Planet Vending Editor Ian Reynolds-Young has a sit-down with Dominykas Benediktavičius, Project Manager at Cupernican, ahead of the company’s Vendex debut.
Cupernican, the Lithuanian cup manufacturer, has set its sights on building its business in the UK and Dominykas Benediktavičius, the company’s Project Manager, is hoping things go better, second time around…
‘We knocked on a few doors back in 2019’, he recalls, ‘but we didn’t have a nine-ounce cup in our portfolio at that time, so nobody wanted to talk to us. Then came Covid, so it’s taken a while, but we’re back – and with some great nine-ounce cups!’
In the meantime, Dominykas has been quietly building relationships with some of the industry’s key UK operators and buying groups – and he’s hoping to add to his contacts at Vendex.
In a market as crowded as that for disposable cups, Cupernican needs a usp to make an impact in the UK. In fact, it has several, as Dominykas explained. ‘We can manufacture around 500m cups year – that’s more than 40m every month – which we export to the EU. We’re not one of the ‘Big Boys’, we’re more the industry’s ‘dark horse’; but having said that, those same Big Boys recognise and respect us as an important player in the marketplace.
‘Another factor that works in our favour is that we manufacture vending paper cups and paper cups only, whereas some of our competitors offer a huge variety of packaging. So, we are specialists in the field and we have a reputation for removing the headache of paper cups. You’d be surprised how many operators have problems with cups…
‘Our customers benefit from our flexibility; the biggest players simply can’t match it’, Dominykas said. ‘We’re capable of rapid communication and fast reaction which means, for instance, that customers will probably find that lead times, from order to delivery, are shorter when they buy from Cupernican.
‘That’s the rationale behind our decision to develop the business around the requirements of our B2B customers. They are at the centre; our universe revolves around them.’
(Which provides as good an opportunity as any to explain the company’s name. Cupernican is an homage to Copernicus, (1473 – 1543), he who first formulated a model of the universe in which the Sun, rather than Earth, was placed at the centre. See what they did there?)
‘Visitors to our stand at Vendex will see that we offer exceptional PE-lined paper cups and, for those who want them, we have a superb, state-of-the-art, 100 % plastic-free cup’ Dominykas said. ‘Our choice of cups and lids, for both hot and cold beverages, really is extensive and we’re looking forward to presenting them all at Vendex.’
*Dominykas will be flying the flag for Cupernican on Stand 37 at the company’s Vendex debut in Leeds. He’s looking forward to meeting some familiar faces – and making those important new contacts…