Growth is a common theme found throughout the vending industry in 2019. This past April, 4,500 convenience services professionals converged at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV for The NAMA Show 2019. The show is an annual event sponsored by the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), a group representing the $25 billion convenience service industry in the United States.
With over 360 exhibitors including some of the world’s most popular brands, 100 new exhibitors and 125 new products for visitors to learn about, there was something for everyone to explore. Advancements in vending machines, coffee service, micro-markets, and pantry services were on display. Vending service providers, customers and industry providers gathered to see and learn about up and coming consumer and industry trends including new business and career growth strategies, educational opportunities, new products and brands, healthy choices, going green and new technologies.
Two key areas with a large amount of growth at the show were healthy products and new technology trends and solutions.
Healthy is still in.
Even after the organizers increased the size of the footprint for the healthy or better-for-you pavilion to 3,300 square-feet, the pavilion was sold out. It’s clear that healthy snacks and beverages continue to represent an area with growth potential.
Manufacturers are listening to consumers and developing new products to meet consumer demand. Vending providers are also listening to their customers. In addition to healthy products with attributes from responsibly sourced to lower calories to reduced sugar and non-GMO, new approaches to eating healthier were also on display. Those trends included on-the-go nutrition, functional choices that support a specific lifestyle, occasion-based eating, and providing fresh fruit at the office.
Technology keeps evolving.
And the vending and refreshment industry is no different. Innovations in technology are improving both the front-end (consumer) and back-end (vending provider) experiences. For example, social media communities, personalized web-portals, and live chat enable back-and-forth communication between consumer and vending provider. To appeal to consumers, vending providers offer self-checkout technology that processes quick, cashless payments and fast, seamless product delivery systems.
Vending providers, on the other hand, look for back-office management tools that will improve warehouse organization and order fulfillment. Innovative systems on display at the 2019 NAMA Show included technology that optimized up-to-the-minute sales data, maximized delivery routes; increased efficiencies, and minimized out-of-stock occurrences.
Whether an organization would like to update their current break room vending machine menu or create a customized micro-market or pantry service, First Class Vending can help. We provide our Los Angeles customers with the newest technologies and healthy snack, beverage, and fresh food choices to create a space that could only be called “the ultimate break room.” For more information about our refreshment services or to schedule a taste test, please call us at 800-515-8363. We look forward to hearing from you.