Lyons and Evoca: Remember when coffee from a vending machine was deemed acceptable if it was simply ‘wet and warm’? Fortunately for those who work on the factory floor or in the office, ‘wet and warm’ is now as much a part of workplace history as the typewriter or the Rolodex, writes Ian Reynolds-Young.
These days, quality is paramount and that’s why bean-to-cup machines were welcomed with open arms when they arrived on the scene. Likewise, machines that use fresh milk to recreate the ‘coffee shop’ experience are now a common feature in the corporate landscape.
So it may come as a surprise to some that ‘instant coffee’ is enjoying a revival in the workplace and that some manufacturers and producers have taken their place at the head of the curve by developing products specifically to address this opportunity.
Visitors to Vendex North will have an opportunity to judge the results of such instant innovations for themselves on the What Price Solutions stand, where one of the most exciting of the new coffee brands – Lyons Instant – will be paired with a variant of Evoca Group brand Wittenborg’s flagship 9100 coffee machine, which has been designed specifically to deliver instant coffee drinks of unprecedented quality.
Lyons and Evoca… The brand names alone raise expectations. The name ‘Lyons’ goes way back to 1894 and for those of a certain age, it will forever be associated with ‘corner houses’, in which waitresses called ‘nippies’ delivered premium service with ‘invisible’ efficiency. Likewise, Evoca’s Wittenborg has long been one of the most respected brands in OCS.
As a Lyons Instant Coffee Director recalled, at the product’s re-launch in 2013, ‘our first task was to re-establish Lyons Instant in a highly competitive market place. Having achieved that, our aim was to move Signature Freeze Dried Coffee forward by satisfying the demands of discerning consumers by means of a product that delivered great value as well as top quality.’
It’s a strategy that delivered: In October 2018, Lyons instant coffee was rated by Kantar Worldpanel as the fastest growing instant coffee in the UK. The brand really couldn’t have hoped for more: its focus on delivering great quality at an affordable price had evidently resonated with the Great British public.
The vending industry represented a clear opportunity for the brand. What Price Solutions’ Director Richard Allen explains: ‘the vending market has a cyclical sort of quality to it. Where Kenco used to be strong, now Douwe Egberts is having its day. Nestle, on the other hand, appears to have dropped off the map and that leaves a hole in the market. We saw that there was a unique opportunity for a mid-range brand to thrive and prosper in vending and what’s more, Lyons has the perfect credentials, in terms of brand recognition, quality, heritage and price, to grasp that opportunity.’
Is coffee only as good as the machine that makes it, or is a machine only as good as the coffee it serves? It’s as unanswerable a question as ‘what came first the egg or the hen?’ and frankly, Lyons and Evoca…When instant coffee tastes this good, who cares?
And so, to the Wittenborg 9100. This variant of the hugely popular Danish designed coffee machine has Freemix instant technology on board which reduces drink delivery time and guarantees consistency. ‘There are direct powder chutes, that don’t have the corners in which coffee can clot in other machines’ Evoca UK Sales Director Craig Jukes adds. ‘Specifically designed mixing bowls deliver higher throughput with fewer parts and the machine’s powerful software allows for the dosing speed, water flow to the mixing bowls and the mixing speed to be customised.
Lyons and Evoca: Instant Success
‘To complete the package, operational costs are optimised and customer satisfaction is improved thanks to guided preventative maintenance and trouble shooting for corrective maintenance, together with a 10.1” HD capacitive glass touch screen and a cup sensor to recognise whether the cup to be filled is paper, plastic, glass; the consumer’s own mug or, indeed, a jug’, Craig concluded.
It’s not just the quality of the instant drink that’s better than ever before: the consumer’s experience of choosing and ordering a drink is right up there with that of the bean-to-cup, fresh milk machines. The difference is that a Lyons instant drink dispensed by a Wittenborg 9100 will often cost only a fraction of the price of the ‘posher’ offers – whilst delivering an excellent margin for the operator.
The moral of the story? Don’t discount an instant coffee solution when you discuss refreshment requirements with your customers: the proof of this coffee offer is in the tasting, as –hopefully – you’ll discover at Vendex, with Lyons and Evoca.