Industry News

Read about the current news and trends in the vending and coffee industry. Inform yourself prior to, during and after Eu'Vend & coffeena about the global trends in vending and coffee. Industry players talk about and give insights into their views on their current industry themes. Read here what moves the industry.


Whether a freely selectable desk or co-working spaces, whether variable modules in the open plan office or meeting points in open hallway areas with power supply and network connection: the working world is changing. In many places the days are long gone in which individual employees sat isolated at their desks "from 9 to 5" and did their job, perhaps interrupted by a trip to the cafeteria or a meeting in the conference room.

Work has become flexible. Part time models are increasingly being implemented, while home office and external workspaces outside of the company open up new possibilities. Start-ups, but also long-established companies like Google or Facebook are presenting themselves with a changed philosophy, which more strongly combines work and private life and attempts to harmonise the two – the keyword being "work-life balance". The driving force behind this development is the so-called Generation Y, which was born after 1980 and, as "digital natives", has grown up with the Internet and mobile communication as a given. They attach value to family and free time, and understand work not as a construct of fixed structures and rigid hierarchies, but instead associate it with openness, the exchange of ideas and teamwork.

"The appearance of the office is also changing as a consequence of this development. We are setting up more communications zones and project spaces. Both are potential areas of interest for Office Coffee Services", says Barbara Schwaibold, press speaker of the Industrieverband Büro und Arbeitswelt e. V. (industrial association for the office and the work world) (IBA), the industry association for the holistic design of work worlds.

Office Coffee Service (OCS) is almost inevitably becoming a topic that is completely in line with the trend, and its potential is being used by an increasing number of companies and providers. Stefanie Mauritz, Project Manager of Eu'Vend & coffeena, can confirm this: "With the worlds of work, the demands for internal and external employees and customers to be provided with hot and cold drinks, as well as snacks in a contemporary manner are also changing. A "Coffee Corner" is an important element of this." So important that Eu’Vend & coffeena is dedicating a special event to this theme: the Office Coffee Corner. Here, suppliers like Jacobs Douwe Egberts and N&W Global Vending GmbH will be presenting their solutions. Friedhelm Neumeier, Key Account HoReCa at N&W: "We have not only recognised the OCS market as one of the most strongly growing markets in Germany, we have also decisively influenced this market in recent years."

Why are (more and more) companies deciding for OCS? Besides the reaction to changed wishes and needs with regard to workplace design, there are primarily three decisive factors:

  • OCS offerings contribute to creating a space in which employees can meet and exchange ideas. That promotes not only a pleasant work atmosphere and a feeling of mutual belonging: employees don't need to leave the office for a "coffee break" (for example, to go to the nearest coffee shop around the corner). The result is increased presence at the workplace and increased productivity as a consequence.
  • Apropos productivity: especially the relaxing and stimulating effect of coffee results in improved performance in many people. The proverbial "good cup of coffee" helps people reset themselves and tackle tasks with a new dynamic.
  • Last but not least, OCS solutions also express appreciation of one's own staff: the free supply of coffee, tea, water or even snacks expresses a kind of recognition, with a positive impact on commitment and the work atmosphere. Neumeier: "Supervisors, managers and owners have recognised that good coffee is an excellent method for motivating staff, which means that the workplace in Germany is almost no longer conceivable without a good cup of coffee."

In addition to this, OCS solutions are often very simple and can be realised affordably. Schwaibold: "We have two developments. On the one hand, coffee bars that are staffed by service personnel during main working hours. Employees and guests are taken care of here, and are treated with personal service and a relatively broad selection of hot and cold beverages and snacks. On the other hand, and this is surely the larger market, good coffee and other high quality vending machines are called for, which, with regular maintenance, function as self-service outlets and can be placed at decentralised locations in the various communications areas."

This development is supported by a broad spectrum of offerings: from the small tabletop capsule machine to fully automated coffee vending machines or stand 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 large number of offerings is available, which makes a customised offer possible for any company size.

Irrespective of the solution the company chooses from amongst all this diversity, the quality must be right. The selection of beverages, their preparation and the design of the devices are factors just as important as technical reliability and a long service life. Providers of professional OCS solutions know this. Jutta Lemcke, Consultant PR & Digital Media at Lavazza: "Our primary goal is customer satisfaction, which is why we look to individual solutions, intensive consultation and top service for Office Coffee Service." Sven Kliebisch, CEO at servomat steigler has exactly the same goal: In the triad between the machine, product and service, individual and innovative offers that not only ensure taste and diversity, but which also enable machines to be controlled and adjusted via remote maintenance using telemetry, are what count."

Perfectly configurated and customer-oriented: Eu’Vend & coffeena shows that the "image of old drink vending machines set up somewhere in the hallway and dispensing beverages of dubious quality" (Schwaibold) has long-since been banished to the past. OCS is an elementary component of the office of the future.

Our society is becomes increasingly more mobile. One trend has already been observed for years: Out of one's own four walls, into life outside one's home. Not always, but more and more frequently. However, the out-of-home market is not just growing because of leisure activities. In addition to this, in the case of many working people, the place of residence and the place of work have no longer been in the same city for a long time. Every morning they make their way to work among the legions of commuters, which quite often involves travel times of one hour and longer.

We are on the road - and definitely don't want to have to do without one thing here: coffee. The coffee consumption has been growing worldwide and in Europe for years already. Coffee is also the most popular drink in Germany, ahead of water and beer. Consequently, the "coffee-to-go" has also become a fixed part of daily life, since it offers the "mobile generation" what one commonly appreciates about coffee: optionally that moment of relaxation and peace or an energy kick and stimulation.

The coffee market already distinguishes itself through its increased individualisation. Whereas in the past there was simply "filter coffee for everyone", not only different coffee specialities have taken the daily enjoyment habits by storm - from the classic latte macchiato to cold brew creations - the preparation is becoming more individual as well. Modern fully automatic coffee machines enable the variable regulation of the grinding and roasting degree as well as the brewing temperature and water pressure. "My cup of coffee" has become precisely that - and fresh, portioned coffee-to-go meets these individual demands.

Last, but not least, coffee-to-go is also an expression of a lifestyle: The mug in one's hand symbolises worldliness and openness, it is considered to be in and trendy, rather than just simply young and hip. In Germany around every third person (also) drinks coffee en route, the younger population more frequently than older people, ladies more often than men.

Coffee-to-go has especially become a fixed part of urban life. It is available everywhere. In bakeries and petrol stations, at train stations and airports, in street cafés and coffee shops, in supermarkets and car repair shops. The coffee-to-go is waiting for a buyer "at every corner". In the meantime, the quality is (almost) impeachable. For example, the German Association of the Vending Machine Industry e.V. (bdv) established: "Thanks to the optimised brewing techniques (fresh and espresso brewers, InCup, capsules, instant, etc.) the coffee quality in vending machines and the products used have long since reached the same level as that of upscale food service." In customer surveys the taste regularly ranks first among the answers to the question what are the most important criteria of the coffee enjoyment?

Not only established coffee suppliers such Tchibo, Melitta and Dallmayr are involved in the lucrative market of coffee-to-go. Beverage giants such as Coca-Cola have also discovered the business. Incidentally: Selling around 85,000 coffees a day, the biggest coffee-to-go supplier in Germany is the petrol station chain, Aral, which belongs to the British BP group.

One aspect that is increasingly coming under focus with coffee-to-go is the theme of sustainability. As with normal coffee powder and beans, seals and certificates that confirm the fair cultivation and trade ensure a good conscience. Another discussion has been picking up speed more recently: "Disposable" versus "reusable".

Disposable cups are simple and convenient for the consumers, furthermore in the meantime, thanks to the progress in the packing technology, there are also solutions such as compostable cups or those made out of recycled material. However, the critics argue: Disposable cups that are thrown away after being used once, cause too much waste, especially since not all of the cups end up there where they belong. On the other hand, advocates of reusable cups see ecological advantages in them. However, it is certainly worth taking a closer look here: In addition to the question regarding the resources and energy expenses for cleaning reusable cups, hygiene factors also have to be taken into account: How can it be assumed 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?

Eu'Vend & coffeena offers the perfect platform not only for these questions. Without doubt innovations and new ideas will also be lively debated, such as machines that also provide the lid for the to-go cup, according to the bdv "the smallest coffee shop in the world", or chips integrated into the lid for paying with. Stefanie Mauritz, Project Manager of Eu'Vend & coffeena: "Covering all aspects on the lucrative coffee-to-go market, the trade fair offers plenty of business potential-to-go."

Is this the future of shopping? The online retailer Amazon is testing Amazon Go in the USA, a supermarket concept, which works totally without tills - and without staff. The customer registers via an app on entering the shop, takes the goods from the shelves and leaves the store again. Based on the stored personal data and thanks to the "clever shelves", which know per sensor technology, which goods the customer has removed (and perhaps also put back), the purchase amount is automatically booked from the buyer's account.

The advantages for the customers are obvious: There are no queues, the questions "Have you got enough cash with you?", "Can I pay by card?" and "Which card can I pay with?" thus become a thing of the past. However, in addition to the value of the goods, the customer has to take a further price into account: He becomes more transparent. Because Amazon not only registers, who enters the store and which goods were purchased, but can also record and analyse the purchasing frequency, individually preferred items or the interest in certain products.

What Amazon is testing has already been a theme in the USA for some time and is now only gradually enfolding in Europe and Germany: the so-called "Micro Market". What does that entail? In brief, a shop system where the goods are not offered in vending machines, but in "normal" shelves and refrigerators, but where no service or employees are needed. The buyers take the goods from the shelves and pay at automatic cash register systems, where they scan the purchased products themselves (here Amazon is already a step ahead).

There is a shop like this in Viken, Sweden. Robert Ilijason opened a store there, the offer of which can be compared with that of a small supermarket. Per app the customers open the door and scan the products that they want to buy. A click on "pay" and the bill flutters through the letterbox every month. Due to its access regulation per app, the shop is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To register, customers need their "Bank ID", which is very common in Sweden, because it is implemented for online banking.

The potential of the idea is obvious: Shops without staff ensure the supply of products in places where the next supermarket is a long distance away. That was incidentally the initial impulse for Ilijason: After dropping the last glass of baby food at home he was looking for a supermarket where he could buy a replacement - with the result that he ended up having to drive 20 kilometres because of the late hour.

But even in highly-frequented towns, shops without staff offer exciting potential if the right items are stocked. For example, if the shop lies on the "way home" of workers and employees, uncomplicated ready-to-eat dishes that can be quickly taken home offer interesting turnover perspectives. Coffee and tea specialities "to go" also ensure a high frequency.

Automated shop solutions offer the advantage that the size can be determined as desired and thus adapted to suit the local conditions. For example, it is conceivable that they are also implemented in office complexes, where the systems can secure a fast and convenient food supply for employees, in addition to the vending machines that are perhaps already available.

Staff is ultimately only need for stocking the shelves. The customers profit from the offer, which is always available and which can even be given a personal touch. For instance, if it is possible to order the desired products. Flexibility is also the trump card when it comes down to the payment systems: Everything is conceivable, from classic cash, to payment by bank or credit card, through to payment per fingerprint or, as tested by Amazon, per automatic recording.

Smart technologies, intelligent solutions and the orientation to the needs of the consumers: "Micro markets" unite many success factors that are typical for the automated sale of goods and products and which will be presented and discussed at Eu'Vend & coffeena 2017.

It is actually a truism: One needs money to pay for things. Cash. Of course this also particularly applies when purchasing products and goods from the vending machine. The German Vending Association (bdv) estimates that approx. 75% of all vending machines operate using cash and are primarily fed with coins.

Still. Because as the simple calculation reveals, approx. one quarter of the vending machines already allow cashless payment. With an upward trend. "Cashless payment" is a trend that doesn't stop at the vending industry - and which is more widespread in countries like England, Sweden or Poland than in Germany. This brings the users and operators of the machines several advantages compared to payment using coins and banknotes.

  • The bothersome search for the "right change" becomes superfluous for the customer.
  • The payment process is faster and thus reduces the waiting times. This is an important user satisfaction factor, especially in the case of canteen catering or vending machines accessible to the public.
  • Operating the machine becomes more efficient and more viable for the operator because change no longer has to be paid out (and thus the provision and filling of the machine is no longer necessary). The banknote and coin inventory becomes a thing of the past.
  • Since the machines no longer contain cash, the risk of vandalism and theft is reduced.
  • The experts consider cashless payment to be safer and more reliable than paying by cash.

There are in the meantime many more possibilities of paying at vending machines without cash than merely introducing an EC, bank or credit card in combination with a PIN. Near Field Communication (NFC) is of key significance here. Whereas the potential of this technology was already recognised several years ago, the technical prerequisites are now increasingly being created. The implementation speed for the use of NFC is significantly accelerating.

What does NFC entail? In short, the contactless transmission of data at close range. Some of the most common applications for NFC are opening hotel room doors using a card or "opening" the car when car sharing. When it comes down to paying using NFC, the technology can be implemented for payment cards - i.e. for cash or credit cards that are issued by banks - as well as for smartphones ("mobile payment"). The prerequisite is that the payment card or smartphone is equipped with an NFC chip. The payment is triggered off by holding the card or the smartphone direct next to a special scanner. The "reaction time" is not even one second; because the data transmission only works at very close range and with the corresponding scanners, the method is considered to be very safe.

In addition to the simplified and very fast processing of the payment, the implementation of cash cards or smartphones offer further interesting options. For example:

  • Companies can equip smartcards that can be used for paying in their canteens or at vending machines with additional functions such as time recording or access control. Furthermore, they enable the simply implementation and scaling of price scales or reward systems.
  • Beyond the operating comfort customer can be bonded using loyalty programmes at freely accessible machines - especially also in connection with an app. In this way discounts can be granted and products dispensed free of charge.

In spite of all these visions of the future: Paying with cash at vending machines will, of course, not disappear that quickly. Technology has made such progress that operating the machines with coins and banknotes works almost completely without hitches. Due to predetermined characteristics change givers can recognise counterfeit coins, banknote validators have an acceptance rate of around 100% and even accept crumpled and torn banknotes and thanks to the innovative telemetric or software solutions financial transactions and sales-relevant information are recorded and analysed.

Whether cash or cashless; per bank card, credit card, smartcard or smartphone; whether per bank transfer, invoice or credit account; whether as a closed card system within a company or an open solution for many different areas of application; whether purely to pay or connected with the reporting and evaluation of data for customer bonding purposes or usage of the vending machine: The theme "payment" inspires with many more facets than a simple glance through a coin slot might suggest. Eu'Vend & coffeena offers the perfect platform for an exchange about all trends and potentials.