29 Today, where has the time gone?

We are 29 today. It seems no time since we opened the doors as Excel Vending but much has changed since the 24th March 1993. Back then, Hollywood was churning out classic films like Jurassic Park, Sleepless In Seattle, A Few Good Men and The Pelican Brief, to name but a few. And the average price of a cinema ticket was £3.20.  

Meat Loaf topped the charts that year with I’d Do Anything for Love, while UB40 came a close second with Can’t Help Falling in Love With You. So, love was definitely in the air, and we loved starting the journey that would see us become Scotland’s leading independent vending solutions provider today.

Talking about journeys, travelling around was much cheaper in 1993, you could buy a litre of petrol for 45.9p. There again, earnings were also much less. As a Real Living Wage employer, we are committed to ensuring none of our staff is paid less than the Real Living Wage which is currently set at £9.90 per hour; but back in 1993, the Average Weekly Earnings were a mere £75, which equated to around £1.97 per hour!

Perhaps the most significant change in the last 29 years has been the advancement of technology; the vending solutions we offer now bear no resemblance to what was on offer back then. We have touchless technology, real-time remote sales reporting, cardless payments, multi-media screens and a myriad of coffee choices; when we started, the choice was black or white!

However, some things have disappeared. Remember Toffo’s, Cadbury’s Marble, Rowantree’s Secret, Nestlé Texan, Tootie Fruities, White Maltesers, Polo Fruits and Galaxy Truffle? Yes, all delicious, but sadly no longer with us. However, we have seen an increase in healthy eating options, something we’ve worked hard to promote and offer in our machines.

Over the last 29 years, we have grown because we kept up to date with the times and the technology. We’ve responded to the trends, and we’ve adapted to the ever-changing needs in unattended retail, most recently with our move into micro-markets. We have also been at the forefront of environmental issues such as reducing single-use cups, and we have championed the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) with significant investment in Reverse Vending technology.

We will continue to be front-runners in our industry; it’s in our DNA to be market leaders and be the first to bring improvements to the clients we serve. We are in good shape to do this well into the future because we are a family business with family values and we’re delighted the next generation has joined the business. Eilidh and Harry MacDonald weren’t around when we opened our doors, but they are making an impact now. So, as we leave our 20s behind, we look forward to our 30s with optimism and excitement as the next generation helps to drive Excel forward.


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