­­­­­­­How technology is changing the vending and micro market landscape

March 14, 2023
A new frontier for vending and micro markets.
At Campbell’s Foodservice, we’re always looking for ways to share emerging trends that our operators are seeing first-hand. This, in combination with providing top brands like Lance®, Snyder’s of Hanover® and V8®, is how we aim to be a fully supportive partner as you seek solutions in an ever-changing industry. 

As convenience continues to drive the behavior of on-the-move consumers, vending and micro market innovations have hit full stride. With a look at how much this segment has grown, where advancements are happening and which products line up with sales goals, operators can navigate this space with more information and confidence.

Why the momentum?

With snacking making up nearly half of all eating occasions1 and 75% of consumers wanting snacks they can take with them,2 it makes sense that new micro market and vending locations continue to pop up.

Add in the fact that major food and beverage categories within the vending and micro market segment grew 46% in 2021 over the previous year’s revenue,3 and it’s clear that this segment is coming out of the pandemic with serious growth potential.

Many operators are embracing the shift toward unattended micro markets and vending machines, as they deliver significant efficiency improvements and cost savings, coupled with the convenience and safety that guests seek. This is especially true when considering that emerging technology continues to optimize the customer experience.

Where are the boundaries being pushed? 

As operators figure out how technology can play a role in their vending or micro market setting, it’s crucial to understand where advancements are happening. Here are just a few examples:

  • Cyber Link Corp., a Japan-based leader in AI facial recognition technology, has created an unmanned micro market that lets customers pay with their face. This model was tested with 1,100 employees at the company’s headquarters and simply deducted charges for micro market purchases from upcoming paychecks.
  • Ingenico, in partnership with Fulcrum Biometrics Inc., recently unveiled a highly accurate and safe biometric payment system based on palm vein identification. Less intrusive and more secure than fingerprint recognition, this method is also easier to implement for operators.
  • Secure payment leader MagTek has teamed up with hotel lobby market provider GrabScanGo to implement unattended markets that employ self-checkout terminals. These thoughtfully designed stations use a secure card reader authenticator to accept contactless, chip and magstripe transactions. 

Which products complement the innovation?

Regardless of how cutting-edge a vending machine or micro market is, guests will only return if they’re happy with the product. With 40% of consumers saying that liking the brand is an important attribute when choosing a snack,2 it’s important to offer top-performing snack brands like Snyder’s of Hanover®, the top pretzel brand in vending,4 and Lance®, America’s #1 sandwich cracker.5

Using this digital model from Campbell’s Foodservice, operators can even visualize how these brands, along with Kettle® Brand chips, Goldfish® crackers, V8® beverages and others, could show up in their micro market.

The key takeaway? The more operators learn about what’s happening in the vending and micro market space, the more prepared they’ll be to dive in when an advancement fits their goals.


1. Mintel Snacking Motivations and Attitudes–US, January 2019; IRI How America Eats: Snacking Lifestyles Are Here to Stay–4/2020; NPD Eating Patterns in America. 

2. Technomic, Inc., Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, 2020.

3. Automatic Merchandiser, State of the Industry Report June/July 2022.

4. The NPD Group/SnackTrack, % eatings, data for 4YE December 2020.

5. IRI Market Advantage, MULO, Full Size SWC L52 Weeks Ending 10/31/21. 


Business Wire / Campbell Soup Company
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