A Clear Vision For 2020

March 23, 2020

Editor's Note: This was written before the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., but we retain a sense of optimism as our industry responds to this crisis.

We’re now a few months into the year 2020, but I’ve noticed that there’s still a sense of optimism in the air. Within the industry, suppliers and manufacturers are excited to share information about upcoming product launches, innovative technology or new flavors of food and beverage products. Operators have a renewed energy and refocused intention to face the many challenges of running a business, including staying on top of trends affecting convenience services, meeting ever-changing consumer demands, and implementing technology to streamline operations and, ultimately, improve their bottom line.

Everybody seems to feel grateful for the opportunity for the fresh start that a new year — and a new decade — offers. It is with that spirit that we offer 2020’s first print issue of Automatic Merchandiser.

At this time of the year, the upcoming NAMA Show is certainly on everybody’s mind. This year, the conference will be held in Nashville, Tenn., for the first time. As a longtime Nashville resident, I can’t wait to welcome you all to our beautiful city for The NAMA Show 2020. Flip to page 40 for a sneak peek of what this year’s show will offer.

Operators have many options when it comes to vending management technology. We talked to several major suppliers to empower you with the information you need to make an informed decision on the best fit for your business (page 32).

As the category leader in both vending and micro markets, beverages are an essential part of every operator’s business. As employer-paid offerings like office coffee service (OCS) and pantry continue to grow, the many options available to operators can seem overwhelming. We talked to suppliers to identify four workplace beverage trends operators should know to stay competitive in 2020 (page 18).

Each startup business has a unique story to share, and Melissa Brown, founder of Well-Bean Coffee, has one that’s sure to inspire. As a “sociopreneur,” Brown runs a for-profit business that she started in 2013 to support a non-profit in Nicaragua. Through Well-Bean’s growth, Brown not only supports Nicaraguan coffee farmers and their communities, but also provides superb locally-roasted coffee to her customer base in the Triangle Area of North Carolina. As she continues to expand Well-Bean’s footprint throughout the U.S., she runs a company focused on sustainability, quality, wellness and philanthropy. Find out how she grew Well-Bean from a humble coffee cart to a thriving roasting company on page 22.

We hope your 2020 has been great so far and that you have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish this year. Email us at editors@ vendingmarketwatch.com and share what you’re focusing on in 2020.