet sharing vending machines next to the bike sharing stations. This allows for people who are temporarily renting the bike to stay safe and rent a helmet at the same time.

Economic health

Many vending machines, like our new Evoke series, now accept cashless payments. With a goal of helping vendor operators increase revenue, the Evoke series embraces emerging trends in payment systems by offering expanded capabilities for credit/debit and mobile payment platforms.

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Backed by over 80 years of manufacturing and serving vending products, USelectIt currently stands as one of the most reliable names in the business. From snacks and sodas to lattes and cappuccinos, our vending machines for sale will leave an impression on your customers and keep them coming back. No matter what you would like to vend, we have an industry-leading machine for you.

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The Evoke Series: Sales Power at Your Fingertips

 

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At the 2016 NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) OneShow, U-Select-It debuted their newest and most technologically advanced vending product: The Evoke Series. Missed the show? No worries. We’re going to take you inside and explain exactly why the Evoke series is changing the game for every vending machine distributor, and for every shopper.

It is clear that the Evoke series appeals to customers with its outward motif, engages them with interactive and on-the-fly updating ordering and navigation, expedites their transaction with cashless and credit/debit payment, and ultimately offers an entirely new vending experience.

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Recap: NAMA OneShow 2016

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The 2016 vending and refreshment service industry trade show is behind us. Held in Chicago, Illinois April 13-15, the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) convention hosted hundreds of exhibitors and even more attendees from both small and large, national and international brands, including U-Select-It.

The chairman of U-Select-It, Art Wittern was honored as the NAMA Allied Member of the Year. The award goes to a member who has shown dedication in the industry, as well as demonstrated innovation, responsiveness to the changes in the field, and followed or developed best practices, as well as helping others engaged in refreshment services expand their productivity and reach. Art was the president and CEO of U-Select-It’s parent company, The Wittern Group, until 1990, when he moved into the chairman position and another family member became the third generation of leadership.

There were many exciting developments for U-Select-It at the NAMA OneShow this year. U-Select-It launched its Evoke series of machines, which utilizes a touch screen and allows consumers to purchase more than one item per transaction. The company also debuted its Greenlite remote pricing feature, which allows operators to adjust pricing and promotions without being at the location of an individual machine. As a vending machine distributor, U-Select-It is always moving forward, learning from trade shows like NAMA OneShow and incorporating that knowledge and growth into new products for their operators and consumers.

What’s happening in the rest of the trade? Programming at NAMA OneShow included information on the growth of both brewed-to-order and cold coffee, developments in technology, addressing changes to consumer food values, micro markets, the relevance of social media for vending, best practices for safety, cash-free or “virtual commerce” transactions, loyalty programs, and gamification (making machine interfaces game-like).

Without question, this was a banner year for both NAMA OneShow and U-Select-It. By staying abreast of current trends and futurecasting, remaining involved in legislation affecting vending, and persisting in reaching out to consumers and operators to share information, the future of the industry is very bright indeed!

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2016 Launch of New Product Guide

2016 vending machine product guideIndustry leading snack vending machine manufacturer U-Select-It is incredibly pleased to announce the launch of their new 2016 Product Guide, available right now at www.uselectit.com. The guide is filled with an overview and general information about all of the state-of-the-art new products from the company that are already making their way out to businesses all over the world, allowing U-Select-It to further cement its reputation as a forward-thinking, innovative distributor of high quality vending machine solutions.

Advanced Ergonomic Options from U-Select-It

One of the major ways that U-Select-It is continuing to push the envelope in terms of advanced vending machine options takes the form of the advanced ergonomic items available in the 2016 Vending Machine Product Guide. All of these machines feature a number of great new features like:

These advanced ergonomic options are also designed to meet all 2012 ADA Guidelines by offering monetary and product retrieval at 48″ by 15″ in size.

Geneva Hot Beverage Merchandiser

Another great item that is making its debut in the 2016 product guide is the ADA compliant Geneva Hot Beverage Merchandiser. This advanced piece of equipment offers 11 major selections and up to 34 different beverage combinations of coffee, specialty coffees, hot chocolate, tea, cappuccino, espresso and more. Selection pricing is available in increments from $0 all the way up to $65.35, allowing retailers to charge what they want, how they want – no exceptions.

Refrigerated Food and Beverage Combinations

The general popularity of combo vending machine options is on the rise, which is why U-Select-It is incredibly pleased to feature a wide range of refrigerated food and beverage combination machines in their new catalog. One of these takes the form of the ADA ready Alpine ST/VT5000 vending machine, which can offer up to 50 different items depending on the needs of the retailer. The tray configuration is inherently customizable, allowing businesses to add, remove, raise and lower shelves depending on their needs. Selection pricing is available in increments from $0 all the way up to $655.35 and the unit is compatible with all industry standard MDB compatible devices when it comes to payment. If you’re looking for a vending machine with a superior form factor and all of the important features you need, it’s hard to do better than the Alpine ST/VT5000.

To find out additional information about the 2016 Vending Machine Product Guide, or to learn more information about all of the other incredible items that are available to order right now, please visit the company’s website at www.uselectit.com today.

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U-Select-It to Unveil a New Vending Machine at the 2016 NAMA ONE SHOW

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YOU will not want to miss this…

Industry leading vending machine provider U-Select-It is incredibly excited to announce that they will be unveiling a brand new, state-of-the-art vending machine at NAMA One Show 2016. Though details of the machine itself are being kept tightly under wraps, it’s safe to say that it will single handedly cause consumers to think about vending machines in a bold new way.

U-Select-It has always made it a point of pride to offer customers with a full range of quality vending machine products, and the new item that they’ll be unveiling at the show is certainly no exception. It was designed from the ground up to continue the fine tradition of fully-featured refrigerated food, frozen food, coffee and snack vending machines that has made U-Select-It one of the most trusted international vending machine names over the last several years.

All of U-Select-Its vending machines are engineered to offer not only a superior level of energy efficiency, but also a dramatically straightforward ease of use for customers and service associates alike. These machines accommodate many different types of packaging and accept bills, coins, credit and debit cards, mobile payment technology and absolutely everything in between.

For the last several years, NAMA One Show has acted as the single most important trade show for the $25 billion food and refreshment vending, coffee service and food service management industries worldwide. In addition to showing off all of the latest technology as it is evolving to help elevate the industry beyond traditional vending, attendees get a chance to see new products and services in the flesh from more than 250 different industry suppliers. NAMA One Show 2016 will take place from April 13 to 15, 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.

In addition to showing off their latest vending machine technological breakthrough, there are also a huge number of additional reasons to stop by Booth 500 and check out the U-Select-It exhibit in person. If you’re looking for just the right vending machine for sale, you’re in luck — U-Select-It will have a number of great models on hand and is ready to provide in-house financing options and the best distributor and factory service network in the market today to help make your experience every bit as enjoyable as it should be.

If you’d like to find out more information about NAMA One Show 2016, or if you’d like to purchase tickets to attend yourself, please visit the event’s official website at http://www.namaoneshow.org today. If you’d like to find out more information about all of the unforgettable vending machine options that U-Select-It has brought to customers all over the world, or if you’d like to be on hand to see the company’s new vending machine be unveiled live and in person, be sure to visit Booth 500 during show hours.

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New K-Top Coffee Pod Vending Machine Will Save You Money While Keeping People Happy

K-Top Vending Machine - PRCoffee vending machines are a staple in offices, educational institutions and various types of professional environments around the country. Not only do they limit the types of coffee that your employees can have, but they’re also hardly the most time-efficient option out there for getting people the caffeine they need when they need it the most. U-Select-It is poised to change the way you and your workers think about coffee vending machine equipment with the new K-Top Coffee Pod Dispenser.

Manufactured entirely within the United States, this K-Top Coffee Pod Dispenser lets you keep up to 256 different pods on hand at all times. No longer will your employees have to choose only between “regular” and “decaf” – you can keep a bevy of assorted items within arm’s reach at all times to better service their actual tastes and preferences.

You also never have to worry about an employee walking off with coffee pods ever again, as the K-Top machine comes with built-in security and anti-cheat countermeasures designed to prevent theft. The beautiful glass front display lets your employees see all of the items on hand at all times, but it won’t even think about dispensing a pod unless payment has been rendered. Coffee theft isn’t something that you have to worry about ever again, at least if the new K-Top coffee pod vending machine can help it.

Perhaps the most significant feature that the K-Top machine brings to the table is versatility. The onboard software is not only simple and easy-to-use, but it also integrates seamlessly into your current vending business – increasing sales opportunities at the same time. You can see exactly which items are popular and which items are not, allowing you to make the best possible decisions when it comes to purchasing to make sure that you never run out of those popular items – driving revenue as high as it can go.

The best part of all is that the new K-Top Coffee Pod vending machine doesn’t just save you time – it saves you money as a business owner as well. The unit includes energy saving LED lighting to help cut down on your monthly utility bills and even has an exceptionally small footprint – it fits comfortably on any standard 36 inch countertop with 18 inch cabinet to counter spacing. Replace that old, tired coffee pot or even an entire coffee vending machine with something state-of-the-art today; the K-Top Coffee Pod Dispenser.

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Japan Gets Ready for 2020 Olympics by Creating Interactive Vending Machines for Tourists

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Almost everyone has enjoyed the convenience and wide selection provided by vending machines. But research has shown that tourists are sometimes hesitant to buy drinks they are unfamiliar with when visiting a foreign country. In preparation for the 2020 Olympics, a leading beverage manufacturer working with a Japanese consulting firm will introduce an interactive vending machine in Tokyo. This vending machine distributor is hoping to make choosing and purchasing drinks and snacks easier for those who will soon be visiting Japan.

A New Vending Machine for Tourists

When traveling to a foreign country, visitors can easily get frustrated if they don’t understand the native language. Tourists who visit Japan for the 2020 Olympics will be able to more easily enjoy delicious drinks and snacks even if they can’t speak Japanese. In preparation for thousands of tourists that will be visiting in the next few years, the Japanese are setting up a trial interactive vending machine that will be in Asakusa, close to Kaminarimon. This is an area that has been popular with foreign tourists and will be a good site to test out the new machine. This machine is currently designed for English speaking customers.

How These Incredible Machines Work

These new vending machines make it easy for everyone to access the beverage of their choice with an amazing new voice recognition technology. This technology will provide users with specific information about whatever they wish to order from the machine. It will inform potential buyers of a selection’s calories, carbonation, and even sugar content. The vending machine will even be able to make recommendations for consumers based on the current season and popularity of particular drinks in Japan. To use this new technology all a customer will need to do is to speak into a tablet located on the side of the machine. Customers can choose various selections and engage in a real-time conversation with the vending machine.

The Potential of Interactive Vending Machines

Interactive vending machines have potential far beyond the 2020 Olympics in Japan. A snack vending machine or soda vending machine with the capabilities to interact with consumers would provide many opportunities for vending machine operators and owners. USelectit.com provides several types of vending machines that could be used for everything from schools and businesses to parks and special events. Placing a machine in a high traffic area that provides snacks, drinks, frozen treats, and even a variety of other products can provide a consistent stream of profits. Contact USelectit for more information regarding a variety of vending machine choices. They are a full service manufacturer that helps vending machine operators and owners every step of the way.

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