Colleagues share a platter of food over a celebratory lunch

Exploring the History of Vending Giants Crane and Evoca.

Vending machines have become an integral part of modern life, providing a quick and convenient way for people to access snacks, beverages, and various products in both public spaces and within the workplace. Among the many brands that have contributed to the rich history of vending in the UK, two stand out as powerhouses in the industry: Crane Merchandising Systems and Evoca.

It’s highly likely that the last vending machine you saw was a product from one of these massive vending brands. Their commitment to continued innovation and high quality engineering has helped them secure their position as leading machine providers across the country, and their equipment now occupy many prominent locations in public spaces as well as in corridors and break rooms of business premises.

But how did these brands become what they are today? In this article we take a look at the fascinating history of Crane and Evoca.

Crane Co. - Pioneering Innovation Since 1855

Crane Co., a diversified technology company with a legacy dating back to 1855, has been a trailblazer in various industries, including vending. The company’s venture into vending machines began in the early 20th century, marking a significant chapter in the history of automated retail.

In 1926, Crane Co. introduced the Automatic Retailing Division, focusing on developing cutting-edge vending solutions. One of their notable contributions was the creation of the first automatic vending machine for hot coffee in 1946. This groundbreaking innovation revolutionised the way people enjoyed their favourite beverages, paving the way for the modern coffee vending machines we see today.

Over the decades, Crane continued to innovate, introducing state-of-the-art technologies such as cashless payment systems and advanced telemetry for remote machine management. The company’s commitment to quality and innovation has solidified its position as a leader in the global vending machine market.

Today, the vending division of Crane is known as Crane Merchandising Systems, and sits within the rebranded Crane Payment Innovations business. This change reflects the nature of the current and future spaces that Crane are operating in, with the primary focus on the technology required to enable transactions on vending machines and other self-serve applications.

Evoca Group: A Fusion of Italian Craftsmanship and Technological Excellence

Founded in 1934 as Necta, the Evoca Group has its roots in Italy and has grown to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional coffee machines and vending solutions. The company’s evolution over the years reflects a dedication to craftsmanship and a deep understanding of consumer preferences.


Necta gained recognition for its espresso machines, and in the 1960s, the company expanded into the vending machine sector. Necta’s focus on creating aesthetically pleasing and technologically advanced vending solutions set it apart in the market. The company continued to thrive and innovate, introducing touch-screen interfaces, energy-efficient designs, and customisable configurations to meet diverse customer needs.

In 2017, the Necta brand merged with other leading companies under the Evoca Group umbrella, further strengthening its global presence. This strategic move allowed Evoca to offer a comprehensive range of vending solutions, from coffee and snacks to cold beverages and beyond.

Today, Evoca offers a range of modern snack and combination vending machines, including the Evoca Swing and Evoca Jazz as well as a growing number of coffee solutions.

A Legacy of Excellence

Both Crane and Evoca have left an indelible mark on the vending machine industry, shaping its trajectory with innovations that prioritise user experience, convenience, and technological sophistication. While Crane’s long history in diversified technologies and commitment to excellence has propelled it to the forefront of the vending machine market, Evoca’s fusion of Italian craftsmanship and technological prowess has captivated consumers worldwide.

As we move into the future, it is evident that these two brands will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the landscape of vending machines. Whether it’s Crane’s legacy of pioneering innovations or Evoca’s commitment to blending form and function, the vending machine industry owes much of its success to these giants that have stood the test of time.

To find out more about Crane and Evoca’s range of vending machines and coffee machines, reach out to a member of our sales team on 01865 341011, or send us an enquiry. We’d love to hear from you.