Upcoming Trends in the World of Vending – 2018 NAMA Show

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In March National Vending team ventured out to sunny Las Vegas for the annual NAMA Show, a four day conference hosted by the National Automatic Merchandising Association for convenience service professionals. The NAMA show not only offers a place for the convenience industry’s biggest names to showcase new products but is also a place for industry players to learn about upcoming trends in the world of vending, office coffee and micro markets.

Talk of Technology

While walking the show floor, we couldn’t help but notice the amount of technology advances! From cashless payment services and telemetry, to changes in vending machines and vending products, the world of vending is advancing beyond basic refreshments and snacks.

More machines are adding a cashless payment system, but the advances don’t stop at credit card readers. Mobile apps and the ability to pay for items using your phone is a trend on the rise.

Micro Markets going MICRO

We also noticed advances in the world of micro markets. New nano markets offer the same convenience of a micro market but are better suited for those businesses or organizations with less than 250 people. Nano markets are simple and easy to use considering purchases can be made directly from the consumer’s phone or a small countertop kiosk.

Nutrition and Wellness

One of the underlying trends in vending, micro markets and pantry services is nutrition and wellness. These items are being requested by customers at a high rate and the demand will continue to rise. While most vendors have expanded healthy selections, those who make more of an effort to meet this demand will see an even greater increase in consumption.

Educational Classes

One of the biggest advantages to attending the NAMA Show is the educational classes exhibitors and attendees can experience. We had the pleasure of attending quite a few different classes over a variety of topics. One thing each class mentioned was how we need to be more receptive to change and look for ways to be more innovative in our industry. The educational classes are also a great way to meet with experienced industry leaders.

Evolving and Changing

When it comes to vending machine products, we have to consider the convenience people are looking for, the products people need and how vending machines can bridge the gap. Thinking outside the box with the products we vend and the way they vend can be pivotal in keeping the industry at the forefront of convenience.

During the opening session, Heidi Chico, NAMA Chair and President of the Wittern Group, invited NAMA show attendees to consider innovation and change. Staying competitive in the business has always meant evolving. How can vending evolve? Think beyond the break room vending machine and consider other scenarios where a vending machine would be ideal. Roughly 4 percent of the items stocked by a typical vending machine are non-food items.  The controlled dispensing of items like office and safety supplies help companies control costs. How can National Vending help your company save money?

Carla Balakgie, President and CEO of NAMA, leads the discussion between Political Analyst, Matthew Dowd and Acclaimed Thought Leader on Digital Transformation, Brian Solis.

Networking and Fun

One of our favorite parts of the NAMA show is being able to meet new people in the industry and form new partnerships. There’s something so nice about being able to shake someone’s hand you’ve talked with on the phone multiple times but have never met in person.

It’s not all work, there’s a little bit of play involved as well. There are social hours on the trade show floor.  Being in the city that never sleeps also allows for fun to overflow to restaurants and other entertainment venues, offering the chance to get to know your coworkers, vendors and distributors all in the course of a week.

Four Reasons you Should Make the Switch to Filtered Water

FilteredWaterWhen most people consider their office vending machines, not many take the time to think about the other refreshment services available. These other refreshment services consist of office coffee and water filtration. Last year the average American used 167 water bottles but only recycled 38. Help cut down on waste by considering the switch to a filtered water program for your employees.

Employee Health

Consider making the switch to help improve your employees health. Access to filtered water, both hot and cold, can play a key role in increasing the amount of water consumed by your employees. Substituting water for high calorie beverages can play an important role in weight loss which in turn can decrease health issues and be a cost saving factor for your company. Get into the spirit by creating a burst your thirst challenge where the person that drinks the most water over a period of time can win a prize.

Increase productivity

It might sound crazy to think that water consumption and productivity can go hand in hand, but research has found that dehydration can be linked to cognitive changes which can result in less productivity. So the next time you feel that 2 o’clock slump coming along, grab a glass of filtered water and see if you can feel a difference.

It doesn’t cost that much

No seriously, it doesn’t cost that much to add filtered water to your company. In fact most employers would reap the benefits of adding filtered water just by seeing an increase in productivity around the office. The recommended eight glasses of water a day can result in Americans spending roughly $1,400 on bottled water.  Not quite convinced? Contact us and we’d be happy to run the numbers based on your location and size. We can also ensure you’re getting the most out of your office coffee system and vending as well, both can play an important part in your office productivity and employee happiness.

Save the Earth

One of the biggest benefits is the service your company would be doing to the environment. By switching to a filtered water solution, your company could help decrease the amount of water bottles that fill up landfills. Not only do plastic bottles take anywhere from 450 – 1000 years to decompose naturally but if they are incinerated, they can produce toxic fumes which are harmful to the environment. Encourage your employees to make the switch to filtered water and better yet, provide water bottles branded with your company logo.

Show your employees you care about the environment and their well-being by making the switch today. Not only can filtered water be great for those looking to cut back on their calorie intake, but it can help benefit your office coffee system as well.

Boost Employee Happiness with these Free Tips

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Look around your office and take a guess at how many people are happy with their full-time job. According to a survey conducted and summarized by CBS Moneywatch, 51 percent of America’s 100 million full-time employees aren’t engaged at work which means a good chunk of the people you work with (or even you) aren’t really engaged in the work you do. But what can you or companies do to help employees reap the happiness others might get from their job? We’ve outlined a few simple ideas to help boost employee happiness, that won’t break the bank when it comes time to sort out the budget.

Use positive messaging:

Whoa innovative right? The words we choose in the workplace can play a huge role in employee happiness whether we realize it or not. Moving forward, consider using positive messaging with co-workers or employees. Become more personal, encouraging, passionate and empowering and see if you can tell a difference in the way people interact with you.

Express gratitude:

We were all taught to say thank you at a young age, but how many of us still keep that tradition alive when it comes to the work place? Even the smallest amount of recognition and thankfulness can go a long way when it comes to saying thank you to your employees.

Listen:

Employees like to feel heard so it’s up to the employer to stay receptive, and encourage feedback. Most employees tend to be happier when they are a part of the decision-making process and that their ideas are valued and respected.

Lead by example:

Practicing healthy habits and maintaining an optimistic attitude can help inspire happy employees. While not every day can be stress free and full of positivity in most cases how you view unpleasant situations that can trickle down to your employee’s perceptions.

Make small upgrades:

These upgrades could be as simple as updating your breakroom or switching to a vending management company that will not only help bring better snack options for your employees; but could also provide services you didn’t know employees would like.  The small change could result in a new selection of snacks and refreshments or even an office coffee system for your employees which in turn can boost productivity and happiness.

Encourage healthy work-life balance:

Work and life balance can play a key role in employee happiness. Employee’s need to feel their personal lives are valued just as much as their work life. Consider offering flexible hours, or allow employees to work from home when needed.

Why is employee happiness so important? Besides combating stress, happiness in the workplace can result in fewer aches and pains both physically and mentally. Happy employees also take fewer sick days than their unhappy co-workers and can help boost office morale.

What you need to know about vending management.

Vending ManagementIs vending management right for you?

You’ve just been handed the task of finding a new vending service for your company and you don’t know where to begin. A quick Google search leaves you with a few leads, but on top of coordinating the new vending you still have your job responsibilities to complete. More stress has been added to your day!

That’s where National Vending comes in. National Vending is a vending management company that specializes in coordinating all your refreshment needs, from office coffee and vending to micro markets and cafes for companies with multiple regional or national locations. We coordinate a seamless transition at each location, but our services don’t stop there. National Vending serves as the main contact for all customer service calls, provides a detailed account of revenue for each machine and negotiates the terms of your refreshment services program in accordance with your needs. We also work to bring you the latest in vending innovation and energy efficiencies.

Our full service vending management program takes care of everything. Each property has different employee and traffic counts and regional taste preferences, so we tailor a vending and refreshment service program that meets the needs of each facility.

Many businesses such as offices, schools, hospitals and other locations make great spots for our vending machines. We can also consolidate your refreshment services program to include office coffee and filtered water systems. With National Vending you won’t have to worry about screening service providers, coordinating site visits or negotiating an agreement. We provide your staff with more time to do the job they were hired for. You can trust the vending details to us!

Questions about vending management? Reach out to us here.

 

How to boost productivity with office coffee setup.

Coffee, ProductivityUpgrade your work productivity with a new office coffee setup.

We’ve all been there, it’s the early afternoon and you’re slumped over your desk trying to stay focused on the report due by the end of the day. Yet it feels impossible to keep your eyes open, so instead you walk to the nearest pot of coffee only to be disappointed by the selection. The lack of real creamer, coffee options and the two packets of sugar left won’t be enough to turn this nonproductive afternoon around.

Office coffee systems (OCS) have been a key dynamic in the work force but now most employers can’t get by with just a single pot of dark roast for the office. With more people finding an appreciation for specialty blend coffees or espresso drinks throughout the day, it makes sense why coffee systems are getting a reboot in the office. The introduction of the Keurig and single pot brewers has helped diversify coffee selections, especially when it comes to switching up the office coffee.

On average, 22 percent of employees will leave the office for coffee and tea for an average of 14-20 minutes a day. This can lead to a potential loss of productivity of more than $15,000 a year for an office of 50 people. Why not consider keeping your employees in house by upgrading your office coffee system?

How does coffee play into the productivity of your employees?

Coffee is a great way to jumpstart your mornings and help with those afternoon slumps. While caffeine in coffee doesn’t wake you up, it can block the main compound in your brain that makes you sleepy. Roughly 43 percent of workers experienced a positive effect on work productivity when drinking coffee, while 85 percent of employees believe quality coffee and tea can contribute to increased productivity and morale in the office.

When employers take the time to provide quality coffee options in the office, it helps save employees time, money and makes them feel appreciated. There is even a “perfect” time for a coffee break, which is around 2:15 in the afternoon.

Want to upgrade your system?

Looking to add an office coffee system or upgrade your current set up? Great! We at National Vending are able to provide the perfect blend of popular coffee brands, flavored coffees, teas, and condiments through office coffee makers or hot beverage vending machines to keep your office running without the hassle.

Exciting K-Cup News!

 

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Picture yourself holding a warm cup of coffee on a cold winter day. The warmth and caffeine are helping you get a jump start on your day. Are you holding a warm drink from your Keurig? If so, you are starting your morning off like many Americans. According to Statista, Keurig Green Mountains was the leading single-sup coffee vendor in the U.S. in 2015 at $1.4 billion dollars. K-Cups allow consumers to make a single serving drink without having to make a whole pot. It’s the perfect solution for coffee drinkers who are on-the-go and looking for a convenient way to get some caffeine to start the day.

The name Keurig actually comes from the Dutch term for excellence. Keurig was founded by coffee lovers so they could make coffee in single servings instead of an entire pot. The K-Pod was introduced in 1998 to brew a perfect cup of coffee in less than a minute. An advantage to the Keurig was that if it was connected to a water line, you didn’t even need to refill it with water. The water temperature is 200 to allow the coffee to release the best flavor. These advantages make it the perfect machine for anyone who wants an individual beverage. With coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot cider, and specialty beverages, K-cups are great for any occasion.

Some of the most popular K-Cup flavors as rated by faveable are listed below. Which ones are your favorites?

  • Green Mountain Kenyan AA K-Cups
  • Barista Prima Coffeehouse House Blend K-Cup
  • Eight O’Clock Coffee Colombian Peaks K-Cup
  • The Original Donut Shop (Regular) Medium Extra Bold K-Cups
  • Grove Square French Vanilla Cappuccino
  • Diedrich Coffee Dark French Roast K-Cups

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Keurig recently had some exciting news! They announced that recyclable pods are now available for your Keurig 2.0 brewer in over 50 beverages in three different pod sizes. By 2020, Keurig claims that 100% of K-Cup pods will be recyclable. Keurig dedicates itself to innovation in all that they do. In order to improve sustainability, the company will design a K-Cup pack with materials that can easily be separated and readily recycled. Keurig is working to ensure that the plastic will consistently make it through the recycling stream. This plastic will help to make the K-Cups fully recyclable! K-Cups have been very successful due to their convenience. In under a minute, you can be out the door, ready to make today great!

Let us know which K-Cup is your favorite!
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Sustainable Coffee Capsules – What’s Your Take On It?

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Single-serve coffee has become a thing of today. While the markets for freshly brewed coffee are still hot, the single-serve market is definitely heating up. According to MarketWatch; which is published by Dow Jones & Co., single-serve coffee still accounted for less than half the volume of regular coffee sales, but they were forecast to rise by 213% to an estimated $3.1 billion in 2012 from 2011. With the quick adoption of single-serve coffee by consumers, many large brands, and even new brands are joining this coffee trend.

Coffee Single Serve

Here’s an interesting thought though, with the rising concern for environmental sustainability, how in line is the concept of single-serve coffee with these concerns? Many of the disposable capsules or pods are usually made of plastic or another chemically engineered material that isn’t biodegradable. With people drinking so much coffee every day, week or month, this indefinitely accumulates a ton of waste, and not to mention, requires a large amount of resources to keep producing. Beanarella, a Swiss Coffee Company which was founded in 2011 is one of the players in the single-serve coffee market. Beanarella was granted the “Golden Idea Award 2013” for being the first company to create a compostable coffee capsule worldwide. We think this is a huge step in the right direction and hope to see other brands following in their footsteps in the near future.

Sustainability

How about you? Are you a fan of the Keurig Coffee Brewers or any other single-serve coffee products? The coffee industry is now addressing sustainability concerns, but how willing would you be to pay more to use the more sustainable products?

Let us know your take on this!

Most Desired Workplace Improvements

Vending Machine ManagementMany studies have shown that feeling happy and relaxed at work leads directly to improved performance and productivity. Want some ideas for your own workplace? National Vending has a few to get you started:

  • Take advantage of natural light. Moving desks and cubicles to maximize exposure to outside light can help elevate mood and increase performance. Establishing an outdoor area with picnic tables or other seating allows employees to enjoy the outdoors and soak up some natural rays during lunch or break times.
  • Add some color and texture. There’s no reason for walls or corridors to be drab. Adding colorful graphics with paint or posters and incorporating different textures like cork, wood or natural materials adds warmth to the workspace and helps employees feel more relaxed and less stressed.
  • Make the break room inviting. Show your employees you value their contribution by providing a bright and comfortable place to eat or relax during breaks. Offering comfortable seating, colorful paint or accessories and adequate lighting makes break rooms brighter and friendlier.
  • Don’t forget food. Many dietary studies have shown that the human mind and body work best when supplied with multiple small meals or snacks throughout the day rather than just three larger meals. Adding on-site coffee service or a vending services area stocked with a variety of snacks keeps employees sated and focused. Make it even more convenient for employees by offering onsite café food service so they can enjoy a delicious lunch without having to go out.

Five Senses Coffee Vending Machine

There have been hundreds of vending solutions to one of humanity’s early-morning problems: “How can I get a decent cup of coffee on the go?” This same question was asked by Scott Martin, founder of Coffee Nation.

Since he asked that question in 1999, Martin has been working to develop quality coffee machines throughout England. His success was noticed by Costa Coffee and he was signed on to their vending division, Costa Express to create one of the most innovative coffee vending machines the world has seen.

The Marlow 200 is the product of this 12-year journey and the first models have rolled out in Dubai International Airport’s new Terminal 3. The machines are called five-senses machines because they engage consumers with all five senses. The collaborative efforts made to create this machine are almost more impressive than the machine itself. Costa Express enlisted the help of various companies from around the world specializing in anything from aeronautic design to mobile gaming and scent engineers.

While this machine is quite remarkable and the coffee it produces (with 250 varieties available!) is reported to be just as good as what the creating company’s own baristas create, National Vending has to ask if it is too much? Knowing your target market and demographics are what makes the difference for vending management companies and operators. For Dubai’s Terminal 3, this might be the perfect solution, but finding out what will impress your customers can be more valuable than offering a machine that recreates the sounds and smells of a coffee shop.