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How Vending Has Changed in the Past Decade

by Samantha Hadden

As we near the end of the decade and prepare for 2020 (how crazy does that sound?) We can’t help but think of all the ways vending has changed over the past decade. For some, the idea of vending conjures up a big machine stocked to the brim with high-calorie snacks or sugary drinks but for those in the vending industry we’ve seen first hand how vending has changed in the past decade and we want to share the big changes vending has encountered.

New Techniques

Vending has expanded beyond traditional vending machines that are placed in a corner of your office breakroom or in the back stairwell of your local hospital. Over the past decade, vending and refreshment programs have been put into the spotlight. Shining bright as a quality way to keep employees and patrons coming back for more quality options. These techniques for vending products have changed from a machine that dispenses products to grab and go markets with a self-checkout option. This allows people the option to look at the nutritional value of products before purchasing. Grab and go markets are great for companies with over 250 people that are looking to provide fresh food and can be a great alternative to full-service cafeterias.

Healthy Choices

As healthy trends have risen over the past 10 years, it’s no wonder that has filtered into the selections available in vending machines, micro-markets, and pantry services. The National Automatic Merchandising Association has even made a commitment to increase the percentage of “better for you” offerings to 33% in the nation’s vending machines. Healthy vending has also increased as employers have been able to link their vending options with their corporate wellness program.

More Payment Options

If there is one thing that has really changed over the past decade within the world of vending, it’s the payment options people have been able to use to purchase products. Most machines are moving away from cash and coin to cashless and mobile payment options like Apple or Google pay. According to a study done by US Bank, roughly 47% of consumers prefer paying with digital apps over cash. More people are carrying less cash with them as they switch to mobile payment options, in fact roughly 46% of people claim they use cash fewer than eight days each month.

Non-traditional items

Over the past decade vending has evolved past snacks and beverages and into the non-traditional realm with vending items like lipstick, electronics, medications in fire/EMS stations and more. As non-traditional items begin popping up in vending machines, more customers are purchasing items from vending machines while on the go in airports, train stations and at events.

Even though vending has changed in the past decade a few things remain the same at National Vending. We constantly strive to provide quality vending and refreshment programs to companies all over the country, while staying up to date on trends in the vending industry. If you’re looking to upgrade your vending for multiple locations, let us know. We would be happy to assist you through the process.


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