As part of the New Year, we thought we would briefly talk about some of the new trends we are seeing in vending machines:
- Cash-Free Payment Options: fewer and fewer vending machine consumers are carrying cash with them, and instead expect to be able to use their debit or credit cards when purchasing from vending machines. When you purchase or place a vending machine in a location, consider what types of payment the consumers are likely to want. Vending machines located in areas with younger customers (such as college campuses) will often see increased sales from having credit card readers available.
- Movement Towards Healthier Snacks: Many vending machine customers are purchasing healthier snacks. While standard snack items should still be stocked in your vending machine (candy bars and other sweet treats), a selection of healthier snacks such as baked chips, products higher in protein and lower in fats and carbohydrates, and drinks with real fruit juice may help you increase sales. Again, younger consumers are more likely to purchase healthier snacks, so the vending machine items you stock should be based on the vending machine’s location and customer base.
- Fresher Vending Items: Going along with the movement towards healthier snacks, many vending customers are looking for fresher items to purchase. Packaged fruits and vegetables (especially salads) are in demand, as are items such as nuts and cheese, and the packaged “protein packs.”
- Higher Quality Vending Items: As vending machine technology improves along with product packaging, customers are beginning to accept that vending machines can provide higher quality, better tasting snacks and drinks. Coffee is a prime example: modern coffee vending machine are now available that produce high quality coffee that is comparable to store-bought or restaurant coffee.
- More Specialized Vending Machines: Vending machine are becoming more flexible in the types of items they vend. Items such as tools, bicycle repair parts, gold and silver, and even fresh pizza and french fries are all able to be sold from vending machines. We expect both the number and types of vending machines to continue to grow, pushing into markets that were previously unavailable to vending machine operators.
The new trends in what vending machine customers are looking for should guide vending machine operators in placement of their machines and the type of snacks they stock. If you need assistance in setting up a new vending machine or need service for your machines, please contact Maximum Vending at (505) 980-6764. Thanks.