Hot food vending solutions for convenience services operators

June 24, 2024
Exhibitors at the 2024 NAMA Show showcased the latest innovations in hot food vending technology.

The hot food vending machine industry is set to reach approximately $4.8 billion in 2024 for the U.S. and Canada, according to a report by Future Market Insights, and it has the potential to progress a CAGR of 6.60% through 2034. By the end of the forecast period, this valuation is slated to surpass $9.1 billion. The report notes that recent advancements in food dispensing systems have changed the way people see food vending machines, gaining considerable consumer appreciation, especially in urban areas.

This emergence of hot food vending machines was also evident at the 2024 NAMA Show – with plenty of buzz from attendees about the latest technology featured within Imagination Way.

“It’s always great to see the new technologies that are driving the convenience industry at the NAMA Show,” said Benoit Herve, founder and CEO of LBX Food Robotics. “We had a front row seat with Bake Xpress as part of Imagination Way, and we were pleased to see that the quality of food our machine can bake along with its customization options continue to excite our target customers. The most exciting trend we are seeing is how folks are combining next-generation machines to create full-service solutions. We have customers that have paired Bake Xpress with a robotic coffee barista for an automated coffeeshop or use Fastcorp’s age-verification technology to add alcohol vending so they can offer beer and pizza, for example. Imagination Way was a great collaborative example of how machines can be combined in this way.”

Another innovator that’s advancing the convenience services industry is RoboBurger, which was also featured in Imagination Way. RoboBurger is a fully autonomous robotic burger machine built with a grill, toaster and condiment dispenser to provide 24/7 access to freshly grilled burgers. RoboBurger can cook a burger in four to five minutes, and it uses premium ingredients.

“RoboBurger’s launch at NAMA generated tremendous interest and excitement, especially from unattended retail operators adding RoboBurger as their hot grill option,” said Audley Wilson, CEO of RoboBurger Enterprises Inc. “We are expanding into more offices and colleges and are looking forward to scaling into convenience stores, airports, and more locations across the USA and beyond.”

Within Imagination Way, Micromart also showcased its hot food capability with the Micromart Cooking Tower. Using induction technology, Micromart Smart Cookers evenly heat meals, delivering restaurant-quality results. Customers are offered a wide selection of meals securely sealed and heated in aluminum trays – without mess, smell or splatter. And the intuitive touchscreen interface of the Micromart Cooking Tower provides customer transparency on nutrition, allergens and real-time heating status.

“The Micromart Cooking Tower received immense interest at this year’s NAMA Show, reflecting the growing demand for hot food solutions in micro markets,” said Yang Yu, co-founder and CEO of Micromart. “Having successfully heated over 300,000 meals through our KitchenMate division in Toronto, we’re excited to offer the proven Micromart Cooking Tower to food service operators across the U.S. and Canada.”

Automated Retail Technologies (ART) also showcased its hot food robotic kiosk at its booth at the NAMA Show. Just Baked Smart Bistro kiosks can produce giant cinnamon rolls, White Castle Cheeseburger Sliders, bao buns, breakfast sandwiches and other options with a click of a button. Sodexo recently announced it has partnered with ART to deploy thousands of Just Baked kiosks across its network of healthcare, education and corporate clients throughout the U.S. in a move aimed at redefining hot food robotic technology.

“Our dedication to innovation in convenience, dining, and the broader evolution of food hinges entirely on technological advancements,” Husein Kitabwalla, CEO, tech and services and food transformation, Sodexo North America, said in the announcement. “We’re excited to collaborate with ART and leverage their Just Baked Technology, further expanding our network of partners utilizing AI for food production and bringing our clients and consumers foods that transcend conventional norms.”

With increasing innovations to advance the technology, such as the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning, hot food vending is poised for continued growth, offering these non-traditional solutions to vending and micro market operators.

This article has been updated since publication. The market for hot food vending is $4.8 billion in 2024 for the U.S. and Canada, and it is predicted to reach $9.1 billion by 2034, according to a report by Future Market Insights. We regret the error.

About the Author

Molly Rogers | Editor-in-Chief

Molly Rogers was the editor-in-chief of Automatic Merchandiser and, bringing 20 years of experience in custom publishing, B2B and B2C magazines, as well as advertising and marketing. She is dedicated to serving readers by covering the latest news in the vending, office coffee service and micro market industry and helping companies connect to their audiences through strong editorial solutions. Molly is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and she can be reached at [email protected] or (205) 409-0843.



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