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Information from the AA

Information from the AA

Top tips for fuel efficiency and safer driving from the AA in 2020

 As we enter a new decade, it is a good time for fleet managers and business owners to remind drivers of some of the key measures to make journeys more fuel-efficient, safer and less stressful. From planning your route to packing lightly and keeping your vehicle maintained, there are several approaches you can take to improve your chances of reaching your destination in happy spirits!

The benefits of route planning

While the shortest route might be the most economical, that isn’t always the case. Travelling as the crow flies can bring with it all sorts of considerations, such as traffic, gradients, tolls and break points. Instead, a longer route, in both time and distance travelled, could feature less traffic which will reduce the time you spend idling.

Likewise, travelling at a consistent speed can be more fuel efficient than continually stopping and starting. As such, planning one longer journey can be more effective than lots of shorter ones. It pays, quite literally, to think about the number of stops on the journey and whether multiple jobs can be done on one trip.

Data from telematics and connected systems can be used to plan the most efficient and effective route from A to B (and on to C). There are also plenty of route planning tools, including the AA’s route planner, to analyse and more efficiently plot journeys. Most vehicle satellite navigation systems now also come with the option of the most direct, most economical or fastest route, so choose appropriately.

Check travel websites in advance and keep up to date on the move by listening out for traffic updates on the radio or using a sat nav or app which updates automatically. And, it almost goes without saying, but make sure you have the right postcode, so you are not driving round in circles burning fuel!

Slow and steady wins the race

Driving smoothly and managing your speed in line with the road conditions and local limits can help improve fuel consumption. Conversely, braking and accelerating harshly will reduce the distance you can travel on a tank of fuel.

Drivers should practice active driving, keeping an eye out for clues to help anticipate the actions of other drivers and potential hazards. This will allow better regulation of speed. Emotions can also impact on behaviour, including speeding and risk taking, so ensure drivers are focused on the task at hand.

Changing up a gear at low revs, driving steadily over speed bumps and maintaining a safe distance from the car in front to prevent rapid braking can all help boost fuel efficiency and ensure smoother driving.

In addition, a heavy right foot should be avoided at all costs. Drivers who put their foot down and have more maximum throttle events per journey are much more likely to have significantly increased fuel costs, as well as more crashes and higher value claims (AA and DriveTech study, 2014-2016).

Keeping vehicles in top condition

One of the best ways to ensure your vehicle is fuel-efficient and prepared for winter conditions is to keep your vehicle serviced in line with the manufacturer’s specification.

Drivers should check their tyres meet at least the minimum recommended tread depth of 1.6mm and are in good condition to ensure smooth driving. If you see uneven tyre wear, your wheels might be misaligned and may need to be corrected. The tyre’s contact with the road is dynamic and so even the slightest wear and tear can impact on efficiency.

Confirming tyre pressures are correct improves safety, performance and fuel efficiency. Underinflated tyres create more rolling resistance, using more fuel as well as increasing CO2 emissions. The weather can also impact on tyre pressure; drivers should check tyres when there are any sharp rises or falls in temperature.

It is also important, when driving with heavy loads, to make sure to adjust your tyre pressure to cope.

Vehicle load and air resistance

Avoid carrying any unnecessary weight. The more items in the vehicle, the more strain being put on the vehicle and the more fuel it will use. Think about what items are necessary to carry for the journey and remove particularly heavy or bulky items. It can seem like hassle to load and unload for each trip, but it could work out more fuel efficient and cost-effective in the long run. However, drivers should make sure to carry and have easy access to the emergencies for poor weather events – shovel, torch, blankets, ice scraper, phone charger, food and water.

While air resistance is negligible at low speeds, it increases when the speed goes up and this influences fuel consumption. Obviously, drivers should pack their vehicles according to journey needs but, at high speed, it can help to keep windows closed. Removing roof racks, boxes and bike racks when not in use can minimise drag.

Don’t run out of fuel!

The impact of a full fuel tank on efficient driving is likely to negligible but running out of fuel on your journey will cause all sorts of issues. Drivers should plan, making sure they fill up before long journeys and plotting out the filling stations on the route to stop at the most efficient points. This will improve your chances of not breaking down on a Smart Motorway.

This can also be true for electric vehicles; you’ll use less power if you plan in your EV charging stops in advance rather than having to drive around searching for them!

Extra training

Many of the courses offered by the likes of DriveTech focus on human factors, driver behaviour and safety. However, they also incorporate eco-driving elements, supported and recognised by the Energy Saving Trust. Whether driving a car, van or truck, we could all benefit from going back to school occasionally!

What else can fleet managers share with drivers?

Fleet managers can direct their drivers to or for more information.

A word from Michelle

Michelle’s News & Views – January Edition

We have had lots of engagement in December. We attended the AVA Christmas Lunch which was a great networking event with circa 250 people in attendance. Well done to the AVA team. As I am writing this it is polling day. Where will this lead, I wonder? Hopefully 2020 will have some direction from our country’s government (or am I being too optimistic?). I would just like to bring a subject up that has had some discussion over the last month.

‘P is for Plastic

It has been brought to our attention that there is some confusion between petrochemical based and vegetable-based polymer. There is a misconception that if the polymer is vegetable based then this is NOT plastic. At NIVO we have been advised that technically this is NOT true.

Regardless of the origins of polymer it is still PLASTIC. One difference is that Vegetable based polymer can be commercially composted. The problem is that there is little infrastructure to do this. If our client requests a particularly sourced plastic we can of course oblige, but everything has an impact.

Thank you to Adrian Pratt of Benders Cups for clarification in this area.

PP – Polypropylene – combination of propylene monomers – recyclable

PLA – Poly Lactic Acid – found in things like cornstarch – biodegradable & compostable

PET – Polyethylene terephthalate – plastic resin – recyclable


Householders and businesses need to check with their local authority to which resins go in which waste bin. Each authority has different abilities. E.g. Leeds uses Veolia who can recycle resins put into the ‘green’ bin 1(PET), 2(HDPE), 4(LDPE) and 5(PP) no black and brown plastic of any type. I was surprised at what you CANNOT put in the recyclable bin namely, compostable and biodegradable plastic, crisp packets, cling film, film lids from fruit trays.


We will be putting more information onto our NIVO Assist pages and as always if you have any issues, please contact the NIVO team.

So it’s just for me to say ‘Happy New Year’ and please attend the NIVO Business Seminar and Networking Event in your area. The dates are on our diary pages at the back of the magazine. Our theme is ‘Empowering Vending into the 2020’s’ which will be a wealth of information on how to keep up with new technologies, latest news on recycling issues and latest developments on micromarkets. Also, in our February magazine we will be announcing our ‘NIVO Supplier of the Year 2019’ from all your votes. Thank you for helping us to recognise these companies that help us in our businesses.



Unilever supports Time to Talk

Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. They have already reached millions of people and began to improve attitudes and behaviours. PG tips are proud to be supporting this by helping raise awareness of Time to Talk Day which is taking place on Thursday 6th February 2020.

Unilever Food Solutions have decided to take this message out into the workplace channel through our vending and office supply network as we see this as a way of reaching the many millions of people who can sometimes be burdened by stresses and feel alone even when they have others around them. At PG tips we believe “Cuppa’s taste better together” and we would be delighted if you could assist us in spreading the word of the fantastic work done by Time to Change.

Why engage: Show your customers you can help support their employees, Help share the message “lets end mental health discrimination”, Show your customers you are aligned to a brand with purpose

 What can you do? Contact the HR or Facilities team at the workplace/ office sites that you supply to and share the links to the Time to Change website where they will be able to download material and resources that they can display in the run up to Time to Talk Day. As importantly, use these assets to let your hard working employees in the vending trade know there is support and help out there if they need it.

A short video is available to download from the PG tips page on the NIVO website, which can be used on your website, social media or digital screens all of which will help to get people talking about mental health issues without discrimination.

Sweet Moments – Giant, Handmade, Soft eating Cookies

Sweet Moments Giant, Handmade, Softeating Cookies for Vending.

Sweet Moments – Natural, Soft eating, Handmade Flapjacks

Sweet Moments, Natural, Softeating, Handmade Flapjacks for Vending.

Nestlé UK Plastics Pact

The Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) UK Plastics Pact, of which Nestlé UK is a founding member, has published its 2018/19 progress report, detailing members progress on working to create a world where plastic is valued and doesn’t pollute the environment. To see what the report has revealed please use the following link:

Cocoa Matters – World Cocoa Foundation

The 2019 World Cocoa Foundation Partnership meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in October. You can find out more by following this link:

Automatic Retailing Last Minute Offers


Christmas 2019 Automatic Retailing

CHRISTMAS 2019 Automatic Retailing

Coca Cola Special Offer


Britvic pack changes

York Emporium wins Gold Award!

The team at NIVO would like to congratulate York Emporium on winning Gold in the Producers & Makers segment at the White Rose Awards last night – Ross Macdonald kindly accepted the award.

The York emporium, who are part of The Upton Group, are coffee roasters and tea specialists who are committed to providing you with the perfect cup. Their coffee is roasted daily in small batches at their artisan roastery in York and the speciality loose leaf teas are selected from the best estates from around the world to suit all manner of tastes. 

The White Rose Awards are the largest tourism awards ceremony in the UK. An opportunity for Yorkshire to showcase the best and brightest it has to offer, the standard grows year on year as it continues to wow.

You can read more here:

And if you would like to know more about the York Emporium you can visit their site here:


Nupik Flo – iPlastic won an innovation award last week.

Innovative Packaging Design of the Year Winner iPlastic

We are pleased to share the following message from Nupik Flo:

‘We are delighted to have won the Food Matters Live 2019 award for innovative packaging design of the year with our new range of fully recyclable and biodegradable tumblers’.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about them!

Fern Timmins

NAMA – aims to increase healthy snacks in US vending machines

Vending machines in the US will soon be required to contain increased amounts of healthy snacks, following a new public health commitment launched by the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA).

Launched with the support of non-profit organisations the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the commitment will require at least one-third of all snacks in a vending machine to meet “at least two publicly recognised health standards”, which would classify the snacks as ‘better for you’ products.

According to a statement from NAMA – which represents over 1,000 companies in the convenience services industry – the commitment will be implemented over the next three years, and will increase the availability of ‘better for you’ offerings by 40% when compared to current levels.

The overarching goal of the commitment is to meet the increased consumer demand for healthier choices and reduce obesity rates, the primary target of both non-profits supporting the scheme.

NAMA CEO Carla Balakgie said: “There are nearly four million vending machines serving snacks and beverages every day, 24/7, across this country.

“Vending is everywhere consumers work, play and live and NAMA regards this initiative as a bold, ambitious, and meaningful step to meet the growing consumer demand for healthier choices.”

Greg Sidwell, NAMA chair added: “In the months and years ahead, we will continue to work with our members to measure the results of this commitment to deliver a meaningful increase in the number of ‘better for you’ options in the marketplace.

“We’ll also continue to work collaboratively with public health partners, and to engage with food manufacturers to encourage them to support this important initiative through new products that meet the commitment.”

Radnor Hills – Radnor Fruits cans have arrived!

We are getting in touch to let you know our Radnor Fruits cans are now LIVE! Our market leading school compliant drink has been reborn; we have redesigned and reformatted our Fruits range into 330ml cans to give another alternative soft drink within schools. This joins our Radnor Fizz range as well as our existing Radnor Fruits which is already available in 125ml & 200ml TETRA.

Our new range has taken inspiration from targeting an older demographic of children and teens with a different offer of a still range in a can, an offering currently missing from school drinks.
We have rationalised the range down to 4 main flavours with the possibility to expand at a later date.
Not only are these flying in schools but we are excited to launch them outside of Education as well – as another great healthy drinks option.

Get in touch to find out more!

Kellogg – Support for Breakfast Clubs

Kellogg Blog Support for Breakfast Clubs

To find our more go to our website


Apogee International Ltd celebrates 25 years in the industry!

Apogee International Ltd

‘A quarter of a century in business!’

Hertfordshire based vending company Apogee International Ltd celebrates 25 years in the industry this month. In theory that’s a long time but anyone in the industry knows that people rarely leave once they’re in it! Something I personally realised when recently congratulated (via a LinkedIn alert how else in 2019) on my 10 years with the business!

In case any of you think 25 years isn’t that long ago, just think back to what 1994 was like…

In the cinema, Pulp Fiction, Four Weddings and a Funeral and the original Lion King were released. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and Yahoo was founded. Most people used dial-up online services like AOL where you paid for every minute you used – when it would work. There were no thumb drives or cloud storage. Instead, you backed up files on a floppy disk. Email was very expensive so in the office the fax machine was making that annoying screeching noise all day every day.

And finally there was no streaming or Netflix. In fact no DVDs either as they were introduced the following year. Instead you went to the video shop and hoped you didn’t get a copy that had been watched too many times and didn’t play properly

Vending however has been a constant throughout that time. The technology and look of the machines has developed considerably but the need has stayed the same. People have to eat and drink. And they have to work/go about daily life at the same time. The main difference is the non-food/promotional projects we now get involved in. The possibilities with these is endless.

“This is a significant milestone for any company” said ‘David Wood, CEO (known to many in the industry simply as ‘Woody’) we are proud to have been a consistent, trusted part of the industry for a quarter of a century. Thank you to everyone who has supported Apogee over the years. Many of whom have been by the company’s side since day one. These include all our major suppliers and all our customers. Special mentions to Brian Savage of TVS for not only his continuous service support but also the advice and encouragement and Peter Quinney of Quintus Systems for giving us that first lead to get started.”

Aquabeve update

Aquabeve would like to share their updated information on the New Inspiration Refresh with R600 gas, from £95 per machine.

For further information please contact Eddie Roberts:

Inspirations Bottled water and filtration (POU) dispenser.


  • 2.0L stainless steel hot tank with all SS fittings between hot and cold tanks
  • 3.8L polished stainless steel cold tank
  • High quality, high output refrigeration and heating system
  • R600a CARE 10 refrigerant
  • Water is dispensed through industry standard Tomlinson style faucets that allow hot and cold or cook and cold options
  • Easily converts to and from bottled water to filtration (POU)
  • No external base plate
  • Available in black (white, special order)
  • Cup dispenser (option)
  • Energy star rated hot tank with On/Off switch
  • CE listed
  • NoLeak EZ-Fill – Patented no spill adapter for use with no-spill bottle caps


Suzo Happ Vendex North 2019

Vendings History


Before we get started on the history, let’s just think about what vending is. Essentially, it’s an automated method of receiving something in return for depositing money. The accepted definition of vending is ‘an automatic machine that provide items such as snacks, confectionery, drinks and cigarettes to consumers, who deposit money in return for the items’.

What A Hero

From that point of view, it sounds like a 20th century innovation. But it’s not. As with many other things the Greeks and Romans were up to it well before then. The earliest mention of a vending type machine is by the engineer and mathematician Hero of Alexandria, who lived in first century Roman Egypt. He invented a machine that accepted a coin and then dispensed holy water.

It seems like he was ahead of his time though, as vending didn’t really catch on in a big way until the Victorians used innovations in mechanical engineering to create machines to dispense books, newspapers, stamps and postcards. The first machine to be widely distributed was invented by Percival Everitt in 1883 and soon became popular at railway stations and post offices, vending postcards, notepaper and envelopes. This was followed by the Sweetmeat Automatic Delivery Company, founded in 1887 in England, the first company to deal primarily with the installation and maintenance of vending machines. The idea was catching on.

USA, Germany and Japan

At the same time, innovations were taking place in the USA, Germany and Japan. In the US, the Thomas Adams Gum Company developed machines which were placed on subway platforms in New York City and vended Tutti Frutti gum. In Germany it was chocolate that drove the development of vending and by 1893, Stollwerck had placed some 15 000 chocolate vending machines across the country. Cigarettes, matches, chewing gum and soap products swiftly followed the chocolate. By this time, vending was here to stay. Vending machines were a good way of stimulating further business on the railways and vending and the railway network expanded hand in hand.

Over in Japan innovation was taking place along similar lines, where Tawaraya Koshiki created the first Japanese vending machine in Baken (now Shimonoseki) in 1888. This machine used Japanese traditional wind-up dolls to dispense tobacco.

The next major development came from the USA, where in the 1930’s the first cooler vending machines appeared to sell fizzy drinks, originally cooled by ice cubes but swiftly followed by the refrigerated machine. Driven by brands such as Coca-Cola, these businesses were quick to take advantage of the new opportunity for 24/7 sales.

In fact, major innovation from here on in was led by the US as vending in the UK was largely confined to confectionary on railway platforms and ladies’ toiletries, for several decades.

The next milestone was the invention of hot drink vending machines, which opened up a whole new market. The first hot drinks vending machine was called the ‘Kwik Kafe’ made by the Rudd-Melkian company in 1947 and this time the concept caught on rapidly – by 1955 there were more than 60 000 hot drinks vending machines in the US. These early machines used instant coffee powder or liquid and also vended creamer and sugar.

In Japan too rapid development was made in the 1950’s, where the cultural addiction to vending machines really took off. From this point, Japanese culture adopted vending to an extent not seen in other countries, with everything from eggs, to umbrellas to underwear and footwear, through every type of food and drink, was now available through vending.

Analogue Dating

By the 1990’s Japan’s love affair with vending extended to the love affair itself – you could get a date through a vending machine. Men submitted an application form, which would then be replicated 30 times and placed in 30 ‘Happy Guy’ vending machines around Tokyo – for which women paid to receive the details (Japan Powered/Thornton 1992).

Today’s Technology

In the 21st century, it’s technology that has driven innovation and vending has adapted to keep up with changing marketplaces. Cashless vending maximises spend and modern telemetry enables just-in-time management of stocks and touch screen panels make ordering easy. Quality too has vastly improved with modern vending machines making fresh bean/brew style drinks that give the High Street brands a run for their money. New innovations featuring video messaging, including advertising messages and video games, are also now used on screen.

Reverse Vending Machines

The most recent adaptation of the vending concept has come in the form of reverse vending machines, which accept a product back and dispense money. This has been driven by the environmental agenda, encouraging citizens to return used packaging for which there is a value and a market. These are set to multiply as legislation around deposit return schemes and recycling takes effect around the world. Find out more about the world of vending at

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