CHICAGO, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Vending machines have long been one of the antidotes to snack attacks everywhere. To celebrate America's love of vending, the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) today launched the Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest (www.facebook.com/VendLoveWin). The nationwide, eight-month contest invites fans to post creative photos or videos of their favorite vending machines or vended products for a chance to win prizes. Beginning today, 20 Facebook users per month can win $200 for themselves or a charity of their choice, and be eligible for a $5,000 grand prize.
"This contest is going to help me communicate with my younger customers in a way that's meaningful to them," said Chuck Olson, owner of CNC Vending, LLC in Houston. "They're online, so that's where I want to be, too."
Tom Reynolds, Vice President, Foodservice at PepsiCo, added, "We know consumers – especially young adults – crave opportunities to express themselves and they enjoy engaging in these types of interactive contests. The vending industry is eager to provide the tools for consumers to convey what they like and want in vending."
Also at the Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest, entrants and voters are encouraged to check out the "Vend This" and "Vend Here" tabs. These two tabs allow consumers to provide direct feedback to the vending industry about additional products they want to see in machines, plus new and different places where they would like to see vending machines located.
Vend.Love.Win. is the beginning of a larger campaign designed to boost awareness and generate excitement among consumers about the vending experience. The program is geared largely to Gen Y consumers (ages 18-29) due to recent NAMA research indicating that Gen Y prefers vending over convenience stores and grocery or drug stores. Over the next several months, additional initiatives aimed at Gen Y will be revealed, including special events, giveaways, other social media efforts, new consumer technologies, and more.
NAMA conducted comprehensive industry and consumer research to provide a foundation for this broad industry growth strategy. The study found that four out of five consumers view vending favorably. In addition, Gen Y consumers showed strong interest in technological advancements and innovation in vending, such as touch-screen interfaces and cashless payment options.
"There's a lot of buzz and change in the vending industry right now, and this program is one way to share that excitement with consumers," said Dan Mathews, NAMA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "Based on the data our research revealed, and the exchange of ideas we are having with consumers and our industry, we believe the future of vending is very, very exciting."
For more information about the Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest, visit www.facebook.com/VendLoveWin.
About The National Automatic Merchandising Association
NAMA, based in Chicago, is the national trade association of the food and refreshment vending, coffee service and foodservice management industries including on-site, commissary, catering and mobile. Its membership is comprised of service companies, equipment manufacturers and suppliers of products and services to operating service companies. The basic mission of the association, to collectively advance and promote the automatic merchandising and coffee service industries, still guides NAMA today as it did in 1936, the year of the organization's founding.
SOURCE National Automatic Merchandising Association