Automatic Merchandiser

OCT 2011

Automatic Merchandiser serves the business management, marketing, technology and product information needs of its readers including vending operators, coffee service operators, product brokers, and product and equipment distributors in print.

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W AT E R P U R I F I C AT I O N Rosen believes selling water ser- vice is about sharing information with the end user. Not to scare them with it, but enough for them to make an informed decision. Roger Egli, sales executive at Hydro Life Inc., hears a lot about how opera- tors want to cut their maintenance costs. He offers a solution to lime scale, which can otherwise build up and damage hot beverage equipment. The Hydro Life media alters the molecular structure of calcite (lime scale) by chang- ing the number of oxygen atoms within the molecule. The calcite becomes a substance called aragonite, which has no clinging capability, allowing the scale to remain harmlessly suspended in the water as it passes through the equipment holding tanks and water lines without adhering to equipment surfaces. "There are no chemicals of any kind used in our media. It is completely chemical free," Egli added. Eliminating lime scale without the use of chemicals is a niche for operators serving the espresso market, according to Sergio Tre- vino, senior account executive of Omnipure Filter Co. While phosphate can be added to water to prevent scale on drip coffee brew- ers, there are applications where using special softening fi lters that include a combination of carbon and resin is preferred to protect equip- ment and improve taste. "Espresso is made under pressure where all the water in the tank is turned into steam, so phosphate doesn't work," said Trevino. Instead, he recommends operators soften the water before it goes through the machine to protect the espresso brewer, an expensive piece of equipment. Trevino has heard customers say even less expensive coffees have more fl avor when made with fi ltered water. Jim Nelson, director of sales for Everpure, LLC, tries to get operators to see the value in decarboniza- tion fi lters, those that eliminate lime scale. "Most operators want a $10 fi lter, no scale, that lasts for- ever," he said. He teaches operators about the return on investment for fi lters, such as spending more on a decarbonization fi lter on the 10 percent of accounts that account for 50 to 60 percent of the service calls. "If it costs you $300 a year, but saves you 12 ser- vice calls, it's worth it," said Nelson. DYNAMIC FILTER SERVICE Water filters come in various sizes and styles. This cartridge from Pure1 Systems filters water from 5 microns down to 0.5 micron, eliminating 99.9 percent of impurities and bacte- ria half micron in size or larger. To be effective, fi lters need to be changed regularly, so Ever- pure offers an online fi lter service program. Operators enter installation and replace- ment dates, and the program will send out a reminder email. "A byproduct (of the fi lter) is taking most of the alkalinity out which produces great cof- fee, and great iced tea," added Nelson. FILTERED DRINKING WATER MARKET IS GROWING A new company, Apiqe, is offering water that can be made individually for the end user. "Offi ce employees drink, on average, 10 times more water than coffee," said John Margaritis, president of sales at Apiqe. The Apiqe unit is described as a countertop water dispenser, which serves room temperature, chilled, or hot water in a single serving. The end user can add sparkling water and/or fl avor enhancers. "We will see some new technologies soon in carbonation and water fl avoring enhancing," said Margaritis. He added that the carbonation technology has already advanced to a point where the Apiqe unit does not require a compressor tank, pump or electron- ics, allowing it to be a countertop unit. POINT OF USE GROWS The most popular water fi ltration system today is point-of-use because it eliminates bottled water charges and is fairly inexpensive. According to Carl Sutera, president of Pure1 Systems, it's been a progression that began when big companies started making fi lters and lending credence to the idea of fi ltered water, together with the fact that all bottled water is fi ltered. "When water companies started doing coffee service, it made OCS companies take notice," he said. With the advent of quality point of use technology, the OCS operators were able to retaliate by adding water to their services. "(Companies that) go to the table with everything get the business," observed Sutera. Pure1 offers a new 4-zone cartridge that goes from 5 micron fi ltration down to a half micron absolute, which eliminates the need for separate prefi ltration. "Without an absolute rating, 1- and 2-micron bacteria C ONT INUED ▶ October 2011 VendingMarketWatch.com Automatic Merchandiser 17

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