2019 Census reveals 5.2% increase in vending turnover

AVA chief executive David Llewellyn

The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) has announced that its new 2019 Census has been completed and is available to members.

It includes the first in-depth Coffee-to-Go report which shows the sector turnover is £670 million, taking the overall industry revenue to £2.21 billion in 2019 and also the first micromarket report.

Some of the key points found in the 2019 Census are as follows:

• Turnover from traditional vending & OCS is up 5.2% to £1.54 billion with price increases more than off-setting the ongoing declines in both consumption and machine base

• Significant investments in improving the proposition: more than 50% of regular cups now paper, cashless readers now on 36% of the base, and the total number of micromarkets up to around 200.

• Ongoing growth in use of telemetry to improve service and efficiency: around 30% of the traditional vending base is actively using telemetry for technical fault alerts and out-of-stock alerts, with some operators also using the data for dynamic route planning.

The AVA Census has been carried out since 1983 mapping huge changes in the industry, in consumer preferences, reflecting new legislation and changes in business and society as well as economic cycles.

AVA chief executive David Llewellyn said: “What the 2020 Census will show as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be seen, but there is no doubt it will be have a significant impact.”

“As we progressed through 2019 there were several challenges to business to be addressed. There were up to 27 different pieces of proposed or impending legislation, all of which would have an effect onthe UK vending industry.

“The key ones being the business uncertainty around Brexit; HM Treasury’s single Use Plastic Tax consultation; Defra & Scotland’s progression towards a Deposit Return Scheme; European legislation concerning energy classification of machines and refrigerant changes; and the constant pressure for a levy or charge on single use cups encouraging re-usable cups.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the essential need for packaging in all material formats to ensure the continued availability of food and beverages in a manner safe, hygienic and free of contamination.

“Despite all of this, we have seen a 5.2% increase in vending industry turnover. This reflects an increase in cup pricing due to premium drink quality and a wider range of consumer products on offer. For example, the increasing move to healthier products with cold drinks seeing a 75% increase since 2017, in drinks with under 5g per 100ml of sugar and a 120% increase in confectionery and sweet lines with less than 250kcal.”