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Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part I

March 27th, 2020 | Posted by Lindsay Hottovy in Vending machines - (Comments Off on Vending Machines – A Controlled, Safe Method to Provide Food and Beverages to Consumers – Part I)

Why Vending is the Ultimate Controlled Dispensing Solution for the Convenience Services Industry

As organizations modify their operations and procedures to best keep employees and customers safe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping across our nation and the world, the need to safely provide food and beverage options remains critical.  

According to the National Merchandising Association (NAMA), “Through our unique food distribution system, our industry can be the greatest source of “contactless” nourishment to over 40 million consumers with food and beverages daily, and it is all accomplished in an unattended retail environment, often with round the clock availability.”

Federal and State governments, along with the CDC, are encouraging social distancing, including reducing or eliminating face-to-face encounters with alternative options such as contactless delivery and self-serve options.  In workplaces, this includes re-evaluating how food and beverages are offered to employees. For example, in the past weeks, many organizations have shuttered cafeterias to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 Recently the NIH and CDC released information on the Coronavirus’ lifespan on surfaces.

  • Airborne: 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Cardboard: 24 hours
  • Stainless Steel: 2 days
  • Plastic: 3 days

These guidelines have prompted many organizations to further re-evaluate self-serve convenience service options deployed in their organizations such as unattended retail markets.  The risks in these applications is that the food and beverage products are not controlled in such that consumers can pick-up products and return them to the shelves for the next consumer to handle.  With COVID-19 having up to a three-day lifespan on items such as bottled beverages and clamshell salad containers, unattended retail applications may pose a risk of being a spreading point within organizations.

Unlike unattended retail markets where consumers can access and return the food and beverage products, vending requires consumers to purchase the product(s) before the consumer is able to touch the product(s).  Just think in a micro market setting how many people before you may have picked up that plastic bottled beverage or salad in a plastic clamshell before you and put it back on the shelf.  

Besides the product itself having the opportunity to be handled by multiple people in a micro market application, another consideration is the cleanliness of micro market hardware itself.  For example, when consumers access products in micro markets they often come in contact with shelving holding the product. You have risk of direct exposure on the shelf itself, as well as transfer exposure from the product.  Being full secured access, this is not a concern or risk when it comes to vending, as only the operator has access to the interior of the machine including the shelving.

Vending offers the ultimate secured access solution and allows organizations to safely provide employees and consumers with food and beverage products, with little to no risk of contamination from numerous other individuals handling the product.

According to the European Vending Association, “Vending machines are a reliable and safe way to obtain food and beverages. Vending machine operators place food safety as top priority in their daily service, and are trained in protection against infections. During the current health crisis, operators have also put in place measures to ensure that the disinfection of machine surfaces is also carried out as regularly as possible.

For more information or other equipment questions, please contact eVending at 1-800-944-5524. 

What products are recommended to safely clean and disinfect vending equipment? Check back soon to find out in Part II.

Increase Sales with Custom Branding

March 2nd, 2020 | Posted by Lindsay Hottovy in Branding - (Comments Off on Increase Sales with Custom Branding)

New vending machines typically are either silver or black, which provides the perfect neutral palette to provide a cohesive look in almost any type of environment from office buildings to fitness clubs to manufacturing facilities.  But many locations and operators do not want their vending machines to simply get lost and blend into the background. They want to showcase their brand, while attracting customers to increase sales!   

Picture this. A customer is walking to the service desk at Kent Auto Sales.  A standard gray vending machine blends into the neutral walls and the customer walks right past it without a second thought or even noticing a vending machine is there. 

What if your machine would have been able to stand out, though? For instance, if the machine had been branded with Kent Auto Sales’ logo and signature bright orange branding, the customer is much more likely to first notice the vending machine is there and second, take a glance and notice he can satisfy his snack craving with his favorite brand and flavor of chips. 

By adding a custom wrap, your machine will stand out among other machines. Consumers will be more likely to be drawn to your machines, rather than other machines. This small switch will lead to an overall increase in machine sales. Custom wraps can feature anything, including schools wanting to sport their mascot or businesses looking to gain brand recognition.

Your vending machine can be used to promote anything, including designs meaningful to your location. For example, if your machine is placed in a fitness center, it can be branded with the location’s logo or it can be branded with various fitness equipment. You have control over your machine and the brand your machine promotes.

Luckily for you, you do not have to worry about the creation of your custom vending machine wrap. Using the design of your choice, whether it is a photo, a logo or something else, our marketing team is available to help you get the exact look you are looking for for your machine. Whether you want to create a custom wrap that complements your company’s branding or the placement’s decor, we can help you create the look your machine has been missing. 

Don’t be “just another vending machine” at your location. Instead, make your machine stand out with your very own custom vending machine wrap. Our marketing team is here to help you get started. If you are ready for your machine to stand out, fill out this form or call us today at 1-888-568-4896.