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Leno gets the laughs, ProVend gets the looks at NAMA

Home » The Mickey Spirit » Leno gets the laughs, ProVend gets the looks at NAMA
Mickey's Jim Hiatt (left) discusses vending trends with NAMA attendees.

Mickey’s Jim Hiatt (left) discusses vending trends with NAMA attendees.

What do Comedian Jay Leno and Mickey’s ProVend Series of vending bodies have in common? They were both smash hits at this year’s National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) convention in Las Vegas.

Leno brought the house down during the Opening General Session, but after his curtain closed, the 4,600 attendees enthusiastically turned their attention to the 260-plus exhibitors on hand to showcase the industry’s hottest products. High up on the delegates’ “must see” lists were the ProVend models on the show floor, particularly a full-service unit featuring the Minus Forty Freezer compartment and full-width cold plate walk-in cooler. Show-goers were also impressed with the unit’s two sets of cola bays accessible from both inside and outside of the body.

Mickey’s ProVend™ vending bodies – ProVend, ProVend Plus, ProVend II and ProVend Micro – as well as its Full-Service and VendSetter units, are designed with customer-driven features and options to make vending deliveries safer, easier and more profitable for every type of vending route, including Full-Service, Micro Markets and Office Coffee Service. “At NAMA we were visited by companies representing each of the main vending segments because be build solutions for every type of operation,” says Dane Meyer, Mickey’s Western Regional Manager. Dane and Mickey colleague Jim Hiatt, VP Van & Vending National Sales, spent three day on their feet chatting with current customers and prospects interested in the full line of Mickey vending bodies. “We came away with quite a few opportunities for new business.”

The hottest vending channel, according to NAMA/Technomic research unveiled at the convention, is the Micro Market segment, with total sales of $400.5 million.

NAMA defines a Micro Market as a “self-checkout retail food establishment that replaces a bank of vending machines. In a micro market a customer picks up a product from an open rack display, a reach-in refrigerated cooler or freezer, then scans the UPC bar code or an RFID tag for each product at a payment kiosk.” A typical Micro Market will stock fresh salads and fruit; deli sandwiches, soups and meal options; beverages and juices; snacks and candies; healthy alternatives; breakfast sandwiches, pastries and cereals; ice cream and frozen treats; and OTC medicine and sundry items.

“Vending operators are increasingly expanding into Micro Markets or replacing traditional vending outlets with Micro Markets in as many locations as possible to meet consumer demand for greater product variety and convenience,” says Dane. “That’s driving the interest in our vending bodies because they are so versatile. They can handle dry goods, refrigerated, frozen, beverages. An operator can virtually stock an entire Micro Market with the proper ProVend.”

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