30 years of history and beyond
Next month we will be celebrating Bettavend’s 30th anniversary but rather than look back, we thought this was a great time to look ahead. Join us as we hop in our time machine and look to the future of vending…
Growth of grab and go
With most people now spending longer at work and taking shorter breaks, the number of consumers opting for grab and go choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner has inevitably followed suit and this trend doesn’t look set to change anytime soon. This increase in demand will of course have an impact on the expectations of customers and vending companies will need to up the ante if they are to cater for the increasingly diverse tastes of users of vending machines.
Hone in on healthier choices
Vending is no longer just for those looking to grab a quick chocolate fix during their 3pm coffee break.
Healthier choices must now be included alongside other more ‘sinful’ snacks and with the sugar levy on soft drinks coming into force from April next year, it seems highly likely that a levy on food vending choices may follow suit and could be introduced in the not so distant future. Including a balanced choice of vending options is essential in today’s age of Permissible Indulgence, better known as ‘a little bit of what you fancy does you good’ or ‘everything in moderation’. This is a mind-set that looks set to continue as we enter the new age of vending, however businesses and employers are also well aware of the obesity epidemic, so in the future they will all be requesting healthier vending choices to balance the other indulgent snacks.
Offering a cross-section of goodies, will attract snackers of every eating category and maximise your ROI so this is certainly worth considering.
Batteries? umbrellas? Or maybe a live lobster to go?
In Japan, the country with the greatest number of vending machines, (Japan’s National Tourist Board estimates 5.52 Million) after the USA, vending is certainly big business.
You can buy pretty much anything from a vending machine in Japan, from books, batteries and fresh bouquets of flowers to weird and wonderful items such as clothing for pets and even live lobsters! That’s right, for 100 Yen, you can catch your very own fresh, live lobster to go.
Could this trend be adopted worldwide in future? Well it’s certainly a possibility; especially given the growing consumer culture that requires 24-hour access to everything.
Vending relief anyone?
We’ve all heard of keeping the cupboards stocked in case of an emergency, but talk of keeping your vending machine stocked for such occasions seems to be less common-place.
Again, in Japan, where vending is so popular, in 2003 the first ever disaster-relief vending machine was introduced and there are now over 6,000 of these installed nationwide (in schools, hospitals and designated emergency evacuation sites). These machines are controlled remotely via communication networks and in times of emergency can dispense free beverages. These were utilised in Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake back in 2011 when a huge number of soft drinks were dispensed free of charge.
Most of these disaster- relief machines are either powered by independent electricity generation systems or storage batteries, meaning they work even during power outages.With recent events highlighting how important it is to be prepared in times of emergency, disaster-relief machines could certainly be a trend that spreads worldwide in the future.
With climate change such a key issue, in the future greater energy-efficiency will be required across all industries and vending is no exception. In fact, vending is in many ways already ahead of other industries when it comes to the development of more efficient and environmentally-friendly methods of operation.
“zone cooling” is one way in which vending machine energy can be significantly reduced. This method works by only cooling the products that are likely to be sold next. Machines that use this technology, work by determining the number of products that should be cooled using an in-built computer based on time-specific sales data.
Most can and bottle beverage vending machines already use “zone-cooling”.
Existing features such as time sensors and special lighting systems enable the more energy-efficient vending machines to cut the amount of energy used by between 24-76 percent. This not only cuts costs for vending operators but will also benefit the environment by reducing the amount of C02 released into the atmosphere.
This current technology (time sensors and special lighting systems) turns machines off after a certain period of inactivity or when the products inside the machine have reached the desired temperature. Despite this existing technology, the fact that most vending machines operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week means that there is certainly more that can be done in the future to reduce the vending energy footprint.
The face of the future?
New payment methods are increasingly popular when it comes to vending and cashless transactions are already being used thanks to new card operated systems that facilitate purchase by using services such as PayPal and Apple Pay, a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Apple Inc. This lets users make payments using an iPhone, Apple Watch or Mac. Note loaders also allow purchase when a user has no change.
In fact at Bettavend we are already seeing a 50/50 split between cash and cashless payment methods in some of the machines we offer.
Going one step further, it looks as though payment options will advance in a manner that could have easily been lifted straight out of a science fiction novel… we’re talking of course about vending machines that use facial recognition technology. In fact, the first example of this was unveiled back in 2014 in Hertfordshire. The Luce X2 Touch TV vending machine, debuted to industry professionals, was claimed to be the first in the world to use facial recognition technology.
Now on sale, apart from recognizing individual users it also remembers and stores their preferences, which could either be considered a handy feature or a guilty reminder, depending on how sinful your snack habits are!
Now used across airports worldwide, it seems almost inevitable that facial recognition is a trend that looks set to dominate the vending industry in future.
Join us for the next 30 years
With 30 years’ vending expertise we welcome and provide the latest in trends and technologies. We recognise their value in helping us deliver the best service to our customers – to you – ultimately helping your business to grow.
Join us as we see what the future of vending holds…
Contact us for complete insight into vending trends and technologies and how they will benefit your business: 023 8025 5222 / [email protected]