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Innovative Vending Machines Gain Popularity

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 12/19/11 03:09 PM ET   Updated: 12/19/11 03:32 PM ET

With over 29,000 vending-related businesses in the U.S., the industry is experiencing a revival, thanks to new, fun technology that makes vending an interactive and satisfying experience.

As that creativity opens new opportunities, many entrepreneurs and innovators have turned to the $7 billion vending retail industry for a fresh share of the market. Expanding beyond snacks and sodas, vending machines can now dispense bikes, baby formula or a spare pair of shoes. Vending machines are so hot, they've caught the attention of more than just small businesses -- even commercial retailers like Macy's are turning to automated machines to help consolidate shelf space while boosting sales of less traditional department store products such as personal tech gadgets.

Check out some of the most innovative vending machines we've found to date.

Fresh-Spun Cotton Candy
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This machine, from Vendever, spins fresh, warm cotton candy on command. The machine, which uses no water in production, uses common granulated white sugar for 100 percent natural cotton candy without fake colors or additives.
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