Enhanced coffee services and premium food, beverage and amenity choices, creating a comfortable and welcoming work environment, were at the forefront of the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Coffee Tea & Water 2023 conference, held in Indianapolis November 6-7. More than a dozen insightful presentations and a dynamic show floor underscored the industry’s commitment to meet this moment of transformation for office coffee services (OCS).
“Employers nationwide are embracing inventive strategies aimed at making the workplace somewhere employees choose to be, creating collaborative spaces and unique amenities that foster innovation,” NAMA President and CEO Carla Balakgie, FASAE, CAE, said in the announcement. “The OCS industry is partnering with employers to bring innovative solutions into all types of workplaces including premium offerings, such as bean-to-cup coffee and a wide array of high-quality food and beverage.”
OCS providers are contributing to employee satisfaction and heightened productivity by bringing advanced coffee brewing and self-service technologies into the workplace. They are also stocking worksite pantries with delicious and health-conscious snacks.
“Today’s flexible workplaces are still evolving,” Melinda Grandell, vice president of sales at InReach by Sodexo and co-chair of NAMA’s Coffee Services Committee, said in the announcement. “OCS operators anticipate their clients’ needs to offer a refined assortment of refreshments and compelling, tech-enabled experiences. We are witnessing a convergence of convenience, quality, and sustainability through innovative amenities that genuinely resonate with employees.”
At Coffee Tea & Water 2023, keynote speaker John Boccuzzi Jr., a renowned blogger, popular TEDx speaker, and partner and chief sales officer at ISG Research, shared inspiring examples of exceptional customer service, underlining the importance of the quality of experience in shaping the future of the workspace. “You have to deliver something exceptional to employees. You become part of the experience for them. That helps create more profitable businesses for your customers,” he said.
In the exhibit hall, hundreds of attendees explored goods and services from nearly 90 companies. Exhibitors unveiled the latest technology solutions and innovative products to meet evolving employee demands, expanding and transcending traditional selections.
Attendees also had the opportunity to consider exciting options for their convenience services operations at the New Product Zone and Coffee Tea & Water Café.
Prior to the event, NAMA hosted an excursion for OCS operators, called the Java Journey. These participants toured the nearby Citizens Energy Group drinking water treatment facility. The company explained its process to produce municipal water from raw ground water, with a focus on how municipal water interacts with coffee equipment to affect the consumer hot beverage experience. The tour culminated with a visit to a local coffee roasting company, where participants saw a demonstration of the roasting process and sampled coffee.
NAMA partnered with Second Helpings to combat unnecessary waste by donating surplus items. Second Helpings utilizes rescued food to provide over 4,500 daily meals to more than 90 social service agencies, nourishing Indiana residents in need.
NAMA remains at the forefront of the challenges of the rapidly evolving OCS industry, actively collaborating with the community to seek guidance on how to support the transformation. “NAMA is proud to support this sector and the future of work,” Balakgie added in the announcement. “We take pride in supporting the work of NAMA’s Office Coffee Services community.”