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Technology, healthier options drive vending industry

In response to consumers seeking healthier options, vending machines now stock a broader food and beverage portfolio along with the “smart” technological solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay. On-machine signage also is helping consumers to better evaluate their choices.

Although the vending machine operators industry has struggled during the past decade, in the five years to 2016, “revenue decreased at an annualized rate of only 0.2 percent to an estimated $6.7 billion, with a 0.2 percent decrease in 2016,” states Los Angeles-based IBISWorld in its December 2016 report titled “Vending Machine Operators in the US.”

It also highlights the decreased per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks; a rise in the healthy eating index, which measures the percentage of a recommended diet that an average American eats; and more per capita disposable income as key trends. “Additionally, a change in product mix toward heathier snacks, beverages and other food items, along with increasing use of technology helped companies spur demand,” it states.

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