Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Out of your comfort zone?

Good morning to everyone in the Vending Village

It’s been a while since I hit the blogspot, but I figure that since the Jet Stream appears to be drifting away from wreaking havoc on the Great British mainland and shores, it’s time for me to spring into action!

For those that know me well, you understand that I’m not worried if you think I’m bonkers; those of you who think that will, whatever I do, believe you are right.  So, now we have that elephant out of the room, here are my thoughts for a fabulous “Fat Tuesday”!

Let’s start with some numbers (source Mintel Oxygen); The growth of the “free from” sector in UK retail between 2008 and 2012 was 61%.  Yes, you heard me right, 61%! That’s quite a rock and roll number when you consider the context of difficult economic times.  I’m not sure vending can boast those kind of double digits! 61% retail growth driven by both those with a medical need to avoid certain foods (allergies, Coeliac disease etc) and those consumers careful about what they eat; the “worried well” as many a market researcher might label them! In fact, you might call 2014, the year of the Allergenic Consumer because, by 13th December 2014, anyone selling non pre-packed food will be obliged to inform their consumers of any allergens contained in them! (feel free to ask me what the heck that is by getting in contact via our website!)

More significantly, for the very first time, the annual Free From Food Awards has, this year, added a category for “on the go/vending” products and 24vend is the proud category sponsor.  The winners will be announced later this month at a fantastic awards ceremony in London. 

These products could fit the bill if you are being asked for innovative, healthy and allergy-friendly products by your customers.  Sure, they wont suit all of your locations, but maybe it’s time to look beyond the obvious and taste the future?  They may not be your comfort zone but (speaking personally), as the resident Coeliac in the house, seeing these types of products in a snack machine would, as Dirty Harry might say, “make my day! “   

Here's the shopping shortlist and some photos to whet your appetite:

Food to go’ and food for vending machines – Sponsored by 24Vend 
1.    Nothing But Sliced beetroot & parsnip snack
2.    Clearspring Organic brown rice crackers with black sesame
3.    Clearspring Organic tamari roasted cashew nuts
4.    Everything But The Cow Mango & orange soya & fruit drink
5.    Foodamentalists Pork pie
6.    Hotch Potch Eggs Arancini
7.    Great Food Spinach & pinenut with houmous – snack pack
8.    Munchy Seeds Chilli bites
9.    Scottish Jerky Beef jerky original flavour
10.Udi’s Ancient grain jalapeno cheddar crisps
11.Voakes Free from traditional pork pie
12.Waitrose Gluten free chicken salad roll
13.Waitrose Gluten free egg watercress roll 
1.    9Bar Fruity
2.    Creative Nature Blissful berry superfood bar
3.    Creative Nature Heavenly cacao superfood bar
4.    Freeli Wowbutter brownie
5.    LoveRaw  Organic bar – cacao & maca
6.    Nak’d Strawberry crunch
7.    Nom Foods Ltd Nom bar (original)
8.    Perkier Tiffin bar
9.    The Frank Food Co Frank honest snacking orange & chocolate bar
10.The FreeFrom Bakehouse Chocolate ‘digestive’ biscuits
11.Udi’s Bagel chips

           12.Udi’s Strawberry flavoured toaster pastries

Loving you and leaving you with that thought; let’s get talking!

The Friendly (and only slightly allergic!) Vending Geeks @24vend

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