Over the decades since the first coin-op machines, vending machines have continued to grow in both size and complexity. Vending companies have also grown their offerings from candy and newspapers to specialty products that include hot food prepared while you wait and even the selection of a new vehicle. Payment methods have also evolved from coin-operated to cash and to credit, and debit cards to mobile and contactless forms.
And while technology is becoming a key component of modern vending offerings, the industry is pursuing smart ways to reuse older vending machine cabinets by refurbishing outdated machines and giving them a new digitized life with touch screen displays, product nutritional information, and flexible payment methods. Specialty vendors have even redeployed vintage cigarette vending machines to dispense art.
This study examines the market opportunity to connect vending machines to the internet, and more specifically, the underlying business models that are being used to optimize filling and servicing machines, offer digital conveniences for payment and user engagement, and delivering insights about machine performance and customer behavior.