Articles & Insights

Beverage Consumption Trends

Over the past few years the beverage industry has seen some shifts in consumer preference trends. Within the past year healthy beverages have taken the spotlight, many of which are focused not only on low calories but also health benefits such as low sugar and sodium.

As you can imagine, the increase in health conscious individuals has introduced greater demand for less sugary drinks and sodas. Consumers are now showing patterns that indicate a higher demand for water and other low calorie and nutritious options. While soft drinks still hold a large chunk of the refreshment category, data shows that their hold may be slipping as their volume and market share go down. Vending Times reports that the “volume slipped by 1.5% from 12.8 billion gallons in 2014 to 12.6 billion gallon sin 2015, which lowered CSD market share to less than 40%.”

One of the biggest threats to carbonated soft drinks is bottled water. According to Vending Times, bottled water is projected to take over as America’s largest beverage category by volume by 2017 if not by the end of this year. They also note that bottled water sales increased by 8.9% in 2015 and now total $14.2 billion (wholesale).

Other drinks that are making splash in the market are sports drinks, many companies are taking not and have begun developing new healthy beverages to satisfy the evolving demands of consumers. Pepsi has even announced its launch of products like organic Gatorade, according to Business Insider. Additionally, niche categories including selections like energy drinks and ready-to-drink coffee are outperforming most traditional mass-market categories such as carbonated soft drinks and fruit beverages. Other changes being made to beverages include downsizing cans and bottles to offer consumers a more moderate serving size. Lucky for you, eVending machines are equipped to handle many shapes and sizes of products keeping you equipped and ready to handle the ever evolving beverage industry.

Regardless of Location, a Combo Vending Machine is Ideal

Did you know that over 68% of consumers purchase soda from vending machines at least once a year? And over 62% of consumers purchase cheesy snacks or chips from a vending machine once a year? In fact, the vast majority of consumers have used a vending machine at least once to purchase a drink or snack in the past year. Like peanut butter and jelly or cookies and milk, snacks and beverages are a natural fit. Why not give customers the convenience of a combo vending machine that provides popular snack and drink choices in one machine?
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Location, Location, Location! Maximize Profit From Your Combo Vending Machine

When you are considering a vending business the first step to success is finding the right location to place your vending machine.
Choose a location that provides:
1. A lot of foot traffic
2. High visibility
3. A chance to work with an existing business
4. Work with a new business
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5 Mistakes of a New Vending Machine Operator

 

When you start a vending company, the first thing you want to do is outline the mistakes that you can avoid, to ensure your future success. We’ve outlined the top 5 mistakes new vending machine operators make when first starting out, in hopes you can avoid them:

Inaccurately Calculating Profits
Projecting higher profits than reality can really inhibit your ability to push your vending business further. A safer method is to underestimate your profits, so that you don’t exceed the anticipated spend for the year. The cost of your vending machine needs to be allocated for at least a year in order to be safe in the profit realm. In reality, most vending machines earn back their costs through sales in 12 to 14 months.
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Five Reasons Why the Futura Snack and Drink Combo Vending Machine is the Best Combo Vending Machine on the Market

 

The Futura Combo Vending Machine is the perfect choice for vending the snack and drinks that your customers want in one machine. The following are five reasons why the Futura Combo Vending Machine is a proven winner providing the ultimate customer experience.

1) High Capacity and Wide Range of Product Versatility – The Futura Combo Vending Machine has unmatched capacity in relation to its small footprint. Along with its large capacity, this combo vending machine offers a wide range of products. It provides a versatile selection of 20 different snack and food options including pastries, chips, candy, and healthy food products. It also vends nine drink or beverage selections including a combination of cans and bottles. Offer consumers juices, water, milk, soda, and sports drinks from one machine.

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How to Choose the Right Combo Vending Machine for Your Location

Questions to consider when purchasing a new combo vending machine

When you find yourself looking for a combo vending machine that will suit the needs of your company or looking to start a vending business for yourself, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
1. How much space will it occupy?
2. Is it easy to maintain?
3. Does it vend a variety of snacks and drinks with different size containers?
4. If I need help programming it, can I find help easily?
5. Can I get parts for it if I decide I want to vend something unusual?
6. Does it have a warranty if anything should break down?
Find the answers to your questions by clicking this link.

An Up Close Look at FDA’s Calorie Disclosure Rule

The FDA Calorie Disclosure Rule for vending machines is directed by Congress and stems from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was approved by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The section 4205 amendment of the ACA was implemented to “help make calorie information for vending machine foods available to prospective purchasers in a direct, accessible, and consistent manner to enable them to make informed and healthful dietary choices,” according to the Federal Register.

It is important to note, the Rule applies to vending operators, rather than the food manufacturers and it applies to vending only, not micro markets or OCS. This rule requires that vending machine operators who own or operate 20+ machines, or who voluntarily elect to be covered, comply with the guidelines as defined in the FDA Calorie Disclosure Rule.

The FDA’s Final Rule, issued in December of 2014, will go into effect on December 1st this year. The rule requires that operators provide the calorie content of food products in one of several locations:

  • On a sign in, on or adjacent to the vending machine so long as the sign is easily read and in close proximity to the article of food or its selection button
  • On the front of the product label- the font must be in a type size at least 50 percent of the size of the largest printed matter
  • On the product’s Nutrition Facts panel, if it is visible while the product is inside the vending machine- provided the calories displayed represent the total calories per package item
  • On a digital display, if the vending machine has one

eVending’s snack and refrigerated / frozen vending machines are equipped with two line digital displays. Using a machine planogram approach, the products’ nutritional information is entered into a text file along with the selection number and product name. The product name (up to 20 characters) as well as calorie and fat calorie information (up to four digits each) can be included in the text file. The information can be programmed into the machines through a two-step process.

  1. Create a text file with the information in DEX format
  2. Upload the DEX text file to the machine’s control board by attaching a laptop to the vending machine with a GVC control board cable.

How Millennials are Influencing the Vending Industry

There are many stereotypes and assumptions surrounding Millennials (ages 18-34). For example, they have been described as lazy and narcissistic yet at the same time they are viewed as active and engaged. Regardless of the mixed opinions of Millennials, the influence they have on society cannot be ignored. With many of them entering adulthood it’s time to put more focus on marketing to this demographic.
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Increasing machine sales with cashless payment options

Mobile Payment Options Increase Vending Machine Sales
As technology progresses, fewer and fewer consumers are carrying cash and coins. Instead, financial transactions via credit and mobile devices are becoming more common. What’s more, card swiping devices, mobile payment, and other digital payment options are predicted to overtake ‘traditional’ payment methods in the near future, making it a must have in today’s vending market.

Research reveals that 49% of consumers, and 56% of Millennials, are already using / interested in using mobile payment technology and 18% of consumers say that they would use mobile payments if more locations accepted it.

Many consumers today, Millennials in particular, rarely carry cash and prefer cashless options such as credit / debit cards or other options such as Apple Pay which will likely be a revenue driver for vending machines. In fact, a recent study that began in March of 2016 found that vending machines advertising Apple Pay increased overall revenue by 22% while contactless purchases from those same vending machines rose 89%.

With all of that said, the market for cash and coin vending is still viable so don’t scrap your traditional payment acceptors just yet. The best way to increase your profit would be to provide customers with the best of both worlds by installing both cashless payment options and coin and cash acceptors on your machines.

All of eVending’s machines are equipped with the latest electronic coin changer and bill acceptor and have a standard peripheral opening for additional payment options such as Greenlite, a cashless system that accepts debit / credit cards and mobile payments including Apple Pay. With Greenlite, you are able to remotely monitor your vending machine’s transactions from your web-based account.
Contact eVending today if you are interested purchasing a new vending machine with a cashless system or would like to add Greenlite’s mobile / wireless payment option to an existing vending machine.

SB16 Single Brew Coffee Vendor

Coffee Consumption Trends
Millennials’ taste preferences are a driving force in recent coffee consumption trends. According to an article on Vending Market Watch, in the last eight years consumption of gourmet coffee beverages increased from 13% to 36% among consumers aged 18 to 24 while gourmet coffee consumption for older Millennials (aged 25 to 39) increased from 19% to 41%.

With increasing numbers of Millennials and younger generations entering the workforce, it’s time to start thinking about ways to offer a coffee service solution that fits the consumption trends. According to 2016 NCDT data, 70% of the cups of coffee consumed at work come from the office coffee area, with over half of the respondents unhappy with their current coffee situation it’s time for a change. One solution could be offering a single serve coffee maker, such as the Keurig® Brewing System. These machines offer a wider range of coffee options that will appeal to Millennials. Consumers can choose between their favorite brand of a traditional cup of coffee or a more gourmet option, like espresso-based coffee without having to leave the office.

With the growing popularity of single serve coffee machines and the demand for more coffee variety in offices, more companies will likely offer single serve brewing machines in their break areas. Subsequently, these businesses will need a way to control their coffee pod inventory.

eVending is on the forefront of innovation with their SB16 Single Brew Coffee Vendor which offers professional, secure dispensing of single serve coffee pods, including K-Cups®. With the SB16’s built-in security you will never have to worry about employees walking off with coffee pods again. The compact size of the machine is perfect for placement on any standard 36 inch countertop with 18 inch cabinet to counter spacing. Plus the sleek modern design with glass front display shows all items on hand and will draw customers in. With 16 unique single serve coffee pod selections and a capacity of 256 total single serve coffee pods, the SB16 Single Brew Coffee Vendor offers employees with a great selection of popular, brand-name coffee pods.

Let the SB16 Single Brew integrate seamlessly into your vending business while increasing sales opportunities. This machine allows you to see which items are popular and which are not so that you can select the best coffee pods, including K-Cups®, for your location. With this feature you can drive your revenue up by stocking your machines with the preferences of customers at each location. The SB16 Coffee Vendor will fit perfectly in any office area and offers the perfect solution for businesses to dispense their coffee pod inventory.

State of Vending Machine Operator Industry in the U.S.

Industry Performance
A long trend of declining revenue has made for a slow decade for the Vending Machine Operator industry in the United States. Within the past five (5) years revenue has declined each year except for 2012. According to IBISWorld Inc. revenue has decreased at an annualized rate of 0.8% to about $7.3 billion within the past five years, and a 1.1% decrease so far in 2016. The status of the industry has been a result of changes in the eating index, new nutritional restrictions, and the rise of micro markets and convenience and grocery stores among other things.

Although the outlook may be somewhat discouraging, with downward revenue trends being expected to continue, there is a silver lining as these decreases are expected to occur at a slower rate. Over the next five year period, industry revenue is expected to decrease at a rate of 0.6% to an estimated $7.1 billion, according to IBISWorld. In the coming years, key external drivers will both positively and negatively affect the industry’s profit margin; these include an increase in per capita disposable income, a rising healthy eating index, and rising prices for corn and sugar.

Changing laws pose a big threat to industry operators. Since its implementation in 2014, the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School has introduced new challenges for operators who have machines in primary and secondary schools. The nutritional restrictions have created a limited selection that operators can supply, and unfortunately the approved items are not popular among the students. These restrictions have caused many operators with school locations to experience a 30-40% decrease in revenue. If more laws similar to these continue to be passed some vending operators will be forced to find healthy selections that will be profitable, or exit this industry segment.

In response to the decreasing sales from snack, food, and beverage machines the industry has turned some of its attention to using technology to generate sales, as well as continuing to pursue non-traditional machine markets. As it stands in 2016, of the $7.9bn in the industry, movies and games has 29.8%, food has 29.6%, beverage has 29.9%, and other products have 10.7% according to IBISWorld.

Technology such as touch screens, cashless / mobile payment, and remote monitoring systems will help companies are the future and will create a more enticing customer experience which will hopefully drive sales. Recent advances in technology will help to improve operators’ profit margins, as they will be able to monitor machines more closely and make decisions to eliminate underperforming machines.

Trends in Healthy Vending

The American diet has been through many transformations over the years, its most recent shift driven by growing health concerns.

Over the past few years the beverage industry has seen some shifts in consumer preference trends. Within the past year healthy beverages have taken the spotlight, many of which are focused not only on low calories but also health benefits such as low sugar and sodium.

As you can imagine, the increase in health conscious individuals has introduced greater demand for less sugary drinks and sodas. Consumers are now showing patterns that indicate a higher demand for water and other low calorie and nutritious options. While soft drinks still hold a large chunk of the refreshment category, data shows that their hold may be slipping as their volume and market share go down. Vending Times reports that the “volume slipped by 1.5% from 12.8 billion gallons in 2014 to 12.6 billion gallon sin 2015, which lowered CSD market share to less than 40%.”

One of the biggest threats to carbonated soft drinks is bottled water. According to Vending Times, bottled water is projected to take over as America’s largest beverage category by volume by 2017 if not by the end of this year. They also note that bottled water sales increased by 8.9% in 2015 and now total $14.2 billion (wholesale).

Other drinks that are making splash in the market are sports drinks, many companies are taking not and have begum developing new healthy beverages to satisfy the evolving demands of consumers. Pepsi has even announced its launch of products like organic Gatorade, according to Business Insider. Additionally, niche categories including selections like energy drinks and ready-to-drink coffee are outperforming most traditional mass-market categories such as carbonated soft drinks and fruit beverages. Other changes being made to beverages include downsizing cans and bottles to offer consumers a more moderate serving size. Lucky for you, eVending machines are equipped to handle many shapes and sizes of products keeping you equipped and ready to handle the ever evolving beverage industry.