A while ago we came across Mars’ limited edition Milky Way French Vanilla and Caramel and we were just absolutely craving the bar at the sound of it! Later, this limited edition candy bar was introduced into the vending and micro market channels and now, the bar is back! New, interesting flavors of common products are just so intriguing, plus, there have been so many of these kinds of products in the market recently – especially when something new is trending or when seasons/holidays are around the corner. Let’s take a closer look at the Milky Way French Vanilla and Caramel bar with some reviews
Milky Way also has Caramel Apple Minis during Halloween. What a fun themed candy bar for such a festive season! Has anyone given these a try? We can’t wait to get our hands on these this coming Halloween! Here’s a review of them from FatGuyFoodBlog:
Tell us what you think of this yummy candy bar if you’ve tried it!
It’s created a lot of hype recently and people all over the US are scouring stores in search of their names on Coke bottles and cans. The Share-A-Coke campaign this Summer 2014 is a big hit and takes product personalization to the next level. Coke has not only replaced their logo with 250 of the most popular names on some of their 20oz bottles, but the Share A Coke Tour with over 500 stops nationally gives people the chance to personalize 2 of coke cans of their own – one for themselves and one for a loved-one or friend. For the tour, Coke has set up a ton of cool vending machines that print custom names on cans instantaneously and dispense them to you! There haven’t been any stops in Iowa but we’ve seen a ton of names in stores here and it’s extremely exciting! We’ve also seen in stores; 12oz coke cans with nicknames such as “BFF”, “Gamer”, “Legend”, “Buddy”, and “Star”, just to name a few.
The campaign has also created a huge amount of buzz on social media for Coke, especially with Instagram and Facebook. As of mid-July, there had already been more than 125,000 posts about the campaign.So all-in-all, we’d say the campaign has already seen success, not only with brand conversion among purchasers but mainly with the online community.
The Share-A-Coke Tour even came by Iowa State University a short while ago and we made a bunch of cans for ourselves and our friends! Here’s a picture of our cute customized cans:
Did you find your name? Let us know! Don’t forget to #shareacoke when you share your pictures on Instagram and Facebook
Single-serve coffee has become a thing of today. While the markets for freshly brewed coffee are still hot, the single-serve market is definitely heating up. According to MarketWatch; which is published by Dow Jones & Co., single-serve coffee still accounted for less than half the volume of regular coffee sales, but they were forecast to rise by 213% to an estimated $3.1 billion in 2012 from 2011. With the quick adoption of single-serve coffee by consumers, many large brands, and even new brands are joining this coffee trend.
Here’s an interesting thought though, with the rising concern for environmental sustainability, how in line is the concept of single-serve coffee with these concerns? Many of the disposable capsules or pods are usually made of plastic or another chemically engineered material that isn’t biodegradable. With people drinking so much coffee every day, week or month, this indefinitely accumulates a ton of waste, and not to mention, requires a large amount of resources to keep producing. Beanarella, a Swiss Coffee Company which was founded in 2011 is one of the players in the single-serve coffee market. Beanarella was granted the “Golden Idea Award 2013” for being the first company to create a compostable coffee capsule worldwide. We think this is a huge step in the right direction and hope to see other brands following in their footsteps in the near future.
How about you? Are you a fan of the Keurig Coffee Brewers or any other single-serve coffee products? The coffee industry is now addressing sustainability concerns, but how willing would you be to pay more to use the more sustainable products?
Frito-Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest in the US was a big hit again this summer with over 14 million submissions. Last year’s winning flavor –Cheesy Garlic Bread– was released to stores just a few weeks after the contest, and this year the contest brought about a whole bunch of new and bizarre flavors to the finals! There are a couple of really interesting ones this year so let’s take a look at them and some of the opinions from Huffington Post.
Finalist #1: Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese by Matt Allen
Classic American comfort food with a twist of Bacon – how great does that sound?! We think this flavor will do really well on shelves, even though it’s one of the more ‘normal’ flavors that we’ve seen in the contest.
Finalist #2: Lay’s Cappuccino by Chad Scott
This one is interesting enough! Who would’ve thought of a coffee-flavored potato chip?! Well, Chad did! This flavor probably has the most bizarre take on chips since most people would need to expect it to be more on the sweet end instead of the savory snack that chips are supposed to be.
Finalist #3: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Mango Salsa by Julia Stanley-Metz
Salsa in my chips? Well why not?! This flavor is pretty ingenious just because it’s a flavor that conforms so well to the idea of chips. Hopefully the Mango gives it the extra kick it needs to take it to the next level.
Finalist #4: Lay’s Wavy Wasabi Ginger by Meneko Spigner McBeth
This flavor is pretty exotic – definitely not your average chip flavor. If this bag of chips somehow reminds us of sushi, lay some on us! We just hope that the taste of wasabi and ginger isn’t too overwhelming and spicy.
All 4 of these flavors will be out on shelves in a few weeks and we’re really excited to give them a try! Each of these flavors has their strengths and everyone is going to have their own preference, so it’s going to be a close call! But that Cappuccino flavor is just so intriguing though, it’s definitely at the top of our list anyway. What about you?
Remember to save your favorite flavor at the Official Lay’s Do Us A Flavor site!
If you are looking for a convenient way to brand your company to its many visitors, consider adding a vending machine. With vending management, you can add a machine that will help you with your branding efforts, all without the stress and hassle of managing the machines yourself. With a branding vending solution, you will create interest and engagement with your customers while meeting a specific need they have.
With the right vending management company, you can create a custom graphics package that puts your company’s logo or slogan directly on the machine. With this, you will not only be meeting a need, but also putting your brand in front of your customers.
With the right vending management, you can even customize the look of the products inside your vending machine. Then, maintaining, stocking and servicing those machines will also be handled by the vending machine management professionals. Simply sit back and enjoy the benefits of a fully managed vending service, including money in your pocket and increased branding for your company.
When you contact a vending management company, discuss the options for placement of your vending machine. Keep it in a central location so customers have access to it and are visually reminded of your brand. Stock it with items they will need while they are at your facility, and watch while customer satisfaction and brand recognition increases.
When your items do not vend properly, it can not only cost you repeat business. It canresult in costly repairs if customers decide to take matters into their own hands to try to get an item that misvends.
In recent news, a man damaged a vending machine by dropping it from a forklift when it failed to dispense the candy bar he’d purchased. In many other cases, customers have shaken machines, tipped them or made other unsafe attempts to get stuck snacks. To maintain a healthy relationship with your customers, craft a good vending management program that includes the following:
Regularly clean machines in your vending network to remove sticky residue that can cause items to get stuck.
Only place properly sized items in your vending machines. Trying to fit an oversized snack, for instance, can cause bags to get caught up and not vend properly.
Test your machines regularly to make sure snacks are vending correctly. This should be checked every time you visit to restock.
Good maintenance helps you preserve your vending services contracts. This sort of conscientiousness is what distinguishes successful vending machine companies.
Vending machines are an ideal way to provide a quick snack or small meal to employees, students and others, and modern vending solutions offer more options than ever so you can satisfy lots of tastes. But they still don’t offer as many solutions as a café service. Because they have so many people – with so many different food preferences – offices and schools are especially good sites for a combination of vending machines and café services.
Think about it: Both employees and students spend long hours on site; having a variety of meal options, including more comprehensive café options, is a great way to increase customer loyalty as well as your vending profits.
National Vending works with local operators across the country to provide café services for businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes. That kind of flexibility means we can help you make sure café areas are always stocked with the fresh, delicious options your customers like the most.
When it’s time to review your vending machine management program, consider adding café services to increase revenues and improve loyalty. No matter what combination of services you’re interested in, we can help you tailor a program to meet your needs and those of your customers.
Snack bars are also growing in popularity as quick snacks and complete meals. Vending machine companies benefit from understanding these trends as they stock machines and plan growth.
Demand for Versatile and Convenient Options
Employees appreciate the versatility and convenience bars provide. In addition to fitting easily into a purse, briefcase or desk drawer, bars can be eaten quickly between meetings or projects.
Desire for Healthy Snack and Meal Foods
Healthy snacks and meals fuel productivity and help consumers meet personal health goals. Many snack bars contain healthy ingredients like nuts and fruit, and up to 18 percent of vending services snack bars include high fiber claims. These healthy ingredients propel snack bar sales and meet consumers’ needs.
Increase in Employee Productivity
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 2013 employee productivity rose 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter because of increased worker output and hours worked. Snack bars play a role in this productivity as up to 40 percent of workers eat lunch at their desk and many others use bars to manage hunger and forgo breaks during long work days.
Snack bar sales grow each year by as much as 15 percent. A vending network benefits from understanding and taking advantage of this workplace trend when deciding which items to stock.
Hot and iced coffees increase productivity, health and happiness in the office. Now, stocking coffee for employees and clients is easier than ever. Increased crop yields and lowered prices make coffee an increasingly profitable option for office vending services.
Increased Crop Yields
Because global yields are on the rise for the fourth year in a row, excess coffee inventory is expected to reach 36.33 million bags or close to 8.8 billion pounds. That is the highest surplus since 2009. Brazil alone will produce 49.2 million bags, and the Asian surplus will most likely peak at 6.04 million bags.
While inventories rise, coffee prices fall for the third straight year. The average Arabica price per pound sits close to $1.107. That’s a 54 percent drop since 2010. At 27.95 cents per pound, Robusta prices are the lowest since October 2008.
Vending Services See Increased Profits
These high coffee inventories and low prices contribute to an affordable and plentiful coffee supply for consumers. Setting National Vending coffee makers and hot beverage dispensers in offices and other public locations is more profitable now that ever. From providing hot comfort on cold days to serving refreshing iced options, vending service sales wake up thanks to coffee.
Your vending network is supposed to help earn you money, not waste your money, so finding ways to cut costs while maintaining great service and customer satisfaction is a critical part of your vending management plan. One of the best ways to cut costs: Upgrade your machines to more energy-efficient models. Just a single Energy Star-certified vending machine could save you as much as $150 per year in utility costs, multiply that by the number of machines you have and you’ll see how quickly those cost savings can add up.
But just because they save energy and money, that doesn’t mean they underperform older machines. New and rebuilt machines that bear the Energy Star symbol use more efficient designs and components, including energy-conserving compressors, fans and lighting systems to provide the same top-quality temperature control and visibility as non-Energy Star models, but at a lower cost.