September_2021 - 38

COVID that have helped us
through and will continue to
be key as businesses reopen
and employees return. "
Specifically, in the wake
of COVID, AFV has found
new opportunities by partnering
with several contract
foodservice companies to
provide micro markets as
a labor-free alternative to
the cafeterias that they have
been forced to shut down
without enough employees
on site to support them.
" We've been very sucAFV
account executive Steven Chaff
looks over orders.
cessful with micro markets
replacing cafeterias
because they're not labor
intensive and let us move
in on the foodservice side
with that strategy and then
follow behind with coffee
and sometimes vending, "
Arone noted.
What's " unorthodox, " he
added, and a paradigm shift
in these uncertain times, is
that AFV has eliminated its
financial risk when installing
micro market area treatments
and fixtures, which
it has learned all too well
throughout the pandemic
are not readily relocated and
AVF's walk-in cooler
is stocked with
fresh food items for
micro markets and
vending machines.
not easy to store.
" With business that's lost
and transitioned, all of the equipment and fixtures
typically come back, " Roselando observed.
" It's now a foodservice business, and now we
hardly have any micro market fixtures coming
back into stock. "
" We sell our markets differently, " Arone
added. " Multi-tenant office buildings that had
cafeterias are turning to micro markets; it's a
definite trend. They understand that we have a
weekly minimum number to cover shrinkage
and spoilage, just like manual foodservice, when
we go in. We need to be paid or amortize our
investment with a three-year program. In these
uncertain times, we protect ourselves as we go. "
38 Automatic Merchandiser * September 2021
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Micro markets and fresh food go hand in hand
and embracing the interplay between the two is
the only way to succeed, according to the New
England operators. " Vending companies have
looked at fresh food in a different way than the
rest of the world, " Arone commented. " It was
always the lowest performer in a bank. But with
micro markets, if they don't have good fresh
food, they're not successful. "
On average, 35% to 40% of micro market
SKUs should be fresh food to be optimally merchandised
for the swiftest sales, Arone advised.
" AFV even in a COVID environment still sells
and merchandises over 9,000 units of fresh food
per week! " he exclaimed.
AFV has proven this point time and time
again by replacing competing micro market
operators that had only provided frozen food.
" That's where the big win is, " Roselando said.
" Most New England companies want to mitigate
loss by avoiding fresh food versus go after the
sale. Frozen food is not going to get people back
again and again. It's fresh, truly good, quality
food that does that. "
In fact, AFV recently kicked it up another
notch by adding sushi to its repertoire, which
has reportedly been selling off the shelves.
The convenience services company has opted
out of operating its own commissary because the
variety and quality offered by its supplier meets
contemporary tastes and is second to none.
One measure of the high-end appeal of AFV's
fresh food is that the vending and micro market
provider supplies items like parfaits, grape and
cheese platters, and Mediterranean snacks to
several hospitals for their grab-and-go programs.
" In vending, food was always a headache with
a lot of shrink, " Arone emphasized. " We manage
customers' expectations that it's not a vending
program. It's food and a shared risk with a short
shelf life. If some goes bad, it's part of the deal
that it's a shared loss just like cafeterias do. "
OPPORTUNITY ABOUNDS
For one hospital group that will not reopen its
cafeterias, AFV installed three micro markets at
different hospital locations. Some Boston-area
locations, like one pharmaceutical company that
has eight of AFV's micro markets, for example,
never shut down and now rewards its employees

September_2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September_2021

Editor's Note
Industry News
State of the Coffee Service Industry Report
40 Under 40
Health-Aware Snackers Inspire Innovation
Back-to-School Refuel
Classifieds
Social Hubs
September_2021 - PCOV1
September_2021 - PCOV2
September_2021 - 1
September_2021 - 2
September_2021 - 3
September_2021 - 4
September_2021 - 5
September_2021 - Editor's Note
September_2021 - 7
September_2021 - Industry News
September_2021 - 9
September_2021 - State of the Coffee Service Industry Report
September_2021 - 11
September_2021 - 12
September_2021 - 13
September_2021 - 14
September_2021 - 15
September_2021 - 40 Under 40
September_2021 - 17
September_2021 - 18
September_2021 - 19
September_2021 - 20
September_2021 - 21
September_2021 - 22
September_2021 - 23
September_2021 - 24
September_2021 - 25
September_2021 - 26
September_2021 - 27
September_2021 - Health-Aware Snackers Inspire Innovation
September_2021 - 29
September_2021 - 30
September_2021 - 31
September_2021 - 32
September_2021 - 33
September_2021 - Back-to-School Refuel
September_2021 - 35
September_2021 - 36
September_2021 - 37
September_2021 - 38
September_2021 - 39
September_2021 - 40
September_2021 - Classifieds
September_2021 - Social Hubs
September_2021 - 43
September_2021 - 44
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