There is something so viscerally satisfying about being able to turn a knob and getting a near-endless stream of good stuff. Cereal and candy dispensers play on this very human desire because they let you easily visualize a world in which you put down a bucket (or pull out your t-shirt) and fill it with all the gummy candies, jelly beans, cereals and sweets you can carry.
Kids recognize these visuals immediately, and that’s why their eyes light up when they see big displays of candy dispensers at the cinema, or rows upon rows of cereal dispensers in the supermarket.
(By the way, adults aren’t immune to this feeling. That’s why wine on tap was invented.)
Here is how supermarkets, grocery stores, movie theaters, convenience stores, specialty shops and any other food retailers can take advantage of the dispenser’s ability to awe customers.
If you plan to have cereal and candy dispensers so your customers can portion out their servings, there is an art and science to capturing the sense of awe that will draw customers to your gravity bins.
First, there is a question of context. Customers visit specialty candy shops, for example, with a different mindset than they do when going to the grocery store.
Candy shops are perfect for browsing — you want customers to wander around your store and imagine going home with more candy than they can carry. But a commercial cereal dispenser matrix in a grocery store needs to be optimized for efficiency — customers need to be able to identify what they want and get it quickly.
Or, perhaps you’re catering a company’s breakfast meeting, where you need that same wow factor, just scaled down to match the size and tone of the event. Something like a double cereal dispenser is a good way to give diners a choice and the ability to portion out desired serving sizes. At the same time, you’ll be able to gently nudge attendees’ secret desire to pour out a huge bowl of cereal for themselves, get back into their pajamas and turn on Netflix.
Besides considering design, there are a few other things you can do to make sure your bulk dispensers match the excitement that users will bring all the way up to the moment they turn the knob.
First, be mindful of how traffic will flow around the dispensers, and how that traffic will affect flow throughout your store in general. If people will crowd around the dispensers, you’ll want to leave room in your shop’s layout for them to do so comfortably.
Also, gravity bins can invite spillage — though we’ve designed ours to minimize spillage and over-pours, which we will get to in a minute. Just make sure anything that could possibly fall out has a place to go besides the floor.
Boardwalk candy shops and modern-day Willy Wonkas understand the need to wow customers the moment they set foot in those stores, but that wow factor must carry beyond that initial glance to create a truly memorable customer experience. That’s why ease of access — that is, getting as much candy as you want without friction or mess — is such a crucial feature of vertical candy dispensers.
Just imagine a beautiful candy store with 100-plus candies on offer, all arranged neatly throughout the shop in clear pop-top jars. As great as that looks, it presents a number of friction points for the customer:
• Someone has to scoop candy from one container to another, which takes time and could create bottlenecks in the store’s aisles.
• Smaller jars need to be refilled often, which is a task that can take up a significant amount of a shopkeeper’s time and energy.
• It involves reaching into the jar itself. You could let individual customers do this, but that poses sanitation issues and exposes your stock of candies to whatever might get dropped inside. Or, you could let your staff do that, which means you need to hire extra people to handle high-volume periods.
Gravity bins and vertical dispensers solve each of those issues:
• They let customers get as much candy as they want and move on.
• They don’t need to be refilled as often.
• They don’t expose your stock to contaminants that invariably would fall in.
We won’t lie. We’re pretty obsessive about how we design our candy dispensers, from the materials we use to the scoop mechanism that portions out a just the right amount of candy.
Let’s start with the display itself, because that’s what captures people’s imaginations when they see our dispensers. The commercial-grade acrylic makes the presentation of whatever candy you put inside absolutely pop, and it keeps your candy fresh.
We support that display with sturdy, polished steel in the base and in the dispenser’s moving parts. The steel is a nice touch because you can see and feel the quality of the craftsmanship, but it’s also the perfect material for our patented scoop mechanism. That minimizes spillage and over-pouring.
It also brings the customer experience full-circle. Your customers will feel how steady and controlled the flow of candy is as it pours into their own containers. That’s how you meet even the highest expectations someone has when she walks into your shop and sees nothing but a wall of candy.