Two million pounds’ worth of products is set to be given away by Nestlé Professional to support independent customers reopening their businesses following lockdown. The beneficiaries will largely be foodservice establishments, who use the company’s popular catering brands, but PV has learned that around £250k has been ring-fenced for the vending industry.
The assistance will be in the form of free stock and is part of Nestlé Professional’s ongoing ‘Always Open for You’ campaign, a global initiative that is costing the company CHF 500m, which continues to support customers and communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The latest gesture aims to ease the stress related to vending operators re-opening their estate of machines.
The giveaway will be aimed primarily at the company’s larger regional customers. ‘The intention is to help the operators to restock their machines with fresh stock, and we’ll do that in two ways’, Richard Green, Sales Controller Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland said. ‘First, there will be a stock giveaway. We know many of our vending operator customers will be forced to throw away coffee that’s been left in canisters as workplaces re-open, so we want to provide some free stock to enable them to do that. At the same time, as that stock is sold, that gives them a good margin and gets some much-needed cash back into their businesses. We’ll agree a certain amount of money with selected operators, who will then buy the equivalent amount of stock and raise an invoice for it.’
The second vehicle in the initiative will be a promotion, run in conjunction with ARN. ‘We’re not talking about a classical promotion designed to build market share’, Richard was keen to point out, ‘it’s literally a way to facilitate the giveaway of the stock to smaller independent operators who purchase via the Industries largest wholesaler.’ Plans are still being finalised, but indications are that a targeted ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ deal will be offered on Nescafé vending coffee, together with a ‘buy 20 cases of Nestlé confectionery, get 10 cases of Kit Kat 4 Finger free’ offer.
‘Genuinely, it’s all about helping our much-valued customer base to get up and running again, to get cash through their machines. Longer term, they recover as customers and that is what all our businesses need’, Richard said. ‘It’s become a cliché to say that ‘these are unprecedented times’, but the fact is that many vending operators are surviving on income that is 45-50% down on the same time last year. July and August is improving but this is always slower period for coffee and confectionery sales, so we won’t have an indication regarding the extent of business recovery until we can analyse sales made in September and October as offices re-open. Some forecasts predict vending operators will turn over around 60% of last year’s numbers but frankly, who knows? The important thing is that Nestlé Professional offers what help we can, as soon as we can, and that’s exactly what we are trying to do.’
More news from Nestlé Professional on Planet Vending is HERE