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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.9, September 2009, Posted On: 9/1/2009


Ben Stein Headlines Vending Show; Schlossberg Details Recession-Busting Retail Strategies, NAMA Readies New QCCP Course


by Staff Reporter
National Automatic Merchandising Association, NAMA, Ben Stein, Quality Coffee Certification Program, vending, vending business, vending route, coffee service, office coffee service, OCS, coffee brewing, coffee education, foodservice, automatic retailing, vending news, coin-op news, Paul Schlossberg, D/FW Consulting

CHICAGO -- Economist and monotone TV personality Ben Stein will deliver the keynote address at the opening session of the National Automatic Merchandising Association's National Expo, which will take Sept. 23-25 at the Navy Pier in Chicago. During the opening session, which begins at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, Stein will share his insight into the current economic status and his perspective on what lies ahead.

Stein is famed for his deadpan delivery as the economics teacher in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." He also hosted the Emmy award-winning Comedy Central quiz show, "Win Ben Stein's Money," and can be seen in current Comcast cable TV commercials with basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal. A graduate of Columbia University, with honors in economics and Yale Law School, Stein was a former speechwriter and lawyer for Richard Nixon at the White House and, later, for Gerald Ford.

Another highlight on the NAMA agenda is a timely session presented by industry consultant Paul Schlossberg, president of D/FW Consulting (Goshen, NY), entitled "Increase Your 'Share of the Wallet' by Driving Repeat Business." It will be held Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Consumers are dining out less frequently and spending less when they do. The industry is impacted by fewer purchases at vending machines and onsite foodservice operations, and reduced spending on office coffee service. Schlossberg will address how operators can compete more effectively against fast food restaurants, convenience stores and "brown bagging" to increase their "share of the wallet," even when consumers have cut back. Participants will leave with an action plan to get their companies focused on making the vending shopping experience more interesting and enjoyable, to build repeat sales.

"There are clear indications that we are seeing a long- term change in how our customers shop. This will impact vending and onsite foodservice operators as much or more as it does the changing the landscape for supermarkets, mass merchandisers and department stores," said Schlossberg. "Competing channels are already adapting to these changing conditions. It will take new strategies and tactics for vending and onsite foodservice operators to win in this challenging environment."

Advance registration is required to attend the NAMA opening session, with a separate fee of $40 for the initial registrant and $25 per additional attendee. The complete NAMA schedule of events is available at namaexpo.org.

NAMA Launches Enhanced Quality Coffee Certification Course At Fall Show

The National Automatic Merchandising Association will kick off its revised and expanded Quality Coffee Certification Program at this month's NAMA National Expo in Chicago. More than 900 members have graduated from QCCP since the first session in 2000. Mike Tompkins, a 17-year industry veteran who has taught the program since its inception, will again share his expertise and knowledge with participants.

The newly designed QCCP course has been divided into two parts: Coffee Fundamentals, which will be offered at the fall convention and Brewing Fundamentals, which the association will unveil in 2010 at its inaugural OneShow.

The Coffee Fundamentals workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24. It will feature tasting exercises to help participants identify and evaluate coffee sensations and build their knowledge and understanding of the beverage.

In Brewing Fundamentals, participants also will be taught how to prepare a perfect cup of coffee, from using the correct coffee-to-water ratio to matching the particle size of the ground coffee to the brewing method and type of equipment used. After completing the session, coffee service professionals will be able to intelligently assess and solve common problems relating to the taste of brewed coffee.

As part of the redesigned program, NAMA has introduced a new professional designation: the Certified Coffee Specialist. Those interested in becoming a CCS are required to apply for the designation, meet education and industry requirements and participate in the QCCP courses, after which they may take the CCS exam. Those who have already graduated from the QCCP can apply for the CCS designation without attending Part I or Part II, but will need to meet other CCS requirements.

For more information on the Quality Coffee Certification program, contact Roger Stewart at (312) 346-0370, ext. 228.


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