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Rising Fuel Prices Surely Affect Vending

With increasing fuel prices due to unrest in the Middle East and developing countries straining supply, other political factors have influenced the price of cocoa and sugar leading to several well known chocolatiers such as Hershey’s to announce an increase in prices. These announcements will surely leave many vending operators in a predicament. Will they attempt to absorb the price hikes, completely pass them off to their customers, or attempt to find a middle ground in an effort to maintain margin while mitigate sticker shock?

As these rising fuel costs, proposed regulations, and increased commodities prices further burden our industry, it will become increasingly important to turn to more efficient vending technology in an effort to offset these costs. Certainly passing some of the cost on to the consumer is a reality, but already many vending operators battle sticker shock, although the exact same product might be sold at a local gas station for an even higher cost.
There are a plethora of factor involved, but points to consider are will the convenience offered by a vending machine be able to off-set these rising prices? Are there limits to what you can charge as the only vendor at a given location, and how high are these limits? How understanding are locations in regards to a reduction in the overall quantity of commission even though percentage wise they are the same?

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