Vending Machine Operators

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 3,100 vending machine operators in the US generate revenue by reselling a variety of merchandise through automated machines. The majority of companies are full-line vending machine operators which distribute multiple product categories. About a quarter of the industry specializes in a product category, such as candy or cigarettes. Common locations for vending machines include manufacturing facilities, offices, hotels, restaurants, bars, retailers, schools, hospitals or nursing homes, and government buildings.

Mitigating Theft

Because vending is generally a cash business, companies are at risk for theft from both internal and external sources.

Technology Improves Performance

More vending machine operators are investing in technology to improve operating efficiency and boost sales and profitability.

Industry size & Structure

The average vending machine operator operates out of a single location, employs 11 workers, and generates almost $3 million annually.

    • The vending machine operations industry consists of about 3,100 companies that employ about 35,000 workers and generate about $9 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom. The top 50 firms account for 61% of sales.
    • Many vending machine operators are small to medium-size businesses. Some operators service routes part-time.
    • Some large food and beverage manufacturers and food service operators have vending operations. Food service companies Aramark and Compass Group have large vending machine operations. Compass owns Canteen Vending Services.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Vending Machine Operators Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    Mar 14, 2023 - Gains in Office Occupancy
                                    • More workers are heading back into the office, with office occupancy remaining above 50% for the third consecutive week, according to Kastle’s 10-city Back-to-Work Barometer. Four of the cities tracked in the barometer for March 1 to March 8 increased during the week, and Austin, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston achieved occupancy rates above the 10-city average. The daily high in occupancy occurred on Tuesday, with an average of 58%, while the daily low was on Friday at about 33%. Kastle’s data shows higher occupancy rates than last year, as more employers require workers to return to the office. Law firms are showing higher occupancy, at nearly 62% for the seven-city average in the legal barometer, compared to other industries. Demand for vending machine items will increase as more workers return to their offices regularly.
                                    • A new vending machine offering pet snacks has debuted at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, according to Vending Times. The vending machine was installed by vending company Prepango and supplied by Posh Puppy Boutique, an online dog products retailer. Marcos Modiano, the founder of Prepango LLC, stated, "This is the first automated vending machine for pet needs in the country's airports, and it has already been a hit with travelers. Posh Puppy Boutique is a high-quality brand so it was a great fit to test this new concept."
                                    • Most consumers eat snacks daily and prefer snacking over a traditional mealtime, according to the fourth annual “State of Snacking” report by Mondelez International. Nearly three-quarters of consumers report snacking at least twice a day, and 55% report a higher likelihood of eating a snack than a meal across standard mealtimes. The report, conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll, found that consumers snack to reward themselves (80%) and for a sense of comfort (77%). Consumers also prefer their favorite brands over generic alternatives, with 67% saying they would buy fewer of their favorite snack brands rather than a generic brand regardless of cost. Sustainability is factoring into snacking decisions, with 70% saying they prioritize snacks with less packaging. About 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for snacks that are better for the environment, and 65% would pay more for snacks with ethically sourced ingredients.
                                    • Many communities and colleges in the US are using reverse vending machines to help incentivize recycling. At Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, students can use a reverse vending machine located in the student center to recycle plastic bottles and cans, according to The machine then prints a receipt, which can be customized by the college, allowing the students to earn prizes or compete in contests. Residents in Coral Gables, Florida, have recycled more than 1,500 containers through a recycling incentive program using a reverse vending machine, per Vending Times. Winners of the competition will receive free movie tickets and popcorn at a local cinema. According to Allied Market Research, the global reverse vending machine market is projected to reach $736.9 million by 2030.
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