Automatic Merchandiser - 26

Duska said that enterprising
operators should also acknowledge the
tremendous opportunity in the fact
that today's consumers are conditioned to serve themselves beyond
food and beverage.
"Operators can start looking
outside of their traditional food, snack
and beverage business model to other
non-traditional vending," she said.
"Companies have diversified with
micro markets, pantry services and
OCS, but they're still very focused
within food, snack and beverage. I
think there's an opportunity for these
companies to take a look at things like
non-traditional vending - electronics,
beauty and apparel."
Rosenberg agreed that operators should consider revenue streams
beyond food and beverage, especially
as new players enter the convenience
services space through existing platforms to expand their retail presence.
"Innovation in product offering is
the most critical means for an operator
to stay healthy," Rosenberg said. "This
means diversity beyond just snack,
beverage, food and coffee. Operators
who diversify through new product
categories - electronics, cosmetics,
CBD - will find new lines of revenue."
"Convenience stores are creeping
into our space with retail offerings,"
Thornton added. "We must adapt and
become retailers and become good
at it."
For operators who are concerned
about competition from delivery
services, fast-casual restaurants or
specialty grocers, they can encourage
customer loyalty by providing superior
customer service.
"Local high-end grocers, popin restaurants, DoorDash, Uber
Eats and other delivery services like
Snack Nation are on our radar from a
competitive standpoint," said LaPorte.
"Our answer to all to new competition
inside our industry is making sure
we're engaged with the customer the
26

Automatic Merchandiser * December 2019

"

[Innovation] means diversity beyond just snack, beverage,
food and coffee. Operators who diversify through new
product categories - electronics, cosmetics, CBD - will
find new lines of revenue."
Josh Rosenberg, CEO of PLNTSOP

right way as often as possible, creating
long-term personal relationships."
BETTER-FOR-YOU EXPANDS
IN 2020

Consumers are likely
to continue to demand
better-for-you offerings
in 2020, and those with restricted diets
will turn elsewhere if they can't find
what they want in vending or micro
markets.
"Eating habits are continuing
to change in the marketplace," said
Thornton. "Consumers are shifting to
healthier choices and away from sugar
snacks and beverages. While these
categories remain the largest share of
business, a shift is occurring and will
continue. NAMA's public health initiative will likely speed up the process
of offering better-for-you options.
[In 2020] we will be offering more
better-for-you items and implementing
NAMA's public health initiative."
As Thornton pointed out, embracing
NAMA's public health commitment to
increase the percentage of better-for-you
offerings to 33 percent in the nation's
vending machines (announced by the
organization in October 2019) can help
remove the misperception that vending
machines only offer "junk" food.
"NAMA's new partnership with
organizations focused on increasing healthier food options should be
an inflection point for our industry
in removing the inaccurate claims
that vending is causing obesity," Reed
added. "With the industry now on our

front foot on this issue, we can prove
that we are part of the solution."
Of course, none of this would
make sense if it didn't help an operator's bottom line, and Duska noted
that NAMA's public health initiative
wouldn't have been possible if NAMA
didn't have the data from operators to
back it up.
"NAMA's healthier initiative in
partnership with the FDA is all databased," she said. "That would not even
have been possible 10 years ago. Now
they're going to government and association stakeholders and saying, 'Here's
something we want to do - we want
to provide healthier choices for people.
Let's take a look at what we're currently
offering and make some meaningful changes and see how that impacts
consumer behavior.' We have data now
and it opens the door to a world of new
initiatives and revenue streams."
LOOKING FURTHER

Another trend operators
have been curious about
is CBD. While some may
question whether CBD-infused beverages and food should be offered in the
workplace, many operators are looking
into it as consumers grow more accepting of CBD products.
"We are actively researching CBD
products and where they would fit in
our offerings," Thornton said.
While artificial intelligence (AI)
and machine learning may have
seemed like far-off concepts for this
industry a few years ago, they're start-



Automatic Merchandiser

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automatic Merchandiser

Editor's Note: A Look Ahead
Industry News
OCS Update
Pros to Know
2020 Forecast
Success Story: Striving for Wellness Along the Northeast Coast
Classifieds
Social Hubs
Automatic Merchandiser - 1
Automatic Merchandiser - 2
Automatic Merchandiser - 3
Automatic Merchandiser - 4
Automatic Merchandiser - 5
Automatic Merchandiser - Editor's Note: A Look Ahead
Automatic Merchandiser - Industry News
Automatic Merchandiser - 8
Automatic Merchandiser - 9
Automatic Merchandiser - OCS Update
Automatic Merchandiser - 11
Automatic Merchandiser - Pros to Know
Automatic Merchandiser - 13
Automatic Merchandiser - 14
Automatic Merchandiser - 15
Automatic Merchandiser - 16
Automatic Merchandiser - 17
Automatic Merchandiser - 18
Automatic Merchandiser - 19
Automatic Merchandiser - 20
Automatic Merchandiser - 21
Automatic Merchandiser - 2020 Forecast
Automatic Merchandiser - 23
Automatic Merchandiser - 24
Automatic Merchandiser - 25
Automatic Merchandiser - 26
Automatic Merchandiser - 27
Automatic Merchandiser - Success Story: Striving for Wellness Along the Northeast Coast
Automatic Merchandiser - 29
Automatic Merchandiser - 30
Automatic Merchandiser - 31
Automatic Merchandiser - 32
Automatic Merchandiser - Classifieds
Automatic Merchandiser - Social Hubs
Automatic Merchandiser - 35
Automatic Merchandiser - 36
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