2016 was a strong and vibrant year for vending machine technology and sales alike. Looking at the specific trends and developments, as well as the progression of each over the past year, can help us make some assessments for the future. There are also new developments coming in 2017 that should be very exciting for vendors and end users alike.
Let’s take a moment to look at the cutting edge technological improvements that have been instituted recently, in addition to some previews of new changes to come in the next 12 months. The biggest news in this area last year was the stratospheric growth of proprietary cashless payment options like Apple Pay for vending machines. What this opens the door for is targeted promotions and socially activated vending, based on a user’s sales history, social media use, and location. Whether promotions take the form of discounts, loyalty programs, or sales, the potential for developing user relationships is our first area of predicted growth.
Another vending machine sphere that experienced proliferation in 2016? Specialized and customized vending machines far beyond the snack food realm. Encompassing fresh foods, non-food items, office supplies, and more, businesses increasingly availed themselves of the near limitless potential for onsite vending machines to meet every need. It’s safe to say that, once clients enjoy the benefits of flexible vending services, they will continue to find new ways to employ them in even more realms.
The final segment that we firmly believe will experience continued growth in 2017 is that of fresh and healthy food options, even beyond snacks. Already, vending machines offer crisp fruits as well as meal components, but the future may involve customized juicing stations to take advantage of the latest nutritious food trends. Sustained demand and even escalation are expected for fresh, whole food options, including nuts and seeds, along with increased demand for more exotic or unusual food options.
Knowing the trends is the first step, but until they’re put into action and into machines for people to purchase, it’s all theoretical. Staying abreast of the best current practices plus employing a judicious amount of ‘futurecasting’ is the strongest way to guarantee success for vending machine owners, operators, and end users.
Vending.com is the best online location to explore various types of machines and learn about the most effective ways to augment and sustain your business.