AVT, Inc. (www.autoretail.com), a leader in automated retailing, micro-stores and kiosks, announced that several of their custom vending machine designs were featured recently in published reports.

These new style vending machines offer amazing technology and products. "Some feature food that you would normally find in a restaurant or specialty store. Others offer free Wi-Fi and touch screens that entertain shoppers while they wait. Many accept credit or debit cards, and a few even sell outrageously expensive items such as jewelry."

One upscale system, The Cupcake Kiosk in Beverly Hills, now accounts for half of the daily sales for the bakery – an average of 1,000 cupcakes a day.

Denis Koci worked with AVT to develop the technology for the Burritobox, which offers warm burritos on demand. His Los Angeles company, the Box Brands, rolled out six machines this year in the Southland and in August will start franchising nationally.

"There is a lot of innovation happening in vending machines," said Omar Khedr, industry research analyst at IBISWorld. "It's occurring in niche markets like organic foods, propelled forward by access to new technology and convenience," the Times reported.

These new high-end vending machines are frequented by consumers with increasingly picky tastes who still want convenience on the go, the Times stated. These customers are accustomed to online shopping, and are familiar with browsing and buying with no help from salespeople or waiters.

"It's a case of technological innovation at an affordable price," said Christopher Salyers, author of "Vending Machines: Coined Consumerism." "The Internet has only proliferated this worldview of pay-and-click consumers."

According to the Los Angeles Times, revenue for the U.S. vending machine industry is poised to rise and hit $7.7 billion in 2019, up nearly 7% from $7.2 billion this year. Experts say 2014 marks the comeback of the sector after years squeezed by a recession.