COLOGNE, Germany – For many employers, the contemporary provision with hot and cold beverages at the place of work has meanwhile become normal procedure. From the small tabletop capsule machine to fully automated coffee vending machines or standing devices, from the hygienic water dispenser to cold beverage vending machines, from the individual maintenance and repair service to the “all-round carefree package”, a host of offers and services is available, which makes a customised offer possible for any sized company.
According to the German Vending Association (BDV), prior to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic the provision of employees in companies and factories made up the lion’s share of the business.
Well over 80 percent of the vending machines for the provision of employees are located in the office and work areas
As a result of the relocation into the home office or the temporary shutdown of production sites, to a large extent these services are currently not being used.
Instead, the people are opting for public vending alternatives, for instance in supermarkets, at the bakers or in petrol stations, where fully-automated Office Coffee Service solutions are also implemented. In times like these they not only enable the daily coffee or tea to-go, but above all the contactless provision thereof.
This is leading to many large companies rethinking the provision of food and beverages in the wake of the employees returning to their workplaces. This is opening up new business opportunities to the vending machine operators. Due to it being staged parallel to ORGATEC, euvend & coffeena is addressing precisely this theme by granting the participants of the trade fair access to new target groups such as the planners of provision facilities.
Particularly within system-relevant institutions such as hospitals, care facilities, the police force, fire brigade or companies of the food industry, but also in the scope of normal everyday business life, vending machines or unmanned kiosk solutions can offer added value in terms of the theme “social distancing”.
Indeed, the European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) and the German Vending Association (BDV) are expressly pointing out that using vending machines and water dispensers does not incur an increased risk of infection
Namely, the recently often criticised disposable vending cup is now also a guarantee for a hygienically immaculate beverage, because disposable solutions are basically designed for scenarios of use, where for instance the implementation of reusable vessels such as own coffee mugs is not possible due to hygienic, work-related or organisational reasons.
The “disposable” versus “reusable” debate is nevertheless still ongoing within the industry, because sustainability is also one of the top priorities. Regarding the theme “cups” this discussion is being additionally promoted by the EU guideline on disposable plastic products. The most ambitious legal instrument worldwide for combatting waste in the sea foresees diverse measures for different product categories. If affordable alternatives are readily available, bringing disposable plastic products into circulation is forbidden. This also applies for food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene.
Reusable is “in”
The initiative of the EU reflects the changed consumer behaviour of its citizens. This is also being perceived by some of the companies of the vending industry: In the case of hot beverage vending machines a strong tendency towards the avoidance of waste and switching over from disposable cups to reusable cups is noticeable.
In Cologne for instance, the “Initiative Coffee to go” of the City of Cologne, AWB Cologne the IHK Cologne as well as representatives from the industry and associations is promoting the usage of reusable cups. After many cafés, bakers and coffee stations started offering to fill own cups, the initiative introduced a joint system: People who bring their own cups with them to the participating outlets, can have these filled and additionally receive a discount on the price. For a small deposit, those who don’t bring their own cup with them, are supplied with a reusable cup which they can return (unrinsed) to all outlets participating in the initiative. Big, local companies such as Koelnmesse are in the meantime using the system for their Office Coffee Service.
Many questions still open
The implementation of reusable solutions faces the vending industry with greater challenges: These require special vending functions which enable the filling of an own cup or mug. At the same time, systems are necessary that allow these reusable cups to be returned after use. Some of the exhibitors of euvend & coffeena are pleading for ecological disposable solutions that are bio-degradable. The life cycle assessment of a reusable cup is much worse regarding the manufacturing, cleaning, logistics and disposal. In addition to the question of the resource and energy consumption for cleaning reusable cups, hygiene factors also have to be taken into account: How can it be assured that the self-supplied cups don’t lead to contamination at the place of issue? Do strict hygiene regulations even allow the customer to bring their own cup with them to be filled? All of these issues are gaining new significance in the wake of the Corona pandemic and are bringing new momentum into the “disposable” versus “reusable” debate. As such this year’s euvend & coffeena will also be addressing the theme sustainability and the advantages and disadvantages of disposable and reusable solutions from 29 to 31 October 2020.
Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Food and FoodTec:
Koelnmesse is an international leader in organising food fairs and events regarding food and beverage processing. Trade fairs such as the Anuga, ISM and Anuga FoodTec are established world leaders. Koelnmesse not only organises food and food technology trade fairs in Cologne, Germany, but also in further growth markets around the globe, for example, in Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Italy, Japan, Thailand, the United States and the United Arab Emirates, which have different focuses and contents. These global activities enable us to offer our customers a network of events, which in turn grant access to different markets and thus create a basis for sustainable and stable international business.
Further Information is available at: http://www.global-competence.net/food/
The next events:
- Thaifex – Anuga Asia – (Admission restricted to trade visitors only, open to the public on Saturday and Sunday), Bangkok 22.09. – 26.09.2020
- euvend & coffeena – The international trade fair for vending & coffee, Cologne 29.10. – 31.10.2020
- yummex Middle East – The Event for Sweets & Snacks Professionals, Dubai 03.11. – 05.11.2020