vending machine

We continue our 2021 trend series, and this time, we are moving to the vending machine industry. What challenges and developments will it face in 2021 that will help to shape the sector for the upcoming years? 

The global Vending machine market size is forecasted to grow at USD 9.82 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 11% during the forecast period. The year-over-year growth rate for 2021 is estimated at 4.7% by the end of 2024.


Last year, the vending industry prioritized cashless payments, payment security, and diverse production. In 2021, we will see more contactless payment methods, intelligent vending machines, and the industry’s efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite countless challenges that 2020 brought onto the sector, vending market share grew, and it’s expected to continue increasing. However, some countries dealt with it better than others, for instance, Europe experienced slower growth compared to the USA. 

Also, health care and sanitation challenges required market participants to find ways to limit consumer contact with machines and technician contact with clients. But let’s dig into that more below.


Vending machine trends to look for in 2021

1. Product transparency

Consumers are more concerned about the way the product they buy is made and where it’s coming from. That leads to brands being more transparent about their products to ensure customer satisfaction and trust. Vending companies should pay more attention to the quality of the product, its environmental effects and nutritional value. 

Some businesses go the extra mile and introduce QR and barcodes that allow consumers to scan and see more information about the product, its origins, and other data.

2. Medical supplies

Another thing that 2020 brought to us is a vast demand for basic sanitary supplies, such as face masks and hand sanitizers. But some countries go further by offering COVID-19 tests from vending machines. This way, people can do tests faster without needing to go to a special location or a doctor. 

While the health crisis will eventually pass, the trend might survive and could open up a niche for similar medical products, tests, and supplies. 

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3. Intelligent vending machines

Intelligent vending machines aren’t a new thing in the market, but in recent years their popularity surged rapidly and is likely to grow by 17% in the next 4 years. These machines use artificial intelligence and face recognition to personalize a consumer’s shopping experience and offer tailored solutions. 

These machines go as far as recognizing a buyer’s face and, based on the information, offer related products. While it sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, a lot of businesses use vending machines for distribution convenience and reducing last-mile delivery. 

vending machine

4. Contactless vending options

Last year we wrote about contactless payments, and it’s even more relevant in 2021. Although many companies across the world embrace contactless payment methods, countries like Japan still mainly rely on cash. 

However, nowadays, contactless methods aren’t just a nice feature, they are necessary to ensure better customer security and enhance buyer’s experience. Customers can make fast payments via a smartphone or by scanning a bank card. In times like these, contactless payments can also be an effective way to reduce physical contact.

5. IoT integration

Most of our trends this year include IoT (internet of things) on a list, and it’s there for a good reason. IoT-powered solutions save money and time for a company while helping to personalize and improve customer service. 

So how can IoT integration benefit your vending business? By collecting data (transactions, movement sensors) you can analyze your customer base, personalize your services, optimize back-office and technician work, and make data-driven business decisions, maximizing your revenue. 

Based on connected devices you can control your warehouse balances more efficiently and never go out of stock unexpectedly. IoT solutions are an investment, but in the upcoming years, the influence and prevalence of connected devices will surge, so it’s better to be prepared.


Vending FSM solution

Some of these trends might sound futuristic and complicated, but don’t get put off just yet. You can simplify your journey towards digitalization in small steps. Tasker helps vending companies come closer to modernization and embrace the most recent market trends. 

We built our software to facilitate business operation management, automate your workforce, and simplify daily operations. If you think this is something that your business could benefit from, don’t wait and book our free demo to learn more about Tasker functionality.