Automatic Vending Association announces findings from latest industry census

The AVA’s 2016 UK Vending Industry Census has found that the UK vending industry turnover has increased by 2% to £1.53bn.

This growth, together with price rises across the board, due to inflation and the introduction of more premium lines, has helped compensate for consumption levels, which have continued to decline. The coffee shop boom shows no sign of slowing down and continues to provide the platform for the industry to further premiumise the hot drink offer. This is supported by the ongoing growth seen in bean-to-cup, paper cups, larger cups and machines using fresh liquid milk.

The census also shows that the number of open-site cashless transactions per month has doubled in 2016, including an ongoing steady rise in contactless card and mobile phone payments.

Also indentified within the report were a number of key challenges that the industry currently faces, including the soft drinks levy due in 2018. 39% of cold drinks sold in 2016 were low sugar alternatives.

Jonathan Hart, chief executive of the AVA, said: “It is very positive to see that industry turnover has increased to £1.53bn in 2016. Although the industry faces challenges in the shape of the rising National Living Wage and the soft drinks levy, the innovation being made within the industry resulting in vending becoming more visibly healthy and convenient for consumers, will ensure that UK vending faces these challenges head on.”

Compiled by Martin Colston, former global strategic insight director for Mars Drinks, the census uses data and insights gathered from a wide range of industry sources including operators, manufacturers and suppliers to paint an accurate picture of the UK vending industry at present.

Mr Colston added: “It’s great to see growth in overall vending turnover for the first time in many years, and the positive outlook for 2017 from so many members. Premiumisation is really starting to bear fruit with some real innovation coming through.”