Making money in a tough economy

January 19, 2009
NAMA summit teaches how to tap into growth opportunity

Unlike virtually every other market segment dealing with a difficult economy, the coffee service industry delivers skyrocketing sales and profits, which is why anyone involved in providing coffee service might be attending National Automatic Merchandising Association’s (NAMA's) second powerful Coffee Service Education Summit, NAMA Director of Coffee Service, Roger Stewart NCE, announced today. 

In discussing the summit Stewart said, “Everyone today knows about the slow-down of virtually every aspect of the economy, but coffee service is still being projected as a growth industry where profits can still be made.  Coffee Service is a very fast paced growth channel and this Summit will help attendees understand every aspect of the industry to help them take advantage of the unique growth opportunity.”

Just consider the following:
  • Between 2002 and 2007 revenue growth has posted a 53% point gain. 
  • Experts are forecasting additional growth of 36% over the next 5-year period (07/08 State of the Coffee Service Industry-Automatic Merchandiser) 
  •  The average gross margin for a coffee service operation is 50.4% (According to the 2008 Operating ratio report published by NAMA)
  • Coffee consumption among adults 18-24 has risen to 3.2 cups of coffee per day, a significant increase over the 2005 average of 2.5 cups per day. (From 2008 National Coffee Drinking Trends – published by the National Coffee Association)
The first annual Coffee Service Summit held in Cherry Hill, NJ was one of the most successful coffee programs introduced since the 2000 introduction of the Quality Coffee Certification Program. The second Summit is designed to build on that success and deliver even more tools to help operators thrive in one area of the economy where growth is still projected. 

The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ June 15-17, 2009 and will kick off Monday night with a vendor welcome reception for the attending operators. Also planned for the Summit are a variety of in-depth education sessions covering Operations, Route Consolidation, Inventory Control and Green Opportunities.  The Summit will conclude Wednesday afternoon June 17, with an entire morning of round table sessions.

Some of the benefits of the Summit include:
  • The Summit will help attendees understand how to profit in one of the few industries still projecting growth and profitability
  • Cherry Hill is a strategic location convenient to a high concentration of coffee service operators up and down the East Coast corridor
  • The Coffee Summit will deliver powerful education and current information that will help each operator be profitable and be sustainable during these challenging but exciting economic times
  • This year’s event will build on the successful networking opportunities from last year.  Attendees will have the opportunity to talk and share with each other, with industry leaders, and the key people at each tabletop display.
About 400 Coffee Service operators, suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers from coast to coast and Canada participated in the 2008 Summit. Despite the cold and even an ice storm, everyone that attended agreed it was a resounding success.  Some of the testimonials from last year’s Summit include: 

“It was evident, due to the large turnout that a nerve was struck with the operator community.  Overall, an impressive event and worth the investment.” 
Cliff Fisher, Sales Manager of Vending Management Solutions

“I have only been in the business for 6 weeks now, but already I am excited about what the OCS industry is brewing. I look forward to next year!!  I feel that was a fantastic start to what looks to be a rewarding endeavor to further grow our industry.  I saw real value in the perspective from our speakers, and to have all of those minds gathered in one room with a common purpose really helped to put perspective on who we are and where our industry is going. It was also unique to see some competitors putting aside their differences to talk about real issues the distributors are all dealing with.” 
Jodie Stancato of Mars Drinks North America 

“Keep on with the good work.  I think whoever was missing, missed out on a great event.” 
Andre Fucci, of Lavazza

To streamline operations and protect the environment, NAMA has created a new Coffee Summit information page (www.namacoffeesummit.org ) where you can download the registration forms, make hotel reservations, and see the other educational opportunities NAMA offers at the Expo or in regional locations.

“We’re also hard at work already planning for the 2010 Coffee Summit, which will be held in Las Vegas, so if you have any specific ideas or suggestions just let us know.   You can reach me by phone or email, my cell number is 616-299-6483 and my e-mail address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

NAMA is the national trade association of the food and refreshment vending, coffee service and foodservice management industries including on-site, commissary, catering and mobile. Its membership is comprised of service companies, equipment manufacturers and suppliers of products and services to operating service companies.  The basic mission of the association, to collectively advance and promote the automatic merchandising and coffee service industries, still guides NAMA today as it did in 1936, the year of the organization’s founding.

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