Vending fights back, with a helping hand

Using its experience of roasting high quality espresso beans for over 250 years, Douwe Egberts offers vending operators a complete solution, from quality ingredients, range of branded paper cups through to the brand endorsement on the machine itself. Paul Freeman, Marketing Director at Douwe Egberts Coffee Systems, tells us how the company is helping the industry move forward.

Over the last few years, the vending industry has launched a successful fight back against the high street, clawing market share back from outlets, particularly when it comes to hot beverages.

Improving the quality of machines and ingredients has been key to this and it is because suppliers have been upping their games that operators now see their profits and sales increasing year-on-year.

Having launched into the vending sector just two years ago, we used our retail and foodservice experience to develop a unique offering for the vending sector. Today, we are able to offer operators a wide range of high quality freeze-dried coffee products that are designed to cater for coffee drinkers in the workplace, healthcare, travel and leisure and education sectors, whilst our award-winning Espresso Bar concept has helped define a new quality benchmark for coffee from vending machines.

Espresso Bar is a gourmet vending option that not only improves the quality of coffee, but also offers much-improved margin opportunities to operators. From a basic margin generated by a vended instant coffee in a brown plastic cup, vendors can increase price per cup to £1 – £1.20, generating a much improved cash margin and return per cup of up to 90%.

When we launched the concept it was the first time a major branded coffee roaster had fully endorsed a vending machine. The industry received Espresso Bar extremely well and over the last year there have been a number of huge successes, including a recent trial at Royal London Hospital, which is now aiming to install 19 machines by the end of February, and improved sales at a leading college in Scotland, which caters for around 4,000 students.

However, the innovation can’t stop there, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. To continue competing with coffee shops and cafés, it is essential that operators keep adding value to their offering by improving the quality of ingredients, using relevant branding and introducing premium branded cups. It’s also hugely important to provide a range of payment options, introduce engaging consumer offers and use clever marketing tools. We are working closely with our customers to develop their offerings, so that they can continue competing with the high street.

 CASE STUDY: Douwe Egberts achieves great results with Myrtle Coffee

Just six weeks after installing a new Douwe Egberts Espresso Bar machine at one of its sites last year, leading supplier of vending solutions Myrtle Coffee Services announced a marked increase in sales. The company installed the vending concept at a leading college in Scotland, which caters for around 4,000 students, and achieved great results, with the machine becoming one of the most popular coffee areas at the site.

After operating a standard machine at the college for over three years, which offered a very basic cup at 50p, Myrtle Coffee Services decided to try a higher quality machine to compete with the on-site coffee shops. Douwe Egberts Espresso Bar was installed which allowed it to break the £1 barrier on hot vended drinks by using premium espresso beans and branded paper cups from Benders. The result was fantastic – an improvement in the cash margin and return per cup of more than 60%.

Mark Braid, Director of Myrtle Coffee Services, commented, “After running trials of only six weeks, we were really impressed with the results of the Douwe Egberts Espresso Bar vending concept. Feedback was really positive and it helped us compete with a number of cafés in the area.”