Most Popular Snacks and Drinks for Vending Machines (2022)

Vending machines have been a popular convenience item in businesses around the world for some time. They provide an easy and quick way for companies to provide snacks and beverages to employees, customers, and visitors while on-the-go. In fact, there are approximately 2.08 vending machines in the U.S. alone as of 2020, producing $23 billion in revenue every year! Additionally, vending machines today are becoming even more convenient by offering cashless payment options. If you don’t have a vending machine yet, it’s time to consider it as a convenient offering to the people frequenting your business.

Many often wonder which snacks and beverages to choose for their vending machine. Of course, you will want to choose items that are popular and satisfied peoples’ snack preferences. 360Connect looked into the most popular snacks and drinks for vending machines nationwide. We also surveyed our own team to find out 360Connect’s personal preferences. Here are the results!

Snacks

It’s important to include a variety of snacks in your vending machine, to cater to a variety of consumer preferences. Keep in mind that some people may use a vending machine for a quick, on-the-go healthy snack when they don’t have time to cook or stop for lunch. Others may want a decadent treat during their day. Healthy snack options accounted for 7.6% of vending machine sales in 2018, so don’t forget to include your nutritious items! Here are the most popular vending machine snacks ranked in order.

1. Snickers Bar

The number one snack preference for vending machines in the U.S. is Snickers bars! Are you surprised? Many people crave a sweet, chocolatey treat mid-day, right between lunch and dinner. In fact, NBC News rated Snickers bars as the most popular U.S. Candy bar in 2012, grossing over $400 million in sales every year. Woah!

2. Clif Bars

Clif bars are another crowd favorite for vending machines, and it makes sense! They are great for either breakfast or a midday snack, and provide 10g of protein. This is great for people who either want something nutritious or a meal replacement, since they provide your body with what it needs to sustain a busy work day. Some of the most popular Clif Bar flavors include:

(Video) Top 10 Most Popular Vending Machine Snacks

  • White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Blueberry Crisp
  • Chocolate Brownie

3. Pop-Tarts

Ever been running late to work or an appointment and missed breakfast? We’ve all been there! Sometimes, you just wish there was a convenient breakfast option at your fingertips when you’re on-the-go. That’s why pop-tarts are so popular in vending machines across the country! According to tons of reviews, the most popular pop-tart flavors are Frosted Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon.

4. Sun Chips

It’s hard to resist a good bag of potato chips. It’s a great lunch time snack and it goes with just about anything! While Lays potato chips are a popular option, people today love Sun Chips because they’re lower in fat, some in lots of unique flavors, and are 100% whole grain. Plus, they taste great!

5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

It’s no secret that Americans love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! It’s very likely you’ve seen Reese’s in a vending machine before. Did you know Reese’s is the 3rd most popular snack brand in the nation? According to a YouGov survey, 81% of respondents had a positive opinion of Reese’s while only 6% had a negative opinion. And guess which generation loves Reese’s cups the most? Baby boomers!

6. Planters Trail Mix

I don’t know about you, but I love a snack that’s both sweet and salty. Trail mix is a great addition to any vending machine because it’s non-perishable, provides protein and fiber, and still gives you that touch of sweetness that you’re craving. Planters “Nuts and Chocolate” Trail Mix snack bags are a moderate 2 oz and include peanuts, m&ms, raisins, and almonds.

7. Granola Bars

Granola bars are another great versatile vending machine item because they can be eaten for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They’re also much more nutritious compared to other common vending machine items, which is great for those who are looking for something healthy. Popular granola bars found in vending machines today include Nature’s Valley, Kind bars, and Chewy granola bars.

8. Cheez-its

It’s a good idea to include at least one type of cracker in your vending machine. While Cheez-its may not be the healthiest cracker in the world, it’s probably the most popular. They’ve been a staple in grocery stores and vending machines for 100 years. There are conveniently sized 1.5 oz Cheez-its snack bags that are a perfect choice for vending machines.

(Video) 3 Items You Need In Your Snack Machine

9. Chex Mix

We all know someone who loves a salty snack. Chex Mix are one of the most popular snacks for vending machines because they contain fewer calories than other salty snacks like Fritos and Doritos. Plus, like trail mix, they give us a variety of tastes all in one!

10. Pretzels

You can’t go wrong with adding pretzels to your vending machine. Pretzels are popular snacks because they are relatively healthy, low fat, and low-calorie. They also provide complex carbohydrates and that boost of energy that so many of us need during a midday slump. Some popular pretzel brands include Rold Gold, Snyder’s, and even Goldfish Pretzels!

Drinks

Don’t forget the drinks! Many businesses utilize vending machines in order to offer a snack to employees and customers, but they forget the importance of offering beverages, too. Drinks are the most profitable category for vending machine offerings, making up 31.2% of all vending machine purchase every year. Similar to snack offerings, you will want to make sure your vending machine is stocked with a variety of drink options – including caffeinated and non-caffeinated, carbonated and non-carbonated, and sweet and non-sweet drinks. Here are the most popular drinks for vending machines ranked!

1. Water bottles

Every vending machine that offers drinks should include water bottles. Even though water may be seemingly easy to find for free, lots of people frequenting your business may have forgotten their water bottle at home and need to stay hydrated while working or on-the-go. Some common brands of bottled water found in vending machines include Evian, Dasani, and Aquafina. By the way, if you want to offer water to employees and customers outside of a vending machine, you might want to consider a water service.

2. Energy drinks

There are definitely times when we just need that extra boost of energy to get us through the day! That’s why energy drinks are popular items in vending machines in businesses everywhere. They appeal to people who don’t like coffee but still need their caffeine fix. Some popular energy drinks to stock in your vending machine include Red Bull and Monster. There are also healthier energy drink alternatives these days, such as Yerbamate.

(Video) Best Selling Vending Machine Snacks (NAYAX coupon in description!)

3. Cold Coffee

Coffee is the go-to workday drink of Americans! Workplaces everywhere are providing coffee because of its popularity and benefits. However, if you don’t offer piping hot coffee to your employees and visitors, you may want to add cold coffee alternatives to your vending machine. Oftentimes, people will be running late and miss out on their cup of morning joe. Cold coffee at the touch of a button is likely just what these folks are looking for when they’re on the move! Some options for cold coffee include cold brew and iced coffee blends. By the way, if you want to offer coffee to employees and customers outside of a vending machine, you might want to consider a coffee service.

4. Vitamin Water

Sports drinks are popular items for vending machines because they are flavored (compared to plain water) and do a good job of hydrating you throughout the day. Plus they are healthier than soda or other sugary drinks. Vitamin water is a popular sports drink for vending machines because it provides vitamins and electrolytes and comes in many tasty flavors.

5. Soda

Carbonated soda is a must-have in vending machines. A Gallup poll reported that almost 50% of Americans like to drink soda at least once a day! There are tons of options to choose from when it comes to soda. Additionally, you can choose to provide either cans or plastic bottles. The most popular sodas for vending machines include:

  • Coke
  • Pepsi
  • Sprite
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Mountain Dew

6. Diet Soda

Be sure to include diet options for sodas, as well! Some soda lovers prefer the healthier, lower-calorie version of the sweet, carbonated drink. Gallup researchers found that even though less people in America prefer diet soda to regular soda, more women and elderly people preferred diet. It’s best to provide options for either preference. We recommend adding Diet Coke or Pepsi to your machine!

7. Gatorade

Gatorade is another popular sports drink for vending machines. It’s a household name and a great electrolyte-replenisher. It’s no wonder tons of people expect to see Gatorade in a vending machine. Gatorade comes in lots of flavors, such as Orange, Lemon-Lime, Fruit Punch, and more. Plus, you can add Gatorade Zero as a healthy alternative, which is a zero-calorie version of the popular drink.

8. Iced Tea

Remember that not everybody likes carbonated beverages. Some prefer a cold, refreshing drink like iced tea. There are lots of choices when it comes to iced teas that will be sure to sell from your vending machine. For instance, you can offer sweet tea, unsweet tea, and green tea. As far as brands, you might consider:

(Video) Snacks & Drinks Vending Machine

  • Gold Peak Tea
  • Lipton Tea
  • Honest Tea

9. Seltzer

Seltzer (aka carbonated water) is becoming a more and more popular drink today. As of 2017, seltzer sales were up by 42% and were not slowing down. Part of the reason seltzer is so popular today is because many brands are releasing new flavored seltzers. Some popular brands of seltzers you should consider adding to your vending machine are:

  • La Croix
  • Polar
  • Schweppes
  • Perrier

10. Lemonade

Lemonade is another sweet, refreshing vending machine favorite. When it comes to stocking your machine with lemonade products, you can choose from classic sweetened lemonade, diet or low-sugar lemonade, pink lemonade, and even raspberry lemonade! Some common lemonade brands found in vending machines include:

  • Minute Maid
  • Simply Lemonade
  • Newman’s
  • Tropicana

360Connect’s Top Picks

We surveyed our team to find out which snacks and drinks they prefer when using a vending machine at work! Here’s the results -

Top Snacks for 360Connect:

  1. Snickers
  2. Clif Bars

Top drinks for 360Connect:

  1. Soda
  2. Coffee

Learn More

Do you own or looking into owning a vending machine? Make sure to look at the best locations for vending machines to ensure a great profit.

If you are looking for a cost-efficient way to offer snacks and drinks to employees, customers, or visitors at your workplace, we recommend comparing options for vending machines. Vending machines will give you the most amount of options to offer on a low budget. Get started by reading our Vending Machine Buyer’s Guide. Then, compare up to 5 quotes - for free - by visiting our online comparison tool!

FAQs

What type of vending machines sell the most? ›

Snack machines stocked with savory and sweet treats like chips and chocolate bars and cold drink machines stocked with Pepsi, Coca-Cola, or other soft drink products, water, and iced tea make up the largest share of the U.S. vending machine industry — almost 30%. The margins for these items are impressive.

What are the most profitable vending dispensing machines? ›

The Most Profitable Vending Machines
  • Branded soda machines: Soda machines are the most popular type of vending machines. ...
  • Glass-front snack machines: Chips and candy bars are staples in the vending machine industry.
4 Mar 2022

What stuff normally goes in a vending machine? ›

Products may include candy, cookies, chips, fresh fruit, milk, cold food, coffee and other hot drinks, bottles and cans of soda and other drinks, and even frozen products like ice cream. These products can be sold from machines that include hot coffee, snack, cold food, and 20 US fluid ounces (590 ml) bottle machines.

How do I increase vending machine sales? ›

Running offers and promotions- Cashbacks, discounts, giveaways provide the incentive to customers to keep buying and engaging with the vending machine and your brand. You could also run a referral campaign to engage more customers and engage even more people.

Are vending machines profitable 2022? ›

Yes, vending machines are still quite profitable. When learning how to start a vending machine business, you'll quickly realize that vending machines have a very small startup cost and great potential for high returns depending on where it is located and the products you offer.

Is owning a vending machine worth it? ›

Are vending machines profitable? Yes, vending machines can be profitable. The average vending machine earns $35 a week, but vending machines that are well-stocked and placed in safe, high-traffic locations can generate over $400 a month.

How much money does a vending machine make in a year? ›

Sales of goods/products: You can earn revenue by selling products, directly through your vending machines. The average margin on most of the products is 20%-25% and the margin on fresh food is in the range of 30-45%. This is the primary and one of the biggest sources of revenue from a vending machine.

What is the profit margin on vending machines? ›

Profit Per Item Sold

Most vending machine owners mark up the price of their products at least 100%... but oftentimes as much as 200% or 300% or more. For example, a can of soda pop may cost you $0.31, but you may charge your customers $0.75 (a 242% mark-up) or $1.00 (a 323% mark-up) for it.

Can I sell anything I want in a vending machine? ›

Starting with a simple version of vending in the 1880s, it has evolved into a one-of-a-kind storage solution for whatever you want to sell. You can sell anything, from cars to sanitary products. As a result, it has surfaced as one of the most popular vending options among business owners.

How many snacks fit in a vending machine? ›

What is the item capacity of a Large Snack Vending Machine? Large Snack Vending Machines can hold a maximum of around 617 items. How big is a Large Snack Vending Machine? Large Snack Vending Machines are typically around 76 3/8” | 194 cm in height, 40 3/4” | 103.6 cm wide, and 31” | 79 cm in depth.

How do you program a snack vending machine? ›

Setting The Price - YouTube

How do you market a vending machine? ›

10 Clever Advertising Tips to Help Promote Your Vending Machine Business
  1. Build Your Email List. ...
  2. Make the Most of SEO. ...
  3. Make the Most of Social Media. ...
  4. Understand Your Target Audience. ...
  5. Invest in Social Media Influencers. ...
  6. Understand the 80/20 Rule for Content. ...
  7. Diversify Your Efforts. ...
  8. Create a Strong Web Presence.
15 May 2019

How much does the average vending machine cost? ›

The cost of a typical new vending machine is usually between $3000 and $7000, but many more advanced machines are being sold for higher amounts over $10,000. The most expensive vending machines on the market today can cost up to $ 38,000 (like some of the Moet and Chandon champagne vending machines).

How much does vending machines make a month? ›

On average, a single vending machine generates more than $75 in revenue. So, how much do vending machines make? On a monthly basis, an individual vending machine can make more than $300. That's a pretty decent business for those who invest in several machines over the long term.

Can I put a vending machine anywhere? ›

Note: You can't just place your vending machine anywhere without permission! Most locations will require you to follow state and local vending laws. You will often have to sign a contract with the property owner. Make sure to read up on state and local vending laws when doing your research.

Are gumball machines profitable? ›

Assuming a profit of about 22 cents per gumball, at least 500 gumballs are needed to pay off the cheapest machine. So yes, gumball machines are almost always profitable; it is just a matter of time. Since you could always sell the gumball machine, it is easy to break even at least.

Are vending machines still profitable? ›

The classic 80/20 Pareto Principle works for vending companies as well. The majority of your machine placements will result in low but steady profits over time. One machine may make no more than $5 per week while others make $100 or more.

Do I need a permit for a vending machine in Texas? ›

A Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit is required to sell coin-operated machines. The General Business, Import and Repair Licenses are three separate and distinct licenses.

How long does it take for a vending machine to pay for itself? ›

While payback times could be even less than the claimed 6 months, so many factors and potential problems go into this outcome that it is hard to predict. In reality, most vending machines earn back their costs through concession sales in 12 to 14 months.

How much electricity does a vending machine use? ›

A vending machine uses anywhere from 7-14 kWh daily to cool beverages, which can average $250-500 a year to run. Slash your operating expenses with these low-budget options. Calculated using one machine using 10 kWh daily / 3,650 kWh annually and a $0.10/kWh electricity rate.

How much does a vending machine make in a day? ›

At an average of 10 sales per day, the machine's gross income is $20 per day. But the sodas cost the vending machine owner $1.50 apiece, which means his profit is only 50 cents per bottle.

How much does is cost to stalk a vending machine? ›

Some Locations Require Fixed Fees

This fee varies depending on the type of machine installed, but typically ranges from around $5 per month for simple stand-alone machines, such as gumball machines, to as much as $50 per month for coffee and snack vending machines that require electricity or water.

How much do chips cost in a vending machine? ›

The general rule in pricing your vending product is to price it for double the cost of the item. Therefore the general rule would make candy bars priced at $1.10, chips for $0.50 cents, soda cans for $0.65 cents and soda bottles for $1.20.

What is the markup on a vending machine? ›

Some vending machines sales will reap less profits than others. So depending on your required profit margins, it may not always be profitable to stock the machine with products which are hard to find and high priced. Pro-Tip: Your profit margin for a vending machine location should be 55% or more.

Is there an app to find vending machines? ›

Vndr is a newly created app that shows the user all the vending machines near them (using their smartphones' GPS). It also indicates what sort of payment the vending machine accepts, which is important to the cashless generation.

Can you put vending machines outside? ›

You can technically put a vending machine outside. However, besides the fact that most vending machines require an electrical outlet to run and should be placed under a roof to protect from rain damage and other weather damage, there are many reasons why not to place a vending machine outside.

How much profit does a vending machine make? ›

On average, a single vending machine generates more than $75 in revenue. So, how much do vending machines make? On a monthly basis, an individual vending machine can make more than $300. That's a pretty decent business for those who invest in several machines over the long term.

What is the profit margin on vending machines? ›

Profit Per Item Sold

Most vending machine owners mark up the price of their products at least 100%... but oftentimes as much as 200% or 300% or more. For example, a can of soda pop may cost you $0.31, but you may charge your customers $0.75 (a 242% mark-up) or $1.00 (a 323% mark-up) for it.

Can you sell anything you want in a vending machine? ›

You can sell just about anything out of a vending machine.

How long does it take for a vending machine to pay for itself? ›

While payback times could be even less than the claimed 6 months, so many factors and potential problems go into this outcome that it is hard to predict. In reality, most vending machines earn back their costs through concession sales in 12 to 14 months.

Are vending machines a good side hustle? ›

Starting a vending machine business could be one of the best side hustles out there, as this business idea has fairly low startup costs and only requires occasional maintenance. Your main startup costs will be the vending machine itself, your inventory, and any location costs.

How much does is cost to stalk a vending machine? ›

Some Locations Require Fixed Fees

This fee varies depending on the type of machine installed, but typically ranges from around $5 per month for simple stand-alone machines, such as gumball machines, to as much as $50 per month for coffee and snack vending machines that require electricity or water.

How much does a vending machine make daily? ›

Most vending machines earn less than $5 per week. However, a well-placed vending machine can earn far more than that, potentially exceeding $100 per week or even hundreds of dollars per day.

How much electricity does a vending machine use? ›

A vending machine uses anywhere from 7-14 kWh daily to cool beverages, which can average $250-500 a year to run. Slash your operating expenses with these low-budget options. Calculated using one machine using 10 kWh daily / 3,650 kWh annually and a $0.10/kWh electricity rate.

Is it hard to start a vending machine business? ›

Owning anywhere from a few to a few hundred vending machines can be a manageable, successful business for owners of any experience level. The cost to start a vending machine is basically just the cost of the machines and stocking them—you won't need an office space to house them.

Can you sell condoms in a vending machine? ›

There is no state law or regulation prohibiting the sale of condoms in vending machines.

What would be strange to see for sale in a vending machine? ›

Here are 15 weird things you can actually buy at vending machines around the world.
  • Surgical masks. When air quality gets bad in Japan, head for a vending machine. ...
  • Caviar. Craving caviar? ...
  • Neckties. ...
  • Gold. ...
  • Hair extensions. ...
  • Champagne. ...
  • T-shirts & lingerie. ...
  • Cupcakes.
28 Apr 2018

How long does it take to fill a vending machine? ›

It takes about 15 business days to have your vending machine installed and filled. Vending Solutions process for vending machine installation is simple and seamless.

How much does a vending machine cost? ›

A refrigerated vending machine costs around $8,000-$11,000. The refrigeration unit can increase the price of a vending machine by $2,000.

What could you get from the first vending machine? ›

706 for creating the first fully-automatic vending machine, dispensing stamps. In 1883, Percival Everett was the first man to introduce a modernised vending machine, which dispensed postcards.

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