Smart Vending Machines to Provide a Bright Spot for Vending Machine Demand

Though demand growth for refrigerated vending machines is expected to be rather tepid through 2024 – exacerbated by weakness in the large and mature US and Japanese markets, as well as economic factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic – smart vending machines will remain a key bright spot.

The vast majority of newly installed vending machines offer smart features and internet connectivity, which can both boost product sales and reduce maintenance expenses. The rising popularity of unattended retail in the COVID-19 era will further aid demand for these features:

  • Credit card readers and mobile payment options can boost sales in increasingly cashless societies.
  • Transaction software can inform vending operators what products are selling at a given location, enabling them to optimize sales.
  • Sensors can monitor equipment performance and notify operators of needed maintenance in a timely manner, reducing unneeded trips to the machine.

While older machines can be retrofitted to incorporate most of these features, newer machines have them built-in and also include greater energy efficiency (such as LED lighting and better performing refrigeration systems) and better visual aesthetics, so replacing older machines instead of retrofitting them is likely to provide better returns.

Global Demand for Refrigerated Vending Machines to Reach $1.6 Billion in 2024

Global demand for refrigerated vending machines is forecast to grow less than 1.0% annually through 2024, an improvement over the substantial losses of the 2014-2019 period. Among the trends that will support these minor gains are:

  • a global economic recovery during the post-pandemic period
  • expansion of their electrical grids in developing nations, helping increase consumer spending on refrigerated and frozen food and beverage products
  • the introduction of state-the-art, versatile, and efficient models, including those that accept cashless payments, which will help make vending machines an option for quick impulse purchases
  • the growing availability of refrigerated vending machines in Eastern Europe, Central and South America, the Africa/Mideast region, and numerous Asia/Pacific countries (e.g., India)

Want to Learn More?

Global Refrigerated Vending Machines is now available from the Freedonia Group. This study analyzes the global market for refrigerated vending machines by region and location. Market size and trends are also included separately for smart vending machines. Excluded from the scope of this study are vending machine parts, including retrofit products used to add smart capabilities to previously sold traditional vending machines. Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 are presented for refrigerated vending machines in current US dollars (including inflation).