During the Dec. 13 to 14 European Vending Association (EVA) meeting vending industry leaders focused on strategies to bring renewed growth to the European vending industry.
“Value” was the buzz word at the general assembly: - Value for money for the EVA members illustrated by some of the lobbying actions 2012-2013, by Catherine Piana, EVA director general, and Erwin Wetzel, deputy director general, which covered a wide array of concerns, including tax receipts, coinage design, refrigerant gases, allergen labeling, and eco-design;
- Value of Information: the Market Intelligence plans of the EVA were outlined by Jan Marck Vrijlandt, the international operators representative, sitting on the EVA’s executive committee (Selecta);
- Value of Cooperation: the hard work carried out in 2012 to enhance cooperation between the EVA and its NA’s (National Associations) was summed up by Lucio Pinetti, EC member, and CONFIDA president. More specifically, he announced that the EC would be inviting an NA representative to attend future meetings. For the first six months, the representative would be Aris Kaschefi, the BDV director (Germany). Arnaud van Amerongen, the EVA president, closed the session by sharing a few thoughts:
- A widening of the EVA footprint was planned to reflect the fading boundaries between vending and Office Coffee Service (OCS). Joining forces with OCS or PoU (Poin of Use) would make the EVA more powerful and efficient.
- He applauded the efforts deployed by David Hoskin in publishing the 2010-2011 Market Report, which was an added value for Members, as part of the new membership benefits.
- He recommended that Members visit the EVA Members-Only pages, which are full of useful and relevant information.
- He announced that EurOps would be held in conjunction with the Vending Cruise in May 2013, and located in Palma de Mallorca. Participants would have the option of attending for the whole duration of the cruise or just flying in and out for the Conference.
The evening function took the delegates to Chalet Robinson, a quiet, wooded venue in the heart of Brussels, which was the opportune moment to network amongst peers and to exchange current views on the vending market.
The Workshop, themed “A European Strategy for Vending” opened with 3 presentations:
- David Hoskin, author of the EVA Market Survey 2010-2011, gave a short overview of his research findings. His main message was that whilst the data was rather flat, the market still had huge potential, in particular in the area of snack machines. He also stressed that small operators held the reins to the industry, as in most Western European countries, the market shares were held, in majority, by smaller companies.
- David Kirby, from PwC, then followed with a most engaging presentation on vending in the “new normal”, the impact of recessions and the solutions at hand for operators. Based on his wide experience with other industries, such as retail, and vending in other parts of the world, he made recommendations for growth strategies in 5 areas: proposition, pricing, purchasing, operational efficiency and merger and acquisition tactics.
- Rod O’Shea, from Intel, introduced the company’s view on the future of vending, and emphasized the simple but profound changes which would create the “new experience” for vending consumers: mobile interaction, social media integration, communication, interactivity and perception, connectivity, as well as the security and manageability challenges facing operators. He commented on a recent study carried out by Intel with consumers, regarding vending. In short, consumers felt that vending machines were useful, but called for a radical improvement in the vending experience. A variety of technological solutions existed to meet these expectations: touch-screens, advertising and loyalty, providing helpful information, personalization, etc. The participants then attended the 7 round tables, which were repeated 3 times each. The chairpersons then wrapped up their messages for the group.