What Are the Different Types of Vending Machines?

Types of Vending Machines

Looking for a passive stream of income this fall season? Consider launching a vending machine business.

Research shows the U.S. has more than 17,000 vending machine company owners in 2023. These machines are popular since today’s busy individuals are increasingly seeking easy-to-access beverages and snacks.

There are several different types of vending machines to choose from. Let’s explore the various vending machine styles available today.

Snacks and Drinks

One of the most popular vending machine options is a snack, soda, or candy machine. These types of machines are often set up in the following locations:

  • Shopping facility
  • Mall
  • Bus or train station
  • School
  • Office building

An alternative to a large snack and drink vending machine is a smaller machine offering sweet treats for 50 cents or 25 cents. Your machine may provide candies with toys, chocolates, gumballs, or hard candies.

Healthy Foods

Consider offering a healthy snack and drink vending machine. More employers are turning to these types of vending machines since they align with the main goal of their employee wellness programs: to help workers lead healthier lives. Healthy vending machines may also more easily accommodate people’s food allergies than traditional vending machines since they offer several specialty products.

A healthy vending machine replaces unhealthy snacks and desserts, like chips and mini cakes, with nutritious foods, like squeezable applesauce and trail mix. Other foods you can sell through a HealthyYou vending machine business include raisins, beef jerky, and energy bars.

These machines can be placed virtually anywhere. Set one up at a school, airport, fitness facility, hospital, or office building.

Benefits of Snack Machines

Snack machines are generally more profitable than candy machines since snacks cost more (e.g., $1 versus 50 cents). You won’t need as many snack machines to generate a profit.

A beverage and snack machine is also heavier than a candy machine. This will make stealing your machine harder.

Disadvantages of Snack Machines

A drawback of owning snack machines is they can be difficult to move to new locations since they’re heavy. They can also be vandalized. Placing your machines in visible locations inside buildings may help prevent this problem.

Vending machines contain many parts, and their internal components can become damaged in bad weather if they sit outside. Prepare to make small repairs to your machine and call a repair company to address major issues. The longer your machines aren’t operational, the less profit you’ll make.


Buying a vending machine that offers small bills (e.g., $1) and coins for credit cards and large bills (e.g., $20) is another way to generate a profit. Change vending machines work well anywhere change is needed, like laundromats and parking garages.

Business Office Supplies

Machines offering office supplies may also be worthwhile investments. These machines may provide the following items:

  • Stamps
  • Envelopes
  • Small staplers
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Notepads
  • Flash drives
  • Paper
  • Pens

College buildings and libraries are excellent places for these vending machines. Place them in airports and career centers, too.

Coffee Products

Some vending machine business owners offer hot beverages, like tea, hot chocolate, and coffee. Your customer will choose a certain type of coffee from your vending machine’s menu, and your machine will give them a cup of the coffee they’ve requested and some cream or milk if selected. Shopping facilities, college campuses, and business offices are the best places for these types of machines.

Medical Supplies and Toiletries

Yet another popular type of vending machine to invest in is one offering medical supplies and toiletries. These types of machines are usually placed in public restrooms in the following establishments:

  • Clubs
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Airports

These machines may provide a variety of items:

  • Condoms
  • Toothpaste
  • Small toothbrushes
  • Teeth floss
  • Face cloths
  • Tampons

Vending machines at airports might also offer temporary body sprays and deodorant. These products may help travelers freshen up after long flights.

Vending Machine Considerations

Launch your vending machine business with no more than a couple of machines, and expand as you begin to produce a profit. You may begin with two snack machines or one snack machine and one toiletry machine in different settings to reach different target buyers.

Analyzing each vending machine’s sales will show you which types of machines and locations are most profitable. This will help you determine the best sites to add various types of machines as you seek to grow your company.

Value of Vending Software

You can use vending machine management software to analyze your existing machines’ sales before investing in more machines. This software makes it easy to monitor your machines remotely, so it’s a smart investment if you have machines in different buildings or even in multiple cities.

Vending machine software can also help you determine which machines need more products. This inventory management feature will help you load your delivery truck more efficiently. It will also help you maximize sales by keeping your most popular products in stock.

Enjoy Different Types of Vending Machines

The different types of vending machines available today include those offering snacks, drinks, and candy. Healthy snack food vending machines are especially in demand as companies seek to give their workers access to more nutritious food choices. The snacks these vending machines offer include beef jerky and energy bars.

Other types of vending machines to choose from include those offering change, office supplies, coffee, and medical supplies or toiletries. Consider all of these machine options as you pursue the best vending machine choice for your business this year.

Also, if you enjoyed reading this article, check out our other “Business” section articles for more great content.

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