V.COM-March Blog

Snacks, Drinks, Frozen Foods, or Combo – What Would Give You More Vend Sales?

The product decides the machine.

A vending business is a reliable source of revenue, if you do it right. Even if you are not a mainstay vending business owner, an additional revenue stream from a vending machine gives you the liberty to pursue your passion. It helps you save money for a rainy day. The first step towards getting a steady flow of revenue is by choosing the right product to sell and the machine that vends it, in that order. It is important to remember that while people interact with the machine, it is the product that they consume.

First-time buyers often tend to focus more on the machine than the best products for their vending machines. The product is a bigger capital investment than stocking the machine. They tend to pay less attention to the fact that revenue and profits come from the product you stock and sell. So, choosing what you want to sell takes precedence over the machine you use to sell it. Let us discuss how to select the right product that will give you the best results.

Factors to consider

The most obvious factor influencing your decision on the best products for your vending machines should be user experience. Your consumers should get the best satisfaction by buying from your machine. The best experience comes from the product they want to buy and the machine they interact with. So, the product you sell and the machine you use should be of the best quality and at the right price point. These two factors are applicable to what product you choose to sell. Other factors are influencing the selection of the product you choose to sell, however, like the ones below.

  • Volume: Some products sell in higher volumes than others. The higher the number of transactions, the better the returns on investing in a vending machine. Water bottles and beverages constitute more than 56% of the sales through vending machines[1]. They are universally sought staples and can also generate a decent margin[2]. Moreover, vending machine products are generally impulse buys. This means while users start transacting to buy a water bottle, they can get interested in a bag of chips or an energy bar. So, high-volume products increase the chances of up-selling and generating more revenue per user.
  • Profitability: Certain products can fetch a higher margin than others in your vending machine. While the same product may not have the best profitability everywhere, there are certainly some sweet spots. There is statistical evidence from a survey showing that the humble water bottle scores high on the profitability scale. Fruit snacks are a close second[2], but again, these are statistical averages. While your water bottle might get you good profits at a gym, sugary drinks and candies might earn big bucks at an amusement park. That takes us to the next factor you need to consider while selecting the right product to sell, the location.
  • Location: The location of your vending machine can significantly influence what sells and what does not. The volume of traffic, the spending power of the traffic, and the need for convenient access to supplies are all dependent on the location. Outdoor vending machines with cold beverages at a summer fair can be a bigger attraction than the rides. Cold sandwiches might fly off the machines at the factory cafeteria. Protein shakes are more likely to be bought at a gym than most other places. Location not only defines what sells but also how much of it. Some vending enthusiasts place so much significance on the location that they are happy to select their machine or product based only on this factor.
  • Demographics: This is a slight evaluation of the location. This defines who is likely to use the machine. The demographics you are likely to cover at a school are children between 8 and 18 with access to disposable income in the form of pocket money. An office is more likely to have an older age group of people but with a bigger purse at their disposal. This kind of classification of who is likely to use your machine will help you identify the products they will likely need. It also indicates how you can price the products that have a compelling demand against others that don’t.

The right machine for the right product

Choosing the best product for vending machines impacts you’re the experiences of your customers, who do business with your machines. Getting the product mix right has a great influence on the revenue and profitability of your vending business, but the product by itself does not complete the experience of your customer. They conduct these transactions through your machines. Hence, the right machines combined with the best products deliver delight to your customers and success to you. Striking a balance between performance, features, cost of purchase, cost of ownership and maintenance could be tricky even for experienced vending machine owners.

This is where businesses like Vending.com can help. With over 90 years of experience in the vending industry and a sophisticated ecosystem of distributors and partners, Vending.com can provide the right vending solutions tailored to your needs. Reach out to us at www.vending.com or call us at 1-855-929-1042 to know more.

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Popular Snacks & Drink for Your Business

Deciding what snacks and drinks to put in your vending machine is no simple task. It is essential to fill your machine with products that your customers will love. If you are struggling to find a place to start, check out some of the most popular vending machine items on the market.

Snacks

For eight years in a row, Snickers has been named the most popular candy bar in the United States, meaning you can’t go wrong with adding this top selling vending machine item to your inventory. Another great go-to product for your snack machine is Pop-Tarts. This top vending machine snack is the perfect, convenient alternative when people are on the go and do not have time for breakfast. For a healthier snack, people prefer Clif Bars, MixMeister Fusion, Trail Mix and Granola Bars.

Hot Take: When it comes to choosing the right vending machine to hold snacks, we recommend one of our MarketOne Snack 5W Food Selling Machines or the MarketOne Snack 6W Vending Machine. These machines feature a large merchandising window and LED lighting for an unbeatable merchandising experience. 

Drinks

Is it any surprise that water is the most popular beverage in vending machines? Water may be easy to find, but people often forget water bottles and need to find ways to stay hydrated while on the go. Additionally, the popularity of coffee from vending machines continues to grow, especially among Millennials, particularly cold coffee. Add the top selling vending machine product to your inventory, it’s the perfect product to give customers a quick boost during the day.

Hot Take: One of our most popular vending machines, The Express Combo Vending Machine, has the ability to vend both snacks and beverages. Its eco-friendly, compact design can hold up to 20 snack selections and 9 drink selections to vend products to customers. 

For more information on the best snacks and drinks for your vending equipment, give us a call at 1-800-548-1982.

1st Century Vending Machine That Will Blow Your Mind

When you think back over the history of vending machines, you probably call to mind images of their evolution throughout your lifetime. The snack vending machine that you enjoyed at school as a kid pales in comparison to the high-tech solutions that we have available today. If you had to make an educated guess about when the first drink vending machine appeared, you would probably guess the 1970s or even the 1950s at the earliest, right?

In reality, the world’s first vending machine actually dates all the way back to the first century. Though it holds little resemblance to the soda vending machine that is probably in your office right now, it still has a rich and storied history that is more than worth exploring.

Heron of Alexandria

The first device that would be considered a vending machine was created during the first century by a man named Heron of Alexandria. Heron was something of an inventor in his day and actually played a huge role at the ground level of a number of the things that we depend on daily. In addition to having a hand in the development of the steam engine, wind-powered machinery and even the syringe, he also one day found himself in a situation that directly led to the concept of the vending machine.

Heron realized that churches at the time had a problem. People had a tendency to take too much holy water at temples, which left these locations without the necessary supplies needed to hold their services at the frequency that they’d like. With that simple premise, Heron went to work in his shop and changed the face of the world at the exact same time.

The Solution: Vending Machines

Vending.comHeron’s solution took the form of a machine that allowed people to drop tokens inside. Once the tokens were recognized by their weight, a small lever would then open a small door and holy water would be dispensed. As the weight of the coin continued to shift, it would eventually fall back into a tray and the door would close again.

Suddenly, all of their problems were solved. People were less likely to take too much holy water if they knew they were paying for them and the temples didn’t have to keep employees nearby at all times to monitor the situation. In one fell swoop, Heron both solved a problem in a wholly unique way and set the stage for devices that we now use on a regular basis at the same time.

The next time that your uncle or grandfather tells you about how he remembers when the world’s first vending machine hit the market when he was a boy while you’re all gathered around the table for Thanksgiving dinner, you can politely correct him – unless he happens to be 1800 years old, that is. You can then tell the story of Heron, the man who now made it possible to get everything from medicine to office supplies on demand and in the most convenient way possible whenever you’d like.

The Affordability of getting a Used Vending Machine

If you wish to begin a vending machine business or to expand an existing route, used vending machines are an attractive option. Used machines often cost a fraction of what a new machine costs. However, when buying them from a reputable and well-established supplier, they can be be as reliable as brand new machines.

When shopping for used machines, always look for ones that are inspected and certified. This helps you ensure that the machine is in good working condition and will faithfully vend products to your customers.Certified Used Vending Machines for Sale

Vending.com offers several factory-remanufactured certified machines. These machines come with a 90 day warranty on parts that include the bill acceptors, coin acceptors and control boards. Plus, as a respected vending machine manufacturer, we support your purchase with a dedicated help line.

For greater affordability, machines can be purchased on one of our vending machine payment plans. Used snack machines are just $79.35 a month and drink machines are only $97.35 a month. Each of these can be paid off with just five vends a day.

Our supply of used vending machines for sale rotates constantly. Check back often to find the drink machine, snack machine or combo vending machine that fits your customers’ needs.