Wall decals. Faux freckles. Roasted brussel sprouts. Tailor-made french fries. 2016 has already brought a wide array of trends, and the vending machine is no exception. It’s all about a mixture of personalization, creativity, and ease of access. Here’s what’s happening now, and what you can expect to see over the rest of the year.
- More Cash-Free Options. Technology relentlessly moves forward, and fewer and fewer consumers are carrying cash, let alone interested in getting coins as change from a purchase. Chip reading payment options, ubiquitous card swipe devices, and other digital payment options are projected to overtake ‘traditional’ payment methods by the end of this year.
- America’s Love Affair With Coffee Continues. With the new, fresh-grinding coffee vending machines, machine coffees are no longer being seen as lesser products. Instead, consumers recognize the value in freshly made and transparent production of their beverages, leading to an increase in demand for these machines.
- Continued Movement Away From High Fat Snacks. Snackers are routinely selecting options they perceive to be healthier, such as baked chips and products with added protein, rather than high carb or high fat choices. However, candy bars and other sweet treats remain consistently in demand, suggesting that the curious dichotomy of both healthful and comfort eating remains an American trait.
- Fresher Options. Packaged sliced fruits, salads and veggies, custom mashed potatoes, protein packs with nuts and cheeses--these are all hugely in demand currently and their popularity is expected to continue to grow. Even foods traditionally seen as less healthy, like french fries, are being offered ‘made to order.’ Whether it’s the perceived personalization or ideas about equating freshness to wellbeing, purchasers are selecting more and more of these items to fulfill their appetites.
- New Locations for Vending Machines. Pop Up vending machines are already appearing in major metropolitan areas. These shorter term sites will offer more complex options, and the novelty and variety will draw in consumers. In some cities, vending machines will be in cabs and buses as well.
Overall, the trends we’re seeing center around increased convenience, more individualized and flexible edible options, and more informed consumers enjoying healthier, customized foods. The savvy vending machine operator will look closely at his or her location to see where this future casting can be incorporated. Get in contact with us to explore your vending machine options!