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 Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, 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

                                    Coronavirus Update

                                    May 24, 2022 - Industry may Benefit As Restrictions Are Eased
                                    • Federal and local health officials are leaving it up to people to assess if they need booster shots, whether to wear a mask, and how long to isolate after a positive test, according to The Wall Street Journal. Businesses, schools, and other entities are scaling back specific guidelines. The lack of effective treatments, vaccines, and widespread testing early in the pandemic resulted in social distancing mandates and lockdowns. The response is becoming more tailored to people’s own health and appetite for risk, as those tools help blunt the worst outcomes as the virus continues to spread, according to public-health experts. “The history of public health has been a constant tension between individual-level and government or community-level intervention,” said Megan Ranney, an emergency-care doctor and academic dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.
                                    • Vending machine operators may benefit if a rebound in the to return to workplaces continues. Workplace occupancy was 42% for the seven-day period ending on March 30, up from 40% for the seven-day period ending on March 23, and 39.5% for the seven-day period ending on March 16, according to data gathered from swipes of access control cards in buildings with security systems provided by Kastle Systems. Workplace occupancy had declined steadily from the 40.5% reported for the seven-day period ending on December 1, 2021, even when the seven-day periods ending on December 29, 2021, and January 5, 2022, are omitted due to typical low occupancy during those periods because of holidays. The Austin, TX, metropolitan area had the highest occupancy for the seven-day period ending on March 30 at 61.7%. The San Francisco metropolitan area trailed all others tracked at 31.8%.
                                    • Vending machine operators may benefit if a rebound in the to return to workplaces continues. Workplace occupancy was 42% for the seven-day period ending on March 30, up from 40% for the seven-day period ending on March 23, and 39.5% for the seven-day period ending on March 16, according to data gathered from swipes of access control cards in buildings with security systems provided by Kastle Systems. Workplace occupancy had declined steadily from the 40.5% reported for the seven-day period ending on December 1, 2021, even when the seven-day periods ending on December 29, 2021, and January 5, 2022, are omitted due to typical low occupancy during those periods because of holidays. The Austin, TX, metropolitan area had the highest occupancy for the seven-day period ending on March 30 at 61.7%. The San Francisco metropolitan area trailed all others tracked at 31.8%.
                                    • Several industry veterans contacted by Vending Market Watch said that they don't think contactless vending has gained significant traction during the coronavirus pandemic. “If a client requests it, we can do it," said Matthew Marsh of First-Class Vending. "From our experience, however, the clients that have received it are not using it. It is a neat gimmick, but I do not think it’s going to stick. It’s just not necessary.” Tom Steuber of San Leandro-based Associated Services added, “Our thinking on this is that we will absolutely have customers who will insist on touch-free equipment, but as time goes by, it will be used less and less. In our own office, we saw people use it initially, but as people get more and more comfortable about touch points, they stop using it.” It could be the “cool factor” that lends longevity to the idea of a touchless breakroom, according to Arthur Siller of Seattle’s Evergreen Refreshments. “From our experience, we do not think touch-free technology is going to be prevalent,” Siller noted. “We saw a big rush to touch-free technology, including wraps on equipment, and we can present options to clients. The technology is very cool and appealing to many. It is the ‘cool factor’ that might drive the interest, especially with younger people.”
                                    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the risk of coronavirus transmission through touching surfaces is "low." Vending machine operators are likely to benefit if the guidance results in increased demand due to less concern about coronavirus transmission via surface contact.
                                    • The FDA granted temporary relief from Calorie Disclosure requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak. The relief is recognition of the difficulties in compliance while the vending industry attempts to “keep essential locations stocked with products, sometimes changing daily due to inventory and availability.”
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