Jun 27, 2018

The Future of Vending Machines

The cold weather is upon us and I for one really struggle as I get the 3 o’clock blues where coffee and a ‘treat’ are required to get me to the end of the day! We are fortunate (or unfortunate depending which way you look at it) here at JFS to have a vending machine where I can purchase a pick me up.

Vending Machines have changed a lot since their invention. The first modern coin-operating machine was in England during the 1880’s and it dispensed post cards. Modern Day machines have been a convenient and relatively low cost method of delivering food and drink. They are also a source of unplanned eating and drinking (not many people I know plan to have lunch or dinner, throw a party, or meet for a date at a vending machine), which makes vending machines a target for improving our diets. Traditional vending machines comprise of Snickers, Kit Kat’s, Chippies and Coke but, current trends have left the vending machine industry at a crossroads.

Current Trends:

  • The Obesity Epidemic

  • Busy Schedules and Laziness (that’s me)

  • Online Ordering and mobile applications

So, what does this mean for the future of vending machines?

  • Vending Machines that provide healthy food – an argument against vending machines carrying healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables has been the higher cost of having to refrigerate and frequently replace the food when it spoils. (Try keeping and apple or carrot in your handbag, or bag as long as you can a bag of potato chips) Another argument has been that people are not demanding such food in vending machines. But as storage technology improves and calls for healthy food in vending machines increases we will see a new generation of machines come out.

  • The newest breed of vending machines marries farm-fresh ingredients and haute cuisine with coin or Eftpos operated convenience.

We have come a long and strange way since the inception of vending machines and below are some examples of vending machines you won’t believe exist!

Let’s start in NZ before looking elsewhere in the world.

Cutting pinepples at home can be tricky at the best of times.This machine skins and cores pineapples in just 20 seconds and is a New Zealand first.

This $90,000 vending machine called "The Chef's Farm" can grow 60 heads of lettuce a day using florescent light bulbs.

Located in Tokyo's Shibuya train station, this machine dispenses both single bananas and 'naners in bunches. Dole conveniently provides bins on the side of the vending machine where you can discard peels.

Meanwhile, Belgian tomato grower Stoffels was recently nominated for a Fruit Logistica 2016 Innovation Award for its 'Automato', a vending machine-style dispenser for its red, orange and yellow, cherry tomatoes that's suitable for stores, canteens and schools.

Farmers swap ‘honesty boxes’ for an innovative new vending machine. The solution to their problem came in the form of a vending machine which has room to store sacks of potatoes, a dozen eggs or a crate of beer. The machine has now been installed outside a country shop so customers can buy their groceries 24 hours a day. With no need to pay staff around the clock, the move means small retailers can compete with all-hours supermarket giants. The machines are the brainchild of farmer John Retson and his son Stuart after they became fed up for their eggs being stolen.

Cup Cake Vending Machine – Guess where?

You never know when a 24 hour cupcake craving is going to hit – especially when red velvet is involved, but now you can also access one of the world’s top delicacies by swiping your credit card and pushing a button. The all access caviar vending machine has arrived.

This post was written by

Ann Cameron

Ann is the Sales Manager for consumables. She gets a kick out of helping her customers implement the right packaging options for their products because it can make a real difference to their business.