Companies in this industry sell soft drinks, candy, snacks, and other products through vending machines that they service. Major US companies include American Food and Vending, AVI Food Systems, and divisions of ARAMARK and Coca-Cola; outside the US, major companies include China's Ubox, Japan's DyDo Group, and Switzerland's Selecta, as well as the vending machine units of UK-based firms Compass Group and Sodexo.
Consumer spending and employment growth drive demand, since many vending machines are located in workplaces. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective merchandising, reliable service and maintenance, and securing prime locations. Large companies can offer a wide product selection, service large accounts, and enjoy scale advantages in purchasing, finance, and distribution. Small companies can compete effectively by serving a local market, providing superior customer service, or offering unique products. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies generate just over 50% of industry sales.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products sold include soft drinks (about 40% of sales), candy and snacks, hot beverages, hot and cold meal products, and ice cream. The majority of cold beverages sold are soft drinks in cans, bottles, or cups. Candy includes chocolate, gum, and mints. Snacks include salty snacks (potato chips and pretzels); baked goods (cookies and cakes); crackers, nuts, and seeds; and nutritious bars. Companies may also offer office coffee services (OCS) and provide brewing machines, sweeteners, and cream. With bulk vending, machines dispense candies, nuts, gumballs, or capsules containing novelty items.