The vending industry growth curve is set to break free in 2022. The country is wading out of a couple of years of constrained social and business activity. Public spaces are opening, and travel is slowly returning to normalcy. There is a growing need for convenient access to products or supplies. This, combined with novel applications and emerging technologies, make vending an attractive industry to be in.
Industry reports indicate strong growth in revenues from the vending industry in 2022. This report from a leading analyst places the estimated revenue for 2022 at $8.9 billion. As the mobility constraints from 2020 are being released, the industry has nowhere to go but up. This is evident from the graph.
Another report states that while the industry will grow at 0.8% year over year since 2017, players have increased by about 3.5%. This is a clear indication that small single machine owners have increased. With low barriers to entry and minimal bandwidth requirements, the vending industry has become a neat side hustle for many.
10 Technology Trends in 2022
The vending industry is not just growing in revenue in 2022. Still, it is also expected to further the progress in technological advancements. Some of these technological advancements are discussed in this section.
Contactless and Cashless
We may return to handshakes and hugs with people we know sometime in the future, but interacting with vending hardware has been forever changed. Users want minimal contact with surfaces. This is not just about hygiene any longer. The convenience of cards, digital wallets, and NFC payments means a lesser need for liquid cash. This also eliminates the chances of misplacing, losing, or stealing money. Growing disposable income in the hands of millennials will translate to increased cashless transactions. Vending machines must be ready to receive them.
Electronic payment systems come with added benefits. Solutions like Greenlite Vending consolidate transaction summaries to analyze machine sales. Users can use the tool to check machine status and run over-the-air updates for software. Such solutions also trigger alerts about machine health and transaction details. They not only allow the user to transact without contact, but they also allow the operator to manage the machine remotely.
Contactless payments can reduce the chances of physical interaction with the machine, but one still needs to select the product and collect it. UV systems can irradiate the contact areas before and after a transaction to ensure 99.9% of the viruses and bacteria are killed or inactivated.
eVending uses UVend Technology to disinfect touch panels, delivery doors and payment interfaces with ultraviolet rays. Its proximity sensors ensure clearance for user safety before initiating irradiation. Ultraviolet light is not in the visible spectrum, so UVend Technology uses blue light to alert users that sanitization is in process.
As the number of small players increases, there will continue to be a demand for machines that can sell anything. Combo machines that can sell beverages and snacks are preferred over single product machines. Configurable machines that can sell products of different sizes, shapes, and weights will become the rage.
The growing awareness about personal protection and social hygiene is shoring up the demand for PPE equipment and supplies. The challenge will be in the form-factor of these products. A latex glove box will be very different in shape and form from an alcohol based sanitizer bottle. Super-conscious users will continue to drive the demand for versatile machines selling PPE supplies. eVending helps this issue by offering PPE supplies through our Sani-Center PPE Vending Machine.
Machine owners can optimize their visits to restock the machines if they have prior information on what has been sold and what has not. Remote monitoring features on the machine can help achieve that. They can also find out about machine breakdown and other “machine status” related information as it happens.
Responsible and Sustainable Refrigerants
The refrigerants in vending machines selling snacks and beverages are changing fast, too. R290 or Hydrocarbon based systems are quickly replacing the R410A systems. R32 systems are not as energy-efficient and eco-friendly as R134a making the latter a more economical option.
All the technology advancements discussed earlier are not just for new machines. Leading vending machine manufacturers have developed modular systems that can also be retrofitted to legacy equipment. This can modernize your existing machines without spending on an entirely new machine. Of course, not every feature can be retrofitted. Please contact your sales representative if you have any questions.
2022 is going to be an exciting year for the vending industry. It is not just because people are going to be more mobile and interact more with vending machines. It is more so because the emerging technology trends will level the playing field. First-time machine owners and small vending businesses can now invest and differentiate faster than established businesses. On the other hand, established companies will have to consider buying new machines, upgrades, and retrofits to stay relevant in a dynamic market.
If you are excited about carving your slice of success in the vending industry or growing your vending business in 2022, eVending can help. If you want to know how we can enable your success in the vending business in 2022, call us at 1-888-979-9858.