After five straight years of decline, US vending machine companies are predicted to have $7.2 billion in sales for 2014 according to IBISWorld, a global leader in gathering business intelligence for various industries.
IBIS, additionally, forecasts seeing sales rise to $7.9 billion by 2019 for this industry, which would be a 7 percent increase. This means that the American operators are starting to catch up with their European and Asian counterparts, whose vending machine sales far outweigh our own.
The reason other countries have better vending sales number are due to the fact that their machine are more futuristic and offer a far greater variety of products and services (i.e. gold bars, groceries staples, and even fresh vegetables grown in the machine under artificial light).
But the US is now catching up on this trend and its machines are not only offering gourmet food, but they are far more upscale.
Innovative thinking and technology advances can now allow vending machine to offer a variety of food, products offering, and ways to pay for your purchases.
A machine on Hollywood Boulevard dispenses fine caviar for up to a $1,000. While another Los Angeles company, Box Brands, has rolled out the BurritoBox which can not only provide a hot burrito, but also warm chips and salsa. The same company has plans to develop the PizzaBox, which will offer piping hot pies from a vending machine.
Vending machines now offer Wi-fi and high tech displays that entertain or show calorie counts to customers while waiting for their wares to be dispensed. They also employ technology that can customize products right at the machine.
L'Oreal tested a machine that will scan a customer's face and recommend make-up. Start-up Momentum Machines, a San Francisco company created a machine that create a customized burger from menu choices without any human intervention.
Also a recovering economy has helped out the industry, as far less cost-conscious shoppers don’t mind paying more for the convenience of a vending machine versus shopping around for a bargain.