The University of East Anglia (UEA) upped its quota of vending machines two months ago, just before the students left for the summer, as part of a drive to take full control of all its beverage and snack solutions. Moving forward, the education establishment will now lease all of its machines through suppliers such as vending machine provider, Morvend who it trusts to source the best machines and to customise them to meet the needs of all who pass through the campus and faculties each day.
Morvend has provided UEA with 15 high quality vending machines in the last 12 months, 12 of which have been supplied in the last two months. All manufactured by Crane Merchandising Systems, the machines have been strategically placed in areas of higher footfall and include eight premium Merchant snack models and seven of the standalone Voce hot beverage models.
Phelam Curr, group sales manager for MorVend, commented: “We have a long-standing relationship with UEA and it was important to supply them with the right machines at this point, as they make what is a critical step in their catering history by taking over the management of the machines on site. With our help, and the best models in place, they will be able to significantly impact profits and provide a superior offering. The touchscreens will also provide a great source of information, as well as an advertising opportunity, which will be of benefit each year when the new intake of students arrives. We have worked with Crane and other parties to customise these machines, utilising every possible function to anticipate the needs of the end-users.”
Darren Fennah, head of catering for UEA is delighted with the machines and the results they have delivered so far and is happy to be in control of what’s on sale: “The machines are already proving incredibly popular and we will be experimenting in the coming months to make sure our snack offerings line up with what the students and visitors want. Our hot drinks offering is already far superior to what we have had in the past, with the best bean to cup drinks and quality 12 oz cups and lids.”
Morvend has also customised some of the machines with credit card payment facilities and NFC wave and pay solutions to allow for easy payment for students who may be cash poor and those foreign students who find it easier to pay with a card. Darren adds: “Morvend has advised us, mindful of our market, and we expect extras, such as the state-of-the-art touch screens and cashless solutions, to make a real impact on sales. Students may not traditionally have much money but they are among the most savvy consumers out there – beware if you don’t impress them!”
Sales director for Crane Merchandising Systems, Mike Kane is pleased that Morvend and its customer, UEA, have embraced the new Media Touch Platform: “All our machines now carry the option to upgrade to the most advanced, consumer-friendly technology. The key is to make them simple to use as this not only encourages multiple purchases but is also more likely to generate repeat visits. The proof is in the pudding and we expect UEA to be able to report healthy sales once the students return for the Autumn term.”