They're fast. They're cheap. They're convenient. And now they're getting healthy and more diverse.
We're talking about vending machines, specifically how they're becoming more and more modernized to entice hungry office workers, mall shoppers or moviegoers skip a larger, more expensive snack, to stick with the sodas, candies and other goodies that come out of these automatic machines. So why is there all of a sudden a push to modernize vending machines and include more options, such as pizza, and healthy treats? Well consider that 2011 signaled a 10-year low in vending machine sales, in which business decreased by upwards of $4 billion from where it was just years ago when the industry was booming. It's clear that vending machines needed to either adapt or die. Manufacturers and vending machine franchise owners have decided to adapt, knowing that the business can be very lucrative.
Now machines are designed with a much more updated interface to intrigue customers, while offering more food and drink options. For instance, soon to be introduced in the United States is a pizza vending machine franchise, where hungry customers can get a hot pizza, complete with customizable toppings, in less than three minutes. Healthy vending machines are also gaining popularity, especially as the country as a whole is becoming more health conscious, with attempts to minimize sugar-loaded and fatty foods whenever possible (Mayor Bloomberg of New York City, for example, is regulating soda pop).
Furthermore, another part of the modernizing of vending machines is alternative payment options. Let's face it - a lot of us don't carry coins or dollar bills. We carry smart phones and debit cards. More vending machines are now accepting credit and debit cards as a form of payment. More advanced machines are even allowing you to pay via smart phone.
In a world where vending machines were either going to adapt or die, it's clear that the former option is the path its taking.