The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) which represents the vending industry in the United Kingdom and Ireland, challenged final-year culinary arts management students from the University College, Birmingham, to develop products for six key vending segments. Their responses will be viewed and judged at the biennial AVEX convention and trade show here.
The service segments are B&I, education, healthcare, leisure, staff catering and transport. The students, taking part in a brand new Culinary Product Development module, recently presented their concept products to AVA officials. The items will be on display at the 2013 AVEX, and will be judged by a panel of experts on Wednesday, June 12.
The judges include Tim Franklin-Heys, head of the culinary team at Unilever Food Solutions; Richard Ehrlich, chairman of the Guild of Food Writers; Tracey Graham, owner of Abercromby Vending (Glasgow); Gillian White, founder of 24Vend; Lee Holdstock, trade relations manager of the Soil Association, a nonprofit organisation that promotes organic farming; and Paul Howard, managing director of Nebrak Ltd., an interior design company specialising in vending and office beverage service facilities.
“The challenge was to develop a delicious new range of vending products that will not only meet consumer demands of a healthy balanced lifestyle, but also look and taste great,” AVA explained. “When considering new products, the students’ aim was also to look at vending in a new way, to help develop an improved customer perception of the industry and meet the needs of our changing society.”