National Association tasks students

The Automatic Vending Association (AVA), the trade body of the UK vending industry, has created a unique partnership with one of the UK’s most prestigious and well-respected universities, University College Birmingham, which will see students develop the very latest in healthy vending concepts.

“The AVA recognises the importance of healthy eating habits, and so has partnered with  University College Birmingham in the creation of a new NPD module within their BA (Hons) Culinary Arts Management Degree programme. The module will see students tasked with creating new food and packaging concepts for six different vending markets.  These concepts will address some of the key issues of today such as obesity, recycling of packaging, allergens and Government regulations regarding salt and sugar levels.  The resulting NPD will be judged and shown at the AVEX 2013 exhibition in June at the NEC, Birmingham where the vending industry will be able to see the benefits of this partnership.  We very much hope that this innovative approach will help develop new products and show how vending can deliver new healthier snacks to the consumer.”

Jonathan Hilder, Chief Executive Officer, Automatic Vending Association.

In the new part of their BA (Hons) Culinary Arts Management Degree programme, students will work to develop new products that will meet consumer demands in several key vending areas, including Business and Industry, Education, Healthcare, Leisure, Staff Catering and Transport.  In each of these six areas, packaging will highlight the importance of the current recycling criteria, as well as show product ingredients and energy details.

Bernard Schumacher, Culinary Arts Lecturer and Module leader, University College Birmingham said:

There is huge potential in the vending industry for creating and delivering healthy eating options and this new module will give our students extra knowledge and an important platform to showcase their skills to industry.  We are delighted to be working with the AVA on this initiative and look forward to a continued partnership.

The range of NPD will be showcased at AVEX 2013, the leading show for the vending and water industries, which will be held at the NEC, Birmingham, Hall 3 from the 11th–13th June 2013.

Vending is a dynamic market that currently is worth around £1.65bn per annum, with some 6 billion vends per year.  It employs over 15,000 people and operates over the entire British economy.

To find out more, please call the Automatic Vending Association on 01494 568960.  Alternatively, please visit