Vendex – a great day for the Industry

Incorporating Nivex, Vendex 2009 is the only one day vending exhibition in the UK. Organised by Auto Vending, the show was held in the Manchester Suite at Old Trafford, home to none other than Manchester United Football Club, on Tuesday 17th November. Said to be the show the trade goes to for the latest innovations in machines, in addition to wide range of vended products and services, there was a free lunch laid on for visitors and a great time was had by all.

John Bailey of Euro Payment Systems said: “We had a good time at the show, there was lots of interest from the majority of visitors to the stand in our Vending Miser energy saving device for refrigerated can vendors and snack vendors. The legislative requirement for all medium and large companies to start to reduce their carbon footprint in 2010 is now impacting vending operators and most are being asked by their customers to supply energy figures and what they can do to reduce the CO2 emissions (and the cost of running the machines). As a result of the show we are now talking with major operators about how to reduce their carbon footprint. So we are delighted.”

Kate Roberts, Cadbury’s Vending Development Manager, was also impressed with what the show had to offer, she told us afterwards: “Cadbury were delighted to exhibit at Vendex and were delighted with the results. The vibe and buzz of the show was fantastic, a really bustly ambience. We are at the end of a year of change and feel that we had our show offers pitched at the right level as well as clearly communicating our ‘vend the brands people love’ message. We found new customers at the show and some really exciting new distribution points. Thanks for having us Vendex!”

Ray McNamara of Huhtamaki added: “Visitors to the Huhtamaki stand were interested in finding out about our impressive vending cup range – whether they were looking for the best quality products, paper options which they can customise to enhance branding, or paper cups which can be composted or recycled.”

Over at Rombouts, Managing Director Rob Briggs made this observation: “More and more operators are realising the importance of serving quality coffee in order to boost the appeal of their existing beverage offering and to improve the perception of vended beverages overall. Rombouts offer a good variety of ground coffees and whole roasted beans, which are ideal for vending operators to use in either bean-to-cup systems or in fresh brew vending machines.”

Machine manufacturer CMS showcased the new BevMax 4, cold drinks machine, which exceeds the Energy Star requirements by over 30% and has achieved an EVA rating of A++. Key marketing messages focused around improving operator profitability and sales and lowering costs.

The Bravilor Bonamat stand looked exceptionally busy throughout, so we stopped to take a look in what seemed a rare quiet moment for the team. Account Manager for the North Alan Murphy said: “It’s been very busy – this is the first time that it has been quiet! We have met with a lot of existing customers, but also new dealers. The Bolero XL vends instant coffee and is extremely versatile, it can be placed anywhere from a car show room to a sandwich bar. Economical, it’s designed to last and with a small footprint, space saving too. We are also introducing two hot water machines which will be available soon.”

“We feel it is important to support trade events like Vendex not only to show our continued support of trade groups such as NIVO, but more importantly to have the opportunity to speak to our customers in person, build relationships and hear what they have to say,” added Adam Phillips, Bravilor’s Marketing Manager.

Thirsty work

Waterlogic, a leading supplier of mains-fed drinking water dispensers, showcased its new Waterlogic 4 water cooler at the Vendex show with great success. “The Waterlogic 4 houses leading technology and with its intuitive design is said to be the next generation Water cooler. Waterlogic also offer a full range of Waterlogic water coolers, Watermarques high volume water dispensers and ThirstPoint hot water boilers, to suit all budgets. The quality, reliability and functionality of our products make them outstanding value for money,” said Distributor Account Manager Edward Roberts.

Andrew Crowson of Cummins Allison, a supplier of coin sorters and counters, had this to say: “A well organised exhibition in an excellent location and venue. The show was well attended and attracted visitors from all over the UK. Vendex presented us with a good opportunity to meet up with our existing customers and introduce ourselves to a few new ones.”

Sanden Vendo meanwhile, were proud to show off their two new machines, the G drink and the G snack, both branded – the G drink having the  AG Barr’s Strathmore and Irn Bru colours, brands they are working very closely with. “The G snack success is the new Mars confectionery livery and the Kerry foods fridge raiders branding. This machine incorporates the new elevator which was very popular with visitors,” said Managing Director Nick Fletcher.

The second of their stands featured the coffee selection that they now promote along with their own branded and personally blended coffee – 38. Three table tops were on view. Two were their latest Bean 2 Cup machines – the Gaia and the Leisa which offer easy and beautifully made coffee of all varieties and the third was a new Pod designed machine from La Picolla which again was of great interest to the visitor. The message from Sanden Vendo is: “Look at the people we are dealing with and come on in,” said Nick.

A fast track approach to business

Amanda Bullough of Siemens Financial Services was over the moon at the response to the company, she told Vending International: “Vendex North 2009 was all about speed for Siemens Financial Services! Visitors to our stand pitched themselves against our credit underwriting system ease-elease around the track, to win a PalmerSport race day. We had a fantastic time. Our speedy theme ran through all activities and proved quite a crowd pleaser. Many of our existing customers attended the event, as well as more than a few new prospects. A great day had by all, and we are already planning for the next event in May.”

Over at AG Barr, I was very impressed with the range of drinks available. Though the company is known mainly for IRN-BRU, old favourites like Tizer, Dandelion & Burdock, Rubicon, Orangina and others lined the shelves bringing back a few memories! The company has been making, marketing and selling some of the UK’s best loved soft drinks brands since 1875. A national business with strong roots in Scotland and the north of England, the company has a growing consumer and customer base throughout the UK and further afield. Matt Yates, Business Development Manager for Vending and Dispense, took the time to explain the company’s reasons for attending the show: “We haven’t ever properly looked at Vending. It was an opportunity for people to see us as something a bit different. We have got loads of fantastic brands – take Rubicon, we have just bought this for over £60 million.”

That’s quite some spend, so it seemed pertinent to ask if the company had experienced the effects of the recession, to which Matt replied quite simply: “What recession? We have reported 12% growth so far this year, with millions invested in advertising every year. We take great pride in the taste of our products – there was a real gap in the market for a quality range of dilutables – looking at the competition there is so much opportunity. We work with our customers to develop their business; it’s a two way relationship.” Talking about the show, Matt added: “Vendex is fantastic. There has not been as many people as last year, but the flow has been steady.”

Hot off the heels of last month’s feature, we were keen to talk to a disposables company and who better than manufacturer of vending and catering disposables, Nupik-Flo. MD Gabriel Escolar said: “We have had a very good day so far. Although only a one day event, we have seen more existing and potential customers than at some of the longer shows. It’s been very fast moving and I think people are looking to buy more seriously. A lot of people came up last night for the dinner and not just from the North, there were a lot of people from the South too. We have seen a number of people that we were not expecting to see and many more decision makers than normal, so all in all, it has been very productive. The stands are not so elaborate here, but then the focus is very much on doing business – return on investment is what counts.”

Toasting success

Vendex was busy all day for Abbeychart, suppliers of components, spare parts and consumables for the espresso, pour over and vending industries. Peter Best, MD said: “An excellent show with many enquiries for our new low energy LED lights for vending machines. Our E-Shop was also of great interest.”

Over at rheavendors it was great to see General Manager Dick Boba again, he said: “It’s just been such a good show. People have really come here with purpose – they are here to do business. I guess it’s a bit like speed dating, you come armed with a list of criteria and set about finding something that ticks all the boxes!” The last time we met with rheavendors was at AVEX, where they were launching the CINO XS Grande, so we were keen to find out what take up of the machine had been like since: “Following a successful launch, it’s been selling really well thank you. It’s great to come here today and see everyone under one roof – another worthwhile show.”

We also dropped by Coffetek to speak to Managing Director of Coffetek Sales Richard Callwood, who with a spacious stand in a great position was very pleased with the results: “We have generated new orders and new business. The quality has been very good.” Coffetek has more than 30 years experience in the design and manufacture of beverage dispense systems. Richard showed us the Nexus product range, led by the Nexus Hot and Cold Beverage vending machine which features a customer friendly flat screen digital selection system. The Nexus beverage machine offers a complete Café Bar experience, while the Nexus offers chocolate, tea, soup and a range of cold drinks. The entire range, said Richard, uses Self Learning technology, a form of intelligent power monitoring, so is very energy efficient. Richard also demonstrated the Nexus Water module, which complements the Nexus range and eliminates the need for bulky and costly bottled water coolers.

Building relationships

Vend Direct was in a unique position at the show, offering specialist insurance for the Vending Industry. Manager Justin Gould told us: “It’s all about building relationships” and judging by the number of visitors to their stand this is something they do very well.

Over at Kraft Foods, Karen Withers, who looks after the Vending Operators, said: “It’s been a good show. We have been very busy and had a lot of interest. Our Oreo stacking competition brought tons of visitors the stand. We made them a coffee and talked about the Rainforest Alliance, which is a key message for the brand and something that we pride ourselves upon. It’s been a worthwhile show and we will definitely be doing the next one.”

Tribeca-May is a specialist supplier of healthy soft drinks in the retailing and vending sectors. Managing Director Paul Kearns said: “I’ve had a lifelong ambition to give kids products that are fun and have street cred, but are healthy too. The GO – RILLA branding links back with our charity work for the Gorilla Organisation. We are launching milkshakes next year, which like our soft drinks, are aimed at the 14-30 year age gap.” A lively stand, this is a creative brand with a strong message.

The Aimia stand attracted a substantial number of visitors, where the Café Nueva brand was launched to great acclaim. Café Nueva’s approach to coffee is all about the right blends, modern and contemporary presentation, and the most complete range of fair and ethical certifications under one brand. There are products and prices for every taste and budget. Aimia has said that Nueva takes its inspiration from the UK high street, where a wide range of new coffee shop brands have quickly become established favourites. It insists that the lesson for Out of Home and Vending operators is that household brand names (the best sellers in the supermarket) do not necessarily make great Out of Home brands and that people expect more theatre and exoticness in their Away from Home beverages.

Nueva freeze dried coffee uses the same freeze-drying technology as the big brands to protect the flavour and aroma. The range of 7 freeze dried blended products include the quality cost effective coffees right the way through to Nueva Triplo, said to be the UK’s first triple certified freeze dried coffee. Whilst some companies back Fairtrade and others Rainforest Alliance, Aimia highlights that the Nueva range includes products certified by both organisations. Also launched into the range is an espresso developed to work with both 9 bar full pressure and 3 bar low pressure systems as well as Freshbrew ground coffee.

Aimia also introduced a compact  table top extension to their popular ‘Pour Moi concept. Simon Kershaw explained: “Pour Moi has done really well so far as a floor standing system concept, many operators have told us they are making 300% or more higher margins from Pour Moi and so there is quite some demand out there for a table top version.” Simon also talked us through the company’s full drink range, including the Spring Clear products which are school compliant. Aimia appears to have it sights set on innovation through 2010.

As a team we had a great day at Vendex, having spoken to a wide range of exhibitors each with something very different to offer the Industry. Well done to the organisers for a well attended and wholly successful show!


Fastest Lap?

Visitors to the Siemens stand had the opportunity to pitch themselves against Siemens’ award winning credit underwriting system ease-elease, to see they were faster around the scalectrix track and win a PalmerSport Half Day Event.

Kevin Reed, National Sales Manager – Vending at Siemens Financial Services has announced that Dave Newsham of Norscott Vending Services was the winner with an unbeatable time of 18.99 seconds over three laps!

Well done to Dave, your PalmerSport event will give you the opportunity to drive all the following vehicles, with no rev limits:

  • Palmer Jaguar JP1 sports prototype
  • Formula Jaguar single seater
  • Caterham Seven Superlight Duel
  • Land Rover Defender, plus Go-Karts!

Kevin points out that in the eighteen seconds it took Dave to complete three laps you could have received a proposal approval from ease-elease. In addition, ease-elease will process all your invoices quickly and efficiently meaning you will get paid faster!