Trends on the Horizon
What’s ahead for vending machines that sell food items?

Don Delaney, president, AYSV Food Services, Erlanger, Ky., said more and more companies are using the latest technologies. For instance, Sure-Vend technology will sense if a food item doesn’t fall and will try to turn the item further so it falls, or will refund the customer’s money. “People can get upset and shake a machine if they don’t get their product,” he said. “This takes a toll on the machine. It’s better to spend a little more up front and save headaches.” About 80 percent of the company’s machines have this technology. 

Equipping machines with credit card swipers is also growing in popularity. “The younger generation doesn’t carry cash like the older generation,” he said.

Mike Digilio, director of sales, American Vending Sales, Elk Grove Village, Ill., said new to vending machines are healthier food choices. “We are getting requests for healthier items, but sales are still low,” Digilio said. For instance, when adding a selection of fresh peaches, we only sell one or two a week. “But you have to provide such choices to keep customers happy.”

David Goldfarb, owner, Prime Time Amusements, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., agreed that healthier products, such as energy drinks and energy bars, are up and coming. “People like them because are quick and healthy,” he said.

Midlantic Vending in Moorestown, N.J., is also exploring ways in which it might offer healthier products. “They would need to deliver a high-quality flavor profile,” said Alan Drazen, vice president. “People want to eat healthier products, but when they are at a special venue they want to treat themselves to something that tastes better.” – K.A.

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