NEWS | Industry Updates

Spike in sales of alternatives to plastic

4 Aces has reported an increase in sales of paper cups and cones to the water industry as this market continues to seek out alternatives to plastic single use cups, exploring options that may be more gentler on the environment while maintaining a user appeal. Last year the disposable cup supplier launched a 7oz cold version of its signature swirl paper vending cup, aimed specifically at the water industry. The blue and white Aqua swirl has generated a significant following from those who want their offering to stand out, while sales of paper cones and the 7oz compostable PLANET cup have also spiked.

David Blake, sales director of 4

Aces explains: “There’s a general eagerness to explore alternatives to plastic however expense is a very real issue for the majority of operators and facilities managers. Our challenge is to provide enough choices to satisfy both ends of the spectrum and the cone is most definitely a cost-effective solution.

“Quick and easy for the end-user and the

ideal solution for gyms, swimming pools and spas, paper cones are significantly cheaper than single use plastic and, so, tick all boxes. Alternatively, the 7oz Aqua swirl is available for those with more money to spend and a desire to impress. A quality item, it will elevate any brand in the eyes of its customers while our 7oz PLA cup offers an eco-friendly option.”

Urban Bistro set for growth as orders flow in first year

Urban Bistro, the pioneering food to go vending solution, is gearing up for further UK wide growth, just a year after the start- up was launched by Crewe-based Wrights Food Group.

Established in February 2018, Urban

Bistro is one of the first vending businesses in the UK to directly manufacture and deliver fresh, wholesome food on a daily basis. And with a growing order book, from local manufacturing firms to national leisure organisations, Urban Bistro has plans to double its workforce from five to 10 in the next few months. The business has also moved to new

premises in Crewe as a result outgrowing its original building. More than 200 Urban Bistro vending machines are already out in the field with the company securing a number of major contracts across the UK. Each day, food is freshly prepared by the company’s chefs before being delivered by a fleet of refrigerated vehicles.

In order to minimise food waste, telemetry monitoring also allows product prices on items which are nearing their shelf life to be reduced remotely so sales can be encouraged. Urban Bistro also supplies a range of hot

drinks, cold drinks and snack machines to suit any application. In addition to cash, the Urban Bistro

range of machines utilise an advanced cashless payment system, for use with contactless – including Wave, Apple Pay and Android Pay – and magstrip debit and credit cards. Over the next year, Urban Bistro expects

to increase the number of units in the marketplace to more than 400 as company catering operations and leisure complexes look to provide a high quality, cost efficient food offering for staff and customers. Ian Dawson, Urban Bistro’s sales and development manager, says: “As organisations across the private and public sector look for 24/7 cost effective catering

solutions, Urban Bistro is well placed to continue its growth trajectory providing a viable alternative to fully manned cafeterias and staff canteens, without compromising on quality and taste. “Innovation, customer service and the continuous supply of fresh, own- manufactured food products has laid the foundations for further growth and by reinvesting back into the business, Urban Bistro will continue to secure jobs for local people, whilst redefining the vending industry.”

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