A Vending Machine is a coin or note operated machine selling products ranging from fast moving consumer goods up to selected electronic items. Vending machine has been considered as the best automated retail solution that with one swipe, eliminating the wonder through retail shops and super markets, thus ensures the round the clock convenience and exclusivity and impulse purchases for all customers. At present there are thousands of vending machines operated around the world providing convenient and prompt purchases of simple to most sophisticated array of products. This includes soft drinks, chocolates and confectionary, news paper and caffeine beverages, cigarettes and short pastries, soups and cosmetics and list is endless. Mostly these machines could be found in factory premises, offices, retail shops, fuel pumping sheds, hotels and restaurants offering customers the advantage of quick 24 hour service and the most striking feature is these machines could be operated with no human interference. In practice even in Sri Lanka, we have seen many caffeine and tea dispensers, but these machines do not fall into the category of vending machines as they are not responsive towards the money/ card / coin inserts and vendor handles the machine all by himself. The actual vending machines that are been discussed here is responsive to coin , money note or a credit card and the goods are dispensed in the meantime without a sales person. Most importantly vending machines enable round the clock sales of products, which aids in achieving the most lucrative sales volume with minimal operating cost. In improving the productivity and customer relations, a lot of new innovations are being incorporated in to vending machines
2. History and the Evolution of Vending Machines.
The very first point of reference to a vending machine could be found in the works of Great Alexandra, who was claimed to be an engineer and a mathematician during the first century, he created a machine which accepts a coin to dispense Holy Water. When coin was entered into the machine it will land on a pan attached to the lever, and it opened a valve letting the water to flow out. Pan will tilt as per the weight of the coin and at one point counter weight will snap the lever up and adjust the valve back to normal. In industrial Sense , the first coin operated was introduced in UK – London in early 1880 to dispense post cards , followed by that first vending machine in USA was built in New York City train platform dispensing gum and later on more sophisticated add on ‘s were introduced. Vending machine idea was considered as a trade simulator and around the clock sales rep. In the beginning of the times, Vending machines producers were supplying soft drinks, short snacks and caffeine through these machines. This spreads a real awareness of drinks vending significantly. One of the biggest success areas at the time was in the manufacture of disposable cups. Even today in most western and Europe countries coffee vending machine is a widespread sight in the majority locations where there are a great number of persons. Whether you are in an airport, a hospital or an office building, the probabilities of being able to grab a cup of coffee, a snack or soft drinks from a vending machine is extremely good. In its earlier days buyers were hesitant to grab food products from vending machines, as they suppose these machines do not necessarily offer healthy or fresh things. Consumers had shown a desire to read nutritional value labels before to purchase. That is precisely why they never trusted the freshness of vending machine items. With evolving time simple vending machines turns into fresh vending machines to offer the fresh and healthy food stuff for consumers. Fresh Vending meets the consumer demand for healthy and fresh easy access food options. This is the reason for the...