Vending.com - Vending technology is transforming the food industry

Vending technology is transforming the food industry

Introduction

Vending machines have been serving food products to consumers for more than a century. Today, more than $30 billion worth of food and beverages are bought from vending machines all over the country each year. They form an integral part of the food supply chain.

Like all electrical and electronic equipment, vending machines are embracing the growth of technology. Cloud computing, the Internet of Things, Electronic Payment Interfaces, and Graphical Human-Machine Interfaces are some examples of the latest technology used in modern vending machines. Such pieces of technology have created new possibilities in unmanned food retail. They have improved efficiencies, reduced waste, enhanced accountability and delivered novel experiences for the end-user. Let us explore how technology in vending is revolutionizing the food industry.

Vending in the Food Industry

Thomas Adams installed machines selling sugar-coated chewing gum balls in New York in the late 19th century. Vending machines have since played a significant role in the food industry. Today they sell everything from packaged potato chips to freshly cooked pizza. Disregarding a few fringe variants, the majority of food products that flow through the vending channel are of four broad types:

Snacks and Beverages – This is the largest contributor to the share of food products sold through vending machines in the United States. It includes cold beverages (23%), packaged snacks (15.5%), and candy & confectionery (18.3%). This amounts to about $17.6 billion in annual sales in the U.S. They are mostly convenience sales and impulse purchases.

Frozen Food & Cold Storage Products – This category is the second-largest by sales. It consists of ice cream (1.9%), frozen food (5.3%), and Healthy & Fresh Food (8.2%). Such products usually have a short shelf life. Hence the vending machines selling them are limited to specific areas like grocery stores, micro-markets or other sites where consumers come to buy food supplies. Together, they contribute to about $4.9 billion in annual sales in the U.S.

Hot Beverages – The hot beverage vending took a tremendous beating during the COVID-19 pandemic and the following lockdown measures of several state governments. But since 2021, the industry has been bouncing back hard. Today, hot beverage vending machines contribute to approximately 3.8% of total sales, equaling about $1.2 billion annually.

Others – All other categories have been grouped into this category. This includes fresh pizzas, hot food, soup, ready meat, and french fries. This segment contributes to $4.2 billion in annual sales in the U.S. Some reports claim that this is the fastest-growing of all categories of food sold through vending machines.

Benefits of Vending Technology for the Food Industry

There are several participants in the food industry. Some of them are a part of the food products’ value stream. They participate in the production, logistics and consumption of food. This includes the business that produces and packages food, catering or food services providers, wholesalers and retailers. When vending machines are involved in the process, there are more participants. They are vending machine operators, owners of locations where the vending machines are placed and sources of food products.

Economic Value Added for all Stakeholders: The sale of food products through vending machines creates revenue for vending machine operators and location owners. Considering that a massive part of the sales on vending machines are discretionary and impulse purchases, they increase the total sales volume in the food industry. This helps all the participants in this industry grow their revenue.

Vending in Food Security: It is estimated that about 3.1 million Americans suffer from acute food insecurity. A big part of it is because of food deserts. This is a crisis driven by the lack of accessibility to food where it is required. Vending machines can become satellite stores for store owners, which can be replenished regularly. This helps extend the range of service of the grocery or departmental stores without having to incur expensive capital. The latest vending machines have onboard or cloud-enabled inventory management software. This helps the store owners to track consumption and replace the stock in these remotely installed machines without having to visit them for frequent inspection. When all impediments are removed, store owners are motivated to install more vending machines that give access to processed and fresh food. This can help improve food security by providing convenient access to essential nutrition anywhere and anytime.

Vending for Sustainability: As discussed earlier, vending machines with inventory management help track food consumption. Owners can now stock the right amount of food in their machines by monitoring stock levels. This minimizes food waste.

Moreover, new-age machines use energy-efficient cooling systems like R290-based refrigeration units. They are easier to deploy than replacing large cooling units of big stores or markets. This makes vending machines an energy-efficient supplement to stores wherever possible.

Dealing with catastrophic disruptions: If there is anything that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us in 2020 and 2021, we depend on a fragile supply chain for our daily needs. The world is still reeling from its after-effects. Vending machines can help address the last-mile supply chain issues by providing contactless access to essential food supplies. Some machines have inherent UV-based irradiation to sanitize machine interfaces and supplies.

Emerging Technology in Food Vending

Recent advances in electronics, software and computing have revolutionized the vending industry. The benefits of this technological progress have had a positive impact on the food industry. Some of them are discussed below.

Contamination Prevention: UV sanitization has helped vending machines not only sanitize the touchpoints where consumers interact with them. They now can sanitize the merchandise they sell. UVend Technology makes high-touch machine surfaces safer by destroying or inactivating some of the most common viruses, bacteria, and highly beneficial during COVID-19.

Hot Food Vending: Energy-efficient heating systems combined with precision robotics have helped turn vending machines into kitchens. This is expected to widen the range of products and services offered through vending machines.

Sustainability & Eco-Friendliness: Modern cooling systems, prevention of waste using inventory management platforms and other environmentally responsible features make vending machines a compelling retail channel in the food industry.

Conclusion:

The food industry has been one of the earliest beneficiaries of vending technology. All stakeholders in the food industry benefit from the use of vending machines as a channel for last-mile retail. The recent developments in technology have only enhanced the benefits of vending machines.

Vending.com has been a part of the vending industry for over 90 years. Strong investments in research and development on cutting-edge technology have helped Vending.com set the pace for innovations in the vending industry. If you are looking to set up a vending business or grow your current vending business, talk to us at 1-855-929-1042 or visit our website.

Give Customers Access to the Most Important Meal

To-go breakfast options have become increasingly popular over the past year. According to a recent study done by Tastewise, breakfast is up 13% from 2019 among consumers. Additionally, to-go breakfasts are up 154% from 2019. If you are not capitalizing on these trends, your customers may be going elsewhere to get their fill.

Provide customers with a variety of their favorite breakfast meals, such as oatmeal, cereal, granola bars and iced coffee through the Express Combo Vending Machine or the MarketOne Combo Vending Machines. These options are perfect for a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast when customers do not have time to sit and eat a full breakfast in the morning.

Through frozen vending machines, allow your customers to purchase more substantial breakfast items, such as frozen, protein-packed breakfast bowls and microwavable breakfast meals. These items can be accessed by customers through a number of frozen vending machines from Vending.com. Your customers will appreciate the variety of available breakfast options with frozen vending machines.

Finally, can your morning really be complete without a hot cup of coffee or tea? The Coffee Vending Machine gives customers their morning fix with a hot cup of coffee, cappuccino, lattes, tea and more. If you only have room for a Keurig coffee machine in your office, the Cafecture Controlled Coffee Pod Merchandiser may be a more suitable option for you. 

If you are not providing customers with the to-go breakfast options they crave, you may be missing out on a number of sales. To find out more about breakfast options and vending machines, contact us at 1-800-548-1982.

Vending.com

Vending Machine March Promotion | Get It While It’s HOT

In terms of vending machine promotions, it doesn’t get much better than this. Vending.com is currently running a financing special that lets customers get all of the vending machine equipment and other items they need to keep their customers satisfied with no money down for 12 months at 0% interest. Regardless of which item you’re looking for and how much you spend, you can save an incredible amount of money just by way of this special financing promotion in general. It’s important to note that the promotion is valid only for Vending.com new and freight blemished vending machine purchases only. The offer expires at the stroke of midnight CT on March 31, 2016, so act fast before these incredible savings are gone forever. You certainly won’t regret it.

Other Amazing Items and Unbeatable Offers by Vending.com

Even if you won’t be taking advantage of Vending.com’s March madness sale, the company still has a wide range of additional items on sale right now to help businesses exceed their customer’s expectations and create the sustainable revenue stream they’ve always dreamed of.

One of these bold items is the Cafe Express Refreshment Center, designed from the ground up to offer coffee service, beverages and a wide range of different snack items – all from one easy-to-use kiosk. The Cafe Express Refreshment Center offers a large compartment for single cup pods, K-Cups and pour over brewers in addition to a customer-friendly shelf that they can use to prepare their coffee any way that they’d like. The easy loading bottle and can trays accommodate beverages in nearly every size, from 16 ounces to 24 ounce plastic bottles and beyond.

Another impressive option available to order from Vending.com right now is the Table Top 14 Selection Snack Vending Machine.This beautiful piece features a compact, space saving design that is perfect for not only small break rooms, but also any other environment where space is valuable currency. The unit was designed from the ground up to offer 14 selections of snacks and candy and is accompanied by controls that are incredibly simple to use for both customers and operators. In addition to lightning-fast first-in-first-out product loading, it also features digital electronic pricing per selection and a number of other value-added features that make it perfect for both large and small businesses alike.

If you’re interested in taking full advantage of Vending.com’s March promotion, or in any of the other incredible snack vending machine sale items or other products available to order on the website right now, please contact the company today at 888-290-9356 for more information.

Keep Your Employees Happy, While Saving Money

A company that keeps its employees happy is more productive overall and can more effectively meet the demands of the marketplace.

While benefits and other significant perks are a main focus for most businesses, smaller areas, such as an employee break room that offers nutritious foods, can also be perceived as important.

Employees usually need a nice, convenient working environment in order to concentrate on work, and spend less energy on decisions that support their general well-being. This is the reason that parking and other basic needs are usually important features of a positive work culture.

In the case of an employee break room, having a positive environment that offers nice decor, ample seating, and a comfortable space for either sitting alone or gathering with a colleague or two over a beverage or a quick meal, is important.

A break between work that recharges energy, gives an employee social support and offers a source of pride is a great gift for your workforce that can establish trust, reduce employee sick days and turnover, and increase your bottom line.

Vending Machine

A vending machine in a company break room is a primary source for snacks and even meals for many employees. While foods are also often purchased elsewhere, the convenience of on-site vending snacks and meal-friendly foods frequently becomes a staple for those working hard and requiring nutritious support to bring them to the next meal. In some cases, selections in a vending machine can actually offer meal replacements, which is a great time save that need to remain on the company grounds between meals.

Your employees may be eagerly anticipating the next vending machine selections that you choose.

Selecting snacks that provide nutrition, such as yogurt, cheese, pita chips, and sugar-free or low-sugar beverages, such as Vitamin Water, can support a healthier culture and extend productivity. If you instead stock a vending machine with mostly sugary snacks and offer fewer healthy options, it could affect the attention span of employees, and even their health.

A vending machine is traditionally considered a source of junk food, but the image and available food options is changing. Stocking an employee break room drink vending machines with tea, water and seltzer water, and a snack vending machine with fruit, and savory healthy foods will help show that the company is supporting their well-being and is aware of the leading health trends.

Purchasing a vending machine for sale and its products through Vending.com, which has been manufacturing vending machines since 1931, will give you the necessary tools to deliver a superior break room environment to your prized employees. It is crucial to work with a trusted and reliable company that knows the industry. From a coffee vending machine to one that includes mostly food products, Vending.com has you covered.