Numerous vending machines were on display at South Street Seaport, New York. These weren’t just ordinary vending machines, but a sneak peek in what the future holds for vending machines with innovative and high-tech functions. The exhibit was organized by the National Automatic Merchandising Association and allowed passers-by to touch, see and test out some of the vending machines.
The trend seems to be heading towards offering more convenience and information to the consumer. A lot of the vending machines accepted credit cards to give consumers more flexibility in payment. The Crane Media Platform combines two vending machines into one, allowing consumers to purchase a drink and snack in one swipe. The DigiTouch enables the buyer to bulk purchase in one payment. Some of the machines like the Pepsi Touch and the 2bU displayed nutritional information of its products on its screen.
There were also some novelty vending machines on exhibit, like the Cotton Candy Machine that can make cotton candy in 14 different flavors and the Coke Touch, a touchscreen machine that makes a jingling sound when you purchase a beverage. What really caught people’s attention is the Avanti, which is an unmanned convenience store kiosk that allows consumers to self-checkout on healthy snacks and drinks.