Vending Viability Through The Years

By | February 25, 2016

Not too long ago, I got a call from a New York Times magazine reporter. It’s not the first time the media has reached out to ask about the vending industry, but more than current trends, this reporter wanted data and the movement of the industry from…


Micro markets have replaced vending in many large accounts. The estimates are that there are approximately 9,000 micro markets now.

The last interesting increase in the last 10 years has been the acceptance of cashless payment, or vending machines taking credit/debit cards as well as payment via smartphone. Back in 1995, only 57.6 percent of the vending machines in the U.S. accepted dollar bills (as opposed to coins). By 2000, that number was 80 percent. Cashless was added to the report in 2004, which meant that pretty much 100 percent of vending machines accepted paper money. In 2004, only 2 percent of vending machines accepted credit or debit cards (no mobile at that time). Last year, our research suggests 11 percent of vending machines now accept multiple forms of cashless payment (a number that is still far less than other retail locations).