Hot beverage vending, one of the hardest hit product categories in vending, can rebound, according to a panel of industry experts interviewed in a State of the Vending Industry in a podcast. A vending operator, a coffee service operator, two coffee manufacturers and a product distributor all agreed that by reinvesting in quality products and equipment, hot beverage vending sales will improve. Panelists also noted that in the recession, more locations that historically provided free coffee want to offset the cost by passing it on to employees. This creates an opportunity for hot beverage vending. Panelists also addressed coffee service. They noted the improvements in manual pod brewers, and see this as a growing single-cup option.
The panel includes; Mike Nugent, general manager, Canteen Vending, Middletown, Pa.; Andy Calhoun, general manager, Canteen Refreshments, Middletown, Pa.; Gregg McChesney, corporate merchandising manager, Vistar Corp.; Jack Martin, national accounts manager, Nestle Beverage Co.; and Lauch McElhaney, channel manager, Starbucks Coffee Co.