FAS International, a historic leader in the vending industry, is putting its money on new technology, innovation and sustainability. Vending evolves into a 24-hour distribution platform. Interview with Luca Adriani, CEO of the company.
FAS International is the company born in 1967 in the backyard of Antonio, who together with his brother was founding his company that would change the world of vending. We are in the late 1960s, the years of the Italian economic boom, and vending was just beginning to take hold in our country, especially related to coffee. The Adriani brothers’ intuition was to go beyond the classic beverage and introduce other beverages and then also foods. Here was the insight that would turn into the real key toward the company’s success.
Today there are, once again just as the story began, two siblings, Luca and Mariangela, both at the helm of the company, and their task is to transform the world of vending so that it is ever closer to people’s needs, ever more technological, green and smart.
The company started as a manufacturer of vending machines for soft drinks and later specialized in the production of vending machines for a wide range of products, such as beverages, snacks, fresh food.
FAS International has grown steadily over the years and has developed a wide range of vending solutions, ranging from direct-selection machines to the latest vending machines with touchscreen technology and advanced digital payment solutions. The latest machines are already natively equipped with Satispay and Paypal payment systems.
These days on the road for the FAS Tour 2023, a 10-stop trip to Italian cities to bring the company’s latest innovations and technology, I meet Luca Adriani in Bologna and it is an opportunity to ask him how FAS International has always managed to be a leader in this sector and to go through so many phases, what is the secret?
“The world of technology is very fast,” says Luca Adriani, “and today a company must be able to innovate, even questioning itself, otherwise everything becomes more complicated. I look a lot at young people and their ability to change, to always interpret the issues of the moment. Ours is a traditional company, coming from the vending world tries to do this, innovate by always trying to offer new solutions.
That’s why we asked ourselves how to connect mobile devices, which everyone has today, to our machines. And we do that by making refrigerated hubs so that, tomorrow, even food can be purchased through a smartphone and in 24-hour distribution, in companies such as food service, in shopping malls, but also in apartment buildings, in hotels.”
One of the characteristics of FAS International is that it has always, over all these years, been very attentive to innovation and new technologies. And in fact, keeping faith with this characteristic, in the coming months, between June and July, the company will bring to market new lockers that sees the collaboration of different players, apparently different from each other, but all united by the desire to experiment with new ways and to succeed in meeting people’s needs.
Luca Adriani, CEO FAS International
“Vending,” Adriani continues, “will have a great future in the coming years because it knows how to innovate. With the new lockers we have managed to involve different players and we are convinced that the evolution of vending can be born from here, which perhaps should start calling itself something else given the developments we want to imprint on the sector.”
The company that Luca Adriani leads today, together with his sister Mariangela, founded by his father Antonio, together with his brother, as we said at the beginning, already in the late 1980s foresaw the evolution of vending toward the automation of catering and retail. “We got there after a few years, but we got there at what was my dad’s vision,” says Luca Adriani.
As it has been for all businesses, the last two/three years characterized by the pandemic have been a major digital accelerator. A trait that applies to any industry and, therefore, also to vending. This acceleration has led FAS International to push towards new products that are more and more at the forefront of technology, innovative and increasingly environmentally sustainable, an aspect very dear to the company.
And this acceleration has spurred Luca Adriani to continue, keeping faith with the company’s historical claim “Everything can be sold with a vending machine,” on the development of the FOOD24SYSTEM platform,the automated canteen service, composed of a software part that allows the reservation or purchase of the dish from a device/computer, and a hardware part that manages, instead, the delivery to the customer without the assistance of a person in a safe manner with the use of rotating plate dispensers or refrigerated lockers.
The FOOD24SYSTEM web app also allows customers to choose when and where to pick up their meal and to view the nutritional information and characteristics of each dish. The payment system can also be contextual to the reservation or integrated with the business management system and customized to the users’ needs. Food24System can be considered a so-called “proximity e-commerce”: an efficient point of sale for those in the vicinity of the distributor and with an integrated mode of purchase between online and offline.
“One of the latest cases” – Luca Adriani tells more – “is that of the Deganello butcher shop in Malo (Vicenza) an example of what the concept of ‘distributor 4.0’ represents. The idea was to rethink the meat reservation and pickup service to meet the needs of customers and make it active all year round at any time, installing a zero-kilometer vending machine with high refrigeration and preservation capacities for products, especially fresh and ultra-fresh ones. Started in October last year, within a short time more than 500 people registered, orders were about 160 for a total turnover of 3200 euros in just over 3 months.
This is an example that demonstrates once again the evolution of vending, toward that idea that my dad envisioned. An idea that in addition to the involvement of people, who understand the value of the service, also leads the company to earn more money. And that for me is a key element.”
With this vision, vending evolves into a 24-hour distribution platform, transforming into a service that the user can access at any time of the day, being able to rely on reliability and quality. A great challenge, and FAS International has all the credentials to meet it.