As one of the premier vending machine repair, parts, and service sites, VendNetUSA looks at a lot of vending machines. That gives us the unique position to be able to see what types of products and trends are showing up, often before any individual vendor notices the change in their sales analysis. The current uptick in health food items has been developing over a few years, but is really entering a whole new level of demand. There are three specific trends to follow closely this year and implement in your vending machine business.
- Fresher Options. Even with the new wave of vending machines that make drinks and snacks to order, or offer frozen or refrigerated options, customers are looking for snack items that have less processing, fewer additives, and provide more macronutrients. Vendors cannot simply offer Red Delicious apples; consumers want fruits, nuts, smoothies, and even more exotic whole food options like edamame or even salads.
- Balanced Choices. Beyond fresh whole food selections, customers are also seeking more balanced and nutritious options, particularly in the form of various protein, health, and granola bars. Vending machines have rapidly shifted from being a semi-reliable source of junk food to a normalized font of wholesome snacks.
- Free Selections. By no means are we advocating a profitless sales system. Instead, -free refers to the trend of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and other -free classifications of health foods consumers are looking for in their vending goodies. We have found that numbers of customers with dietary needs have risen astronomically over the past three to five years and continues to climb, unabated. Providing reasonable refreshment and even treats to these special classifications of buyers allows vendors to capture whole new markets–buyers who previously couldn’t utilize vending machines as a reasonable source of nutrition.
Vending machines started in the 1880’s as a way of dispensing novelties, and only later transitioned into providing drinks and sustenance. When they proliferated in the middle of the last century, vending machines acquired a reputation as a quick and dirty way to grab a bite, but without any healthful benefits. It is now our turn to change the messaging behind the machines from pre-packaged candies to nutritious, delicious, and specialized selections for every consumer. To learn more about VendNet USA’s vending machine repair, parts, and services, please visit our website or blog.