Ice Vending Machines : Sustainability has become the biggest consumer demand in recent years, writes Dan Doromal. One report found that 46 percent of consumers are looking for brands to take the lead on sustainability initiatives and are actively seeking out businesses that do so. Yet despite significant consumer as well as regulatory pressure, certain industries are failing to make meaningful and effective change in a timely manner.
In particular, the HoReCa sector is failing to keep pace with new sustainability targets. From generating food waste to the use of plastic packaging, the HoReCa sector is infamous for its outsized environmental footprint.
Due to the attendant bad publicity, many HoReCa businesses are now looking for ways to improve their sustainability and demonstrate their green credentials. Fortunately, businesses that implement sustainable initiatives bring about real change while also improving profitability. In short, sustainability initiatives are good for the planet but also for your bottom line.
Ice Vending Machines : An unlikely target
Interestingly enough, there is one particular technology that flies under the radar but can have a significant impact on sustainability targets: Ice Vending Machines. Ice Vending Machines are becoming increasingly popular as businesses and consumers alike look for convenient and affordable ways to purchase ice. The ice vending market is one of the fastest-growing segments of the $4 billion retail market for ice.
But while water and ice vending machines may not be the sexiest topic in the sustainability sector, they’re an important one. These machines offer a convenient and cost-effective way to reduce both energy consumption and product packaging while also optimising supply chains.
Consider that the transportation sector is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28 percent of all greenhouse gasses in the U.S. in 2021. Now consider the ice supply chain: thousands of trucks on the road every day transporting ice to different HoReCa venues. Moreover, refrigerated trucks tend to have even higher than average emissions because of the need for temperature control.
Whereas if HoReCa businesses have their own ice and water vending machine on-site, the bulk of those delivery trucks can get off the roads. What’s more, customers can bring their own reusable containers to the vending machines, reducing the need for single-use plastics. For a retail location that sells 25 bags of ice a day, switching from a delivery service to vending with a bulk ice option means around 9,000 fewer plastic bags wasted per year.
Ice Vending Machines : a chance to do things differently
HoReCa businesses are now finally getting on board, the advantages of improving their environmental footprint and tackling their supply chains. Which means they are joining the 33 percent of businesses that are integrating a sustainability strategy to improve operational efficiency and drive down costs.
That’s why many are now looking towards on-site ice and water vending technology that offers a streamlined process with consistent service and improved sustainability. Likewise, these machines require minimal labor to operate, reducing the need for additional staff to serve customers. This can significantly reduce labor costs, especially during off-peak hours when there is less demand.
Additionally, operating an ice and water vending machine can also boost a company’s reputation for being eco-friendly.
By reducing plastic waste and energy consumption, businesses can make a significant impact on the environment while generating additional revenue. And with their easy maintenance and low cost, ice and water vending machines can be a smart and sustainable investment on the HoReCa journey towards sustainability.
*Dan Doromal is the Co-Owner and Vice President of Operations at Everest Ice and Water Systems, of Apopa, Florida USA, which was awarded a patent for a one-moving-part ice vending machine system. Dan graduated with an Engineering degree; however his main focus is on creating new businesses and marketing.
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