Mike Weisser, President and CEO of SandenVendo America, and Joseph Lavook, Director of Sales & Marketing for SandenVendo America, came into the studio for this episode of SandenVendo’s Unwrapped: A Food Service Podcast. They spoke with host Tyler Kern on the evolution of the convenience store, some of the new products introduced to serve the changing needs of the customer, and ways to solve the challenges these changes present.

Some products Weisser and Lavook mentioned help stores maximize the efficiency of their store footprint and shelf space. The purchasing behavior of customers is changing, and those changes present new challenges.

“It’s not so much that the customer has stopped buying chips, but they are making healthier choices,” Weisser said, “and they’re incorporating a salad in with their meal or grabbing a cub of yogurt. Stores need to make these items look attractive to the customer, to generate a faster turn on the shelf, because of the short shelf-life of these products.”

The demand for fresh-food products increases energy use at the store due to heating and refrigeration. Weisser said SandenVendo took that into consideration and focused on delivering new products to help increase energy-efficiency in the stores.

“We have four state-of-the-art test chambers in our facility, where we run a barrage of tests before we can get one of our products into a store for a user engagement trial,” Weisser said.

Lavook dropped some exciting news about a new product entering the U.S. market next year: a dual hot and cold beverage dispenser.

“This product could open up a whole new category and channel for beverage brands,” Lavook said. Another product that excited Lavook was an IoT enabled vending machine capable of age verification. This technology allows the device to sell alcoholic beverages.

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