For far too long, vending has been a single-sensory shopping experience. That is the sense of sight. Now we are seeing a multi-sensory experience develop. Sight — with moving images. Sound. There is the possibility of smell. At prior vending shows in London and Paris, we’ve seen machines dispensing perfumes and colognes — the opportunity to use aroma as a sales tool to attract and stimulate purchases. It is obvious — from the SPIO Media Network in the U.S. and video developments in Europe — that marketers are recognizing this opportunity.
At the recent D.A. Expo in Paris, France, there was fresh bread — not one, but two different machines. There were several new machines featuring the ability to deliver large packages — well beyond the traditional single-serve offering in U.S. vending machines. Let’s look at some of these highlights in more detail.
Daint from Catelgomberto, Italy, manufactures a vending machine that can display and deliver a wide range of products including single-serve and multiple servings — a much broader assortment of sizes than we are used to seeing in the U.S. The categories Daint is penetrating include food and beverages, health and beauty aids, books, wine and alcoholic beverages, and much more.
Products are displayed fully fronted and delivered to the shopper with an elevator. In a footprint not much bigger than a traditional vending machine, this is a “store front” opportunity. Here is an opportunity to broadly expand on what can be sold through a traditional vending machine.
If you recall the Horn & Hardart Automats in New York City and Philadelphia, Holland-based ADM Automaten manufactures a coin-operated unit which will bring you back to the old Automats. It can maintain hot or cold temperatures. The system is designed to be deployed at a staffed location. Each shelf must be restocked by hand after the product is sold. These units are successful for operators with limited staff at a location. Expected sell-through is to turn the full display once an hour.
In New York City you can go to a BAMN! Automat on St. Marks Place in Greenwich Village. This might be an opportunity for a location requiring both onsite or manual feeding and 24-hour vending service.
Adequat from Paris, France, distributes wall-mounted and standing vending machines. Wall-mounted machines represent an opportunity for vending operators to offer a broader selection of candy, mints and other small packages. These battery-operated machines will run 30,000 cycles — typically two-years of vending service.
MACHINES BAKE AND SERVE FRESH BREAD
If you been in Belgium, especially outside the major cities, you’ve probably seen vending machines standing in the open. These are bread machines selling loaves of fresh-daily bread. Verbeek manufactures a bread vending machine with capabilities to deliver more than bread. The machine’s elevator will deliver breads, packaged foods, non-foods and more. It can merchandise two items on the same shelf and deliver both in one cycle.
While I was familiar with bread vending machines, I was not ready for the two fresh-bread vending machines on the floor at the show.
According to Panicom in Hombourg-Haut, France, the threshold for profitability is 40 baguettes a day. The unit is called Panicho Automate. There is an oven to bake breads as needed. The machine is programmed to “learn” what the production levels should be, based on sales history. Under cold storage, there can be 120 to 250 baguettes. These can be held for up to 72 hours. From the process description, this would be par-baked (cold) breads ready to be baked.
There is the smell of fresh bread to attract and entice shoppers. There is a 15-second wait for the bread to be delivered — in a paper bag — just like you would get it from your local baker.
Pac Vending from Pessac, France has a machine that holds frozen bread that is baked and delivered hot in two minutes or less. The bread was great — just like buying a fresh baguette from a local bakery.