300+ exhibiting suppliers, 100+ new products, 2,000+ attendees, and we were told, “ColdSnap stole the show!” The ColdSnap team arrived in Atlanta with the latest version of our on-demand frozen treat maker, 1,250+ ColdSnap pods of our premium ice cream and frozen lattes, and a crew of 8 people. With our commercial launch set for the end of this year, the atmosphere surrounding the ColdSnap booth was thick with excitement and anticipation.
Trade shows are not for the faint of heart. You must be prepared for non-stop talking, overstimulation, and – at NAMA – a deluge of snacks and drinks! The tradeshow booths at NAMA featured items you’d find in a vending machine, micromarket, unattended retail setting, office pantry, or manufacturing breakroom. I arrived at the show and grabbed a promotional bag (supplied by one of many vendors) in preparation for what can be described as an adult version of trick-or-treating.
As I walked the floor, I was greeted by a seemingly endless variety of jerky, popcorn, kettle corn; household names such as Kit Kat®; unique indulgences like stroopwafels, kombuchas, and Zevia; and an overabundance of all things coffee (care must be taken to not over-caffeinate!) – just to name a few! As I scouted for unique marketing materials and compostable bowls for our products, I chatted with the vendors and tried their offerings.
In addition to a plethora of snacks and drinks, NAMA also showcases the latest in vending machines, payment technology, and devices that eliminate the need for an actual human – machines that dish out steamed bao buns, noodle bowls, and lava cake, all at the push of a button. Who knew vending machines could serve actual food let alone heat it up? Care for a drink with your meal? Robots buzzed around Imagination Way (a showcase of prototype self-service solutions) carrying a variety of cocktails. You could also get a drink by passing the facial recognition test that determined your age on a vending refrigerator. 21+ only, please!
ColdSnap in Aramark’s area at NAMA’s Imagination Way
Panel Discussion Featuring ColdSnap’s Matt Fonte – Understanding the Functionality and Purpose of Future Breakrooms
For ColdSnap, Wednesday morning began with a panel discussion on Understanding the Functionality and Purpose of Future Breakrooms, facilitated by Paul Toscano (Aramark Refreshment Services). Matt Fonte (ColdSnap), was a member of the panel, alongside industry leaders Kristine Cotton (Jones Lang LaSalle) and Sean Grundy (Bevi).
Drawing people back to the office continues to be a high priority post-COVID, so the discussion centered on this topic. Technologies such as ColdSnap can help entice workers back to in-person work environments. ColdSnap’s initial launch will target commercial settings (such as offices), so frozen confections from the on-demand frozen treat machine are something they cannot get at home (at least for another year or two!) This makes the ColdSnap rapid-freezing system a perfect work incentive.
The importance of customization in breakroom experiences was another point made during the discussion. Companies that can provide a personalized experience – Bevi (bevi.co), with its multitude of flavors and types of water; and ColdSnap, with a range of sweet confections and healthy options for different dayparts – can provide the unique break-time experiences that people crave and set employers apart.
Fonte also stressed that gathering ColdSnap system information is more critical than ever. ColdSnap machines placed in pilot locations are connected via cellular and transmit data to our team so that we can better monitor which locations are performing best; understand what types of products people are enjoying and at what times of day; manage inventory levels in a way that benefits our customers; and capture ColdSnap system diagnostics that helps us foresee and troubleshoot any technical issues should they arise.
After the panel discussion, the ColdSnap team posted up at one of our three locations – our tradeshow booth, our meeting room, or in Imagination Way (courtesy of Aramark – thank you!) and began serving up our premium ice cream and frozen lattes.
The People Have Spoken (about ColdSnap)!
The ColdSnap machines churned out ice cream and we dished out samples to the eager crowd. When the throng of people around the ColdSnap booth encroached on our neighbors’ booths, we eased tensions by offering our decadent treats as penance.
The ColdSnap team serves up premium ice cream and other frozen treats at NAMA, Atlanta
It is so much fun to get out there and demonstrate ColdSnap at these events. We get to rub shoulders with all kinds of industry leaders, from distributors and operators to vendors and end users. Across the board, the feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive. Here are some of our favorites for this year’s NAMA show:
That (ColdSnap) is by far the best thing I’ve seen in years.
I did not think this would taste that delicious.
Back for another one… just could not resist.
It is so delicious, very smooth…I’m really amazed it came out that fast!
I just had the oatmilk version of the ColdSnap and it is very good. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it is amazing!
ColdSnap also received high praises on Bob Tullio’s Vending & OCS Nation Podcast. When Tullio asked Dan Welch (World Cup Coffee, 5:20), “What has blown you away?” (at NAMA), Welch had this to say about ColdSnap:
Dead-easy operation. The product is wonderful and quite diverse. And it’s just a smart product. (Ice cream) makes a mess…but this is a single-serve option that needs little to no cleaning once it’s dispensed. Sustainable, shelf-stable, and… it flash-freezes.
Tullio then asked, “Do you think it’ll bring employees back to the office?”
I’ve always been told, “hit ‘em in the stomach to bring ‘em back,” and it’s gonna do two things, it’ll hit ‘em in the stomach and their sweet tooth also, so that’s a win-win!
Speaking of the innovative products at the show, Linda Saldana (Seventh Wave Refreshments, 9:05), also shouted out ColdSnap:
Of course, ColdSnap, everybody’s really excited about that still!
A NAMA attendee enjoys ColdSnap Premium Salted Caramel Ice Cream
We packed up our booth at the end of the show, and, though our bellies felt a bit queasy from too many snacks and beverages, the ColdSnap team was energized by all the wonderful conversations we had during our three days at NAMA. It has taken some time to bring our on-demand ice cream makers to market (our machines and pods are highly engineered), but seeing the excitement out there makes it worth it. After all, we only get one chance to launch, and we intend to do it well. Attending NAMA makes us so grateful for everyone’s support of the ColdSnap system!
By Lyn Ferreira