NAMA

CONVENIENCE SERVICES

Explore the spectrum of convenience services: vending to coffee services to micro markets and beyond. Learn about the trends and innovations shaping our industry.

History of Convenience Services

215 BC

Device to dispense holy water used in the temples of Egypt, described by the mathematician Hero who lived in Alexandria.

500 AD

Coffee is first cultivated.

1076 AD

Chinese produce coin operated pencil vendors.

1660

The Dutch introduces coffee to America.

1700s

Coin-operated tobacco boxes appear in English taverns.

1822

First espresso machine developed in France.

1886

US grants several patents for coin-operated dispensers.

1888

Thomas Adams company installs Tutti-Frutti gum machines on New York elevated train platforms.

1901

Just-add-hot-water “instant” coffee was invented by Satori Kato of Chicago.

1902

Horn and Hardart Baking Company opens Automat restaurant in Philadelphia.

1905

US Post Office begins to use stamp vendors.

1926

First commercial cigarette vending machines come on the market.

1930s

Invention of the first slug rejectors facilitates large-scale application of retailing through vending machines.
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Bottled soft drink machines cooled with ice appear on the market.

1936

National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) is founded.

1937

Coca-Cola bottle vendor built by The Vendolator Co in Fresno, CA.

1946

Invention of the first coffee vendors leads to use of vending machines for coffee break.

1947

The first NAMA national expo.

1950

First refrigerated sandwich vendors expand lunch menu.

1957

US Public Health Service approves Model Vending Sanitation Code, and NAMA establishes industry’s first evaluation program to certify vending equipment.
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Ice served for the first time in cup soft drink.

1958

Milk shake vending machine introduced.

1960

Dollar bill changers are added to vending banks.
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Single cup coffee vending machines introduced.
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The first NAMA western expo.

1960s

Launch of NAMA affiliated State Councils.

1961

Canned soft drink vendors offer customers a new beverage option.

1963

Vending companies begin furnishing microwave ovens to heat refrigerated foods.

1968

Term “OCS” for Office Coffee Service introduced.

1970s

Electric data retrieval system for machines introduced by International Totalizing System.
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Electronic components applied to vending machines by Wurlitzer and RMi.

1972

Glass front snack machine introduced by Polyvend.

1978

Water vending machines introduced.

1983

French fry machines introduced.

1985

Credit card / debit card devices for vending machines introduced.

1986

100th Anniversary of vending in US.

1987

First hand-held computers electronically capture vending data
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Frozen food vendors introduced.

1988

First bean-grinders introduced in coffee machines.

1991

Flavored coffees, espresso, cappuccino introduced in machines.

1992

NAMA approves industry-wide Data Transfer Standard.
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Bag-in-box syrup containers installed in cold beverage machines.

1993

First remote wireless transmission of data from machines to warehouses.

1995

Coffee becomes world’s most popular beverage with over 400 billion cups consumed every year.

1998

The “Internet Coffee Service Industry” (ICS) is pioneered by combining technology with efficient worldwide distribution channels.

1999

National Coffee Service Association merged with NAMA.
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New dollar coin introduced by US Mint.

2005

NAMA created FitPick®, a healthy vending and micro market labeling program, to help vending operators and consumers identify products that meet recognized nutrition guidelines.

2008

NAMA’s first OneShow, now known as The NAMA Show.

2010

NAMA’s first Coffee, Tea and Water (CTW) show.

2016

NAMA turns 80.
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Inaugural Executive Forum.