Tricks and treats of the vending industry

Oct. 30, 2014

I love Halloween, as it continually brings back nostalgic memories of costumes, candy and scary stories. Even though we’re now the ones handing out candy instead of receiving it, Halloween in a professional setting can still be fun.

For those who dare enter, here’s my take on several tricks and treats all vending operators should be aware of that drive consumers back to the machine. 


Add a cashless or mobile option: As reported in March, there is a cost to accepting cash. In fact, using cash in vending machines costs 6.54 percent of an operation’s total revenue. Offer a cashless or mobile option to some, if not all of your vending machines. It has been found that offering cashless can enhance services and increase revenue. Gen Y and Millennials will soon be the workforce in the U.S. as older generations retire and the newer generation is carrying credit/debit and their phone.

Use digital signage: Using digital signage can really benefit an operation in several ways. Digital signage oftentimes creates a sales lift, engages the user and provides the opportunity for incremental revenue.  Additionally, digital signage can run local news items and announcements, and also allows operators to market promotions.

Offer promotions: Although very few promotions are run within vending due to their difficulty, it is still possible to have them…and loyalty programs. For example, just last year USA Technologies and Softcard partnered to bring promotions to vending machines through a promotion called Fifth Purchase Free. Similarly, USConnect offers promotions at the machine, as does BYNDL and many others. Promotions are available and really do drive customer engagement…and who doesn’t like being rewarded with deals?

But let’s not forget about the delicious treats that drive consumers to vending machines in the first place.


Apple Nut Trailbreak: Launched by Kar’s Nuts, Apple Nut Trailbreak is a new product that combines many of the fall flavors consumers love including roasted and salted nuts, Greek yogurt raisins, cranberries and cinnamon apples. Oh, did I forget to mention that it also features Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ cereal?

M&M’s Crispy: Although M&M’s Crispy is not technically a new product, it has been on a ten-year hiatus, which means that its return to the market will draw consumer to the machine. I know I’m not the only one excited for this coming January, when the product officially comes out…again.

Sun-Maid Blueberry Cookies with Greek Yogurt Chips: This product combines great tastes of old and new…and is a great way to drive your customer to the machine, as Greek yogurt is a continually growing food trend with many consumers.

Get back into the Halloween spirit tomorrow. Change the vending conversation away from all of the “scary” things about vending machines and drive consumers back to the machine with these tricks and treats.