A battle of will: the vending machine

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We had a record weekend for eating over here. It started off with a bang – cheeseburger and cheesecake at Junior’s – a very famous Brooklyn eatery – and ended with pad thai and cookies. Needless to say, we waddled into the office feeling just a bit disgusted with ourselves, and swiftly resolved to go on a diet.

And then, unsuspectingly, I was met with this that you see in the picture.

It’s true what they say – life isn’t easy. It’s filled with temptations, like these chips, which happen to be one of our favorite flavors, that of spicy citrus! Well, we tried being good and went to Just Salad where we did get a delicious meal, but hours later, that bag was still calling to us every time we went to the kitchen to fill up the old water bottle. We relented, gave in, gave up, whatever you want to call it, and bought the dang chips. On the bright side, they only have 150 calories and 5 grams of fat in one bag. The flavors weren’t as strong as I was hoping for, but there is a nice lemony finish to each bite.

But the whole episode got us to thinking about vending machines in general. After a little web research, we are learning some fascinating things!

1. According to SnackShacks.com, every 15 minutes, over 3.5 million coins are inserted in vending machines located in the US alone, adding that by 2012 it is estimated that the total annual vending machine sales volume shall exceed approximately $60 billion dollars.

2. The first modern vending machine was created in the 1880s to sell postcards in London and in 1888 was brought to New York for selling gum on subway platforms. The first soda vending machine was developed in 1965. Interestingly, the very first vending machine is said to have been invented by Hero of Alexandria around 20 A.D., when he found a way to dispense holy water after customers inserted money into a coin slot.

3. There is something called the National Automatic Merchandising Association. That exists.

4. A website called Starting A Vending Machine Business claims that, if you put it in a good location, you could make up to 6,000 smackers a year!

5. Universal Vending Consultants says starting a vending machine business has a 90 percent success rate.

Maybe I’ve found my new second career!


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