Category Archives: Coffee Vending Machines

How Much Do Vending Machines Make

Have you been searching for an investment opportunity that you can run on a part-time basis and one that does not need any special training? Then you should consider investing in a vending machine business. You don’t have to hire anyone to manage a vending machine as you can do it yourself or ask a member of your household to do it. This saves on labor costs.

Today in the United States, there are roughly 5 million operational vending units. Unsurprisingly, a 2018 report shows that food and beverage vending machines are leading the line. They occupy 56% of the market share. So, if you are looking to start on a business line that’s tested and proven, then you should try the food and beverage product line. You can dispense anything from snacks to soft drinks.

Maybe you are thinking that vending machines only sell sugar stuff like candies and chocolate bars. This is not entirely true as you decide on what foods to stock. So, you can sell healthy choices if you want to. Other benefits that come with a vending machine include scalability and cash-based transactions. You only need one vending machine to start with and it can generate the capital you need to set up another.

As for the payments, customers can’t buy on credit. The machines can only dispense when cash is slotted or when a payment card is swiped. Moreover, a vending machine is simple to maintain. All that is needed is regular restocking and maintenance. After all this, you must be asking, are they profitable? Let’s answer the question below.

Establishing the Profit Index

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) estimates that roughly $20 billion is generated in the United States yearly by the 5 million active vending machines. On average, this means that each vending machine barely makes $5 a week. The survey shows that vending machines are not an instant jackpot and so you shouldn’t expect to make thousands of dollars from them.

Most vending machines entrepreneurs think that setting up several machines is critical in generating more revenue. This might be true but it’s necessary to establish your profit index first. Look at it this way:

Setting up a beverage dispensing machine allows you to sell 20 bottles per day on average. If your unit price is $1, this means you’ll be making $20 daily in sales. But suppose each bottle cost you $0.80 – you’ll only make $4 a day. This implies that you’ll be making $28 a week and $120 a month.

But remember, there are a few costs that are tantamount to deductions on your sales. For example, you’ll have to cater for electricity cost if your vending machine is an electronic type. You’ll also have to pay a vending machine professional to inspect and maintain your unit once. Furthermore, sourcing your supplies from afar means you’ll have to incur transportation costs if they don’t offer free shipping.

Steps to Making Money

Since a vending machine can be profitable, it all boils down to the decisions you make before and after setting up the business. To improve your chances of making money, here are key steps to follow:

  • Detailed research – When it comes to buying a vending machine, you can buy a new machine and build the business from scratch or buy an already operational vending machine. The latter means having access to immediate and consistent cash flow. If you decide to settle on the former, you’ll have to wait before cash can start flowing.
  • Identify a niche – You should identify a gap in the market that you can exploit. If it’s food that you want to sell, go for healthy options. You can also diversify to offer hot options. This decision should be arrived after studying your target audience.
  • Moving items – Buyers are always looking for snacks, hot drinks, and cold beverages. So, dispensing such options means more opportunities to make more sales. You can also dispense personal items like OTC drugs, toothpaste, and hygiene supplies. They also move easily.
  • Strategic location – You may be selling moving items but fail to generate as much money as you want if your vending machines are not strategically located. You need to set up the machines in heavy-traffic areas like shopping malls, bus terminals, airports, and main streets. You can also set up your business in a school, hospital, an office complex or within a company.
  • Extra investments – Though you may not be there all the time, you should hear the grievances and suggestions of your customers. This means investing in the right customer service. You can attach an SMS number or email address on the vending machines that they can use to talk to you.

You also need to invest in the right VMS (Vending Management System) if your vending machine is electronic. This allows you to manage your inventory and monitor your revenue seamlessly. Last but not least, you should invest enough time into the business. You need to be checking up on the machine as frequently as possible.

  • Bulk sourcing – When sourcing your products, you should learn to do it in bulk so as you can earn a valuable discount. This allows you to improve your profit index. You also save on transport cost.
  • Proper maintenance – No customer likes a poorly maintained or filthy-looking vending machine. It’s a turn-off. You need to clean your vending machine regularly and have it serviced by an expert occasionally. If any repairs are needed, you should learn to respond punctually.

Startup Costs

The first and most important startup cost is the cost of the machine. Generally, the price of buying vending machines depends on machine type, brand, size, and customization. On average, you’ll spend $2,000-$3,000 on a mechanical machine and $3,000 or more on an electronic type. Other notable startup costs include:

  • Stock – For your vending machine to be operational, you must stock it. At least, you need to budget for the opening stock. What you earn from it can be reinvested into the business.
  • Installation cost –If you are installing a vending machine within an existing business such as a shopping mall or a company complex, you may be required to pay rent. This is a major cost you need to budget for.

Closing Thought:

Without a doubt, vending machines can make you money. You just have to be realistic with your expectations and understand what the market needs. Selling the right items and targeting the right customers is critical in making money. So, it’s a decent business idea for someone looking to generate some cash on the side.

How Many Vending Machines in Japan

One thing is for sure when you visit Japan; there are vending machines in almost every street you walk. From dispensing simple supplies like basic groceries to weird options like underwear and puppies, there are so many options. There are even vending machines for prayer cards, gifts, and surgical masks. According to a survey by the Japan Vending Machines Association, more than 5 million vending units are spread nationally. This means that there’s a vending machine to serve every 23 individuals.

This is not all. The association argues that at least $60 billion is generated in sales annually by local vending machines. Leading the pack are vending dispensers for fast-moving items like sodas, water, hot foods, candies, and energy drinks. If you observe closely, you’ll notice that vending machines epitomize the Japanese culture. You’ll see print details of the Japanese lifestyle in the design of the vending machines.

Why So Many Vending Machines?

This is an obvious question when you first land in Japan, especially Tokyo. If you compare the streets of Tokyo with places like New York or Dubai, you’ll notice that there are as many vending machines in Tokyo as the tall buildings. This is understandable if you consider these factors:

  1. Scarce Labor

For a long time now, the Japanese birthrate has been on a decline with the aging population on a rise. There’s also the aspect of fewer immigrants moving to the country. This has made labor to be scarce. As a way to compensate for labor scarcity, Japanese investors are opting for vending machines. These machines require low human input and can run 24/7. According to a macroeconomics book, vending machines in Japan are slowly substituting sales clerks.

  1. Dense Population

Japan is almost the same size as the State of California. Her population, however, is astonishing. It’s estimated to be 127 million. This is quite impressive knowing that 75% of the country is mountainous. The rugged landscape has pushed most Japanese to the city where they are densely populated. This has opened up opportunities for vending machine investors since a dense population is almost a guaranteed market.

  1. Extreme Weather

The summer can get unnervingly hot in Japan while the winter can get icy cold. Such extreme temperatures require a quick fix. For example, you need a hot cup of tea or coffee when it’s freezing and a cold soda or water when it’s very hot. Such solutions are readily availed by the numerous vending machines that are found in Japan.

  1. Cheap Maintenance

Most vending machines in Japan are automated. This means that minimal labor is required to inspect and clean them. You don’t have to pay any salary to an employee as the machines are DIY. Additionally, they suffer very minimal breakdowns. Investors are generally happy with the idea of having to give just a few hours of their time and go back home to wait for the machines to make money.

  1. Safe Country

Based on a 2010 UN security report, Japan tops the list as the safest country in the world. The security report shows that very few robbery incidences are recorded in Japan. This has made it easy for vending machines investors to set up the units in different places without worrying that someone will vandalize or steal from them. Unlike the United States, most vending machines in Japan are stand-alone.

  1. Cash-based Economy

Investors like this aspect of vending machines since no one buys on credit. They are guaranteed a stream of cash as long as their vending units are working. The advantage to the consumer is that both coins and Japanese bills are accepted. So, you don’t need a debit card or credit card to buy from vending machines. This makes it easy for someone with as little as 10 yens to make a purchase.

  1. Commuter-friendly

Though Japan is known as a leading automaker, most locals prefer to walk to work, use a bike or catch the train. This is quite common in Tokyo. As a result, the streets are likely to be jammed with commuters. As expected, investors have identified the jammed streets as a selling point. So, they put vending machines along these streets to lure the commuters.

  1. Convenient Buying

If you get hungry or thirsty suddenly in Japan, there’s always a sense of relief as you are assured the next vending machine is a few meters away. The same goes for OTC drugs and personal hygiene items. Buying from this outlet is faster since there are no lines as it’s normally the case with retail stores. This is a great thing for a busy nation like Japan.

  1. Robotics Obsession

Japan is historically obsessed with automata. This is according to a 2007 publication by the Japan Times. Considering that vending machines are robotics, it doesn’t surprise that so many resources have been put into their assembly. They are constantly innovating vending machines that are meant to make to substitute human service in most retail businesses.

  1. Affordability

If you want to buy coffee from a vending machine in the streets, it’ll only cost you 130 yen. If it’s the juice that you want, a 500ml bottle will cost you 160 yen on average. At the airport, where it’s often expensive, you may spend roughly 200 yen on a drink. This is slightly above $2. These prices are way cheaper if compared to buying the same in the United States.

Tips for Buying from a Vending Machine

If you have never used a cash-based vending machine before and you find yourself in Japan, you should arm yourself with these tips:

  • Prepare your cash – As mentioned, you need coins or Japanese bills to make a purchase from vending machines in Japan.
  • Put cash into the vending machine – You need to identify the cash slot and put your money there. The lights of the machine will illuminate to indicate that the transaction is initiated.
  • Select the item you want to buy – Use buttons on the vending machine to pick your item. If you don’t know how to read Japanese characters, just buy a product you are familiar with or one that you can see clearly.
  • Collect your change – Don’t leave until you get the change. It’s your right.

Closing Thought:

Japan is undeniably the world’s leading vending machine nation. With so many vending units spread across the country, you can buy virtually anything found in a retail store or a restaurant. The vending machine technology is increasingly becoming advanced. So, we should expect more vending machine innovations in the future in Japan.

10 Ways Snacks Can Boost Your Mood

You probably have heard that regular snacking is not good for you as it’s associated with issues like obesity, weight gain, and hypertension. However, this perception is not entirely true. It’s in fact directed to unhealthy snacking. Healthy snacks like berries and apples are actually beneficial. Remember, your brain is constantly working and thus it requires enough fuel always. The source can be healthy snacks. Additionally, healthy snacks contain high-quality vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that you need to stay active.

Now, there are strong suggestions that snacks could actually boost your mood. Wondering how? Healthy snacks, especially whole fruits, are known to naturally improve serotonin levels. Serotonin is a potent neurotransmitter that’s responsible for calming your nerves and relaxing you. It’s what makes you cheerful. In the end, your self-confidence and social prowess improve. So as you can have a better understanding of how healthy snacking makes your mood better, here are 10 considerations:

  1. Mental Energy

It’s worth noting that the primary reason for snacking is to get extra mental energy. By taking snacks rich in amino acids, you are able to boost your brain power tremendously. What this means is that your brain doesn’t suffer from mental exhaustion easily. Mental exhaustion is what stresses your brain and makes you moody. So, you could save yourself a lot of stress if you take enough healthy snacks. You just have to ensure that you avoid high calories. Your target should by high-proteins

  1. Stable Blood Glucose

When you don’t take enough food, your blood sugar drops, a condition we call hypoglycemia. The problem with hypoglycemia is that it messes up your mood. However, it can be fixed by snacking. Recent research by the University of Illinois suggests that regular snacking maintains your blood glucose. It protects you from becoming too irritated and unreasonable. These issues are related to irregular blood sugar level.

Instead of resorting to junks when your blood glucose drops, you should take some healthy snacks. The advantage is that you don’t have to take too much of it but just enough. This will help to effortlessly normalize your blood sugar levels. Since your body will have enough fuel, then your mood will definitely stabilize. You’ll become more energized both physically and mentally.

  1. Brain Hydration

Your brain needs enough fluid to stay active. If it’s not hydrated sufficiently, then it becomes hard to concentrate. You become too jumpy and your mood changes. For a quick fix, you need healthy snacks like berries and watermelons. They are known to hydrate your body quickly. The biggest beneficiary happens to be the brain. In addition to fruit snacks, you can also take healthy smoothies and herbal tea. However, you need to make sure you don’t take excess caffeine.

  1. Appetite Control

It’s generally possible to have mood swings when you don’t have control over your appetite. If your appetite is high, you need to find a way to hold yourself from going for junk foods. Taking healthy snacks, apparently, is one of them. It’ll help to manage your appetite and to stabilize your mood in the long run.

  1. Excitement Trigger

Snacks generally put you in a happy mood. You become so excited when you know it’s snacking time. The moment you are excited, your mood improves. Scientifically, snacking gives your brain powerful nutrients that it needs to have improved serotonin levels. As you already know, improved serotonin means a better mood. You also have to remember that your brain needs fuel to go through a long and tireless day. Luckily, the fuel can be injected through regular healthy snacking.

  1. Body Calmness

Healthy snacks like strawberries enhance endorphin levels. Endorphins are special neurotransmitters which help to calm your body against physical pain and anxiety. This is important since you are likely to become moody when you are you are in pain or when anxious. You can avoid the setback by taking healthy snacks.

  1. Self-Love

You may not be aware but healthy snacks like bananas and nuts may help you fall in love with yourself. This is crucial for enjoying a better mood. The snacks are known to boost oxytocin levels. This hormone is known to stimulate social connections and to make you happy. So, whenever you are feeling sad, just take some oxytocin-boosting snacks.

  1. Gut-Mood Relationship

Are you aware that your gut health dictates your emotional wellbeing? Actually, if your gut is uncomfortable, so will your brain. Likewise, if you are stressed by something else, your gut will feel the effect. As a result, it can either slow down digestive functions or speed them up. To ensure that your digestion is normal, you need enough fiber and fluid. Fortunately, you can get them from healthy snacks. So, snacks will give your gut what it needs to stay relaxed. In the end, your brain relaxes too.

  1. Enhanced Concentration

A lot of times, you become moody because your brain cannot concentrate on a specific matter. Nonetheless, taking snacks that are healthy between your meals ensures that you are able to maintain focus. In this case, you can go through the mid-morning and the afternoon without becoming mentally disturbed. This is quite important when you are either working or studying. Some of the options to consider for enhanced concentration are leafy greens, whole fruits, and popcorns.

  1. Counters Depression

According to a 2017 review, researchers argue that healthy snacking may help reduce depression symptoms. As you know, your mood is negatively affected when you are depressed. The researchers found that healthy fruit snacks contain probiotics, beneficial bacteria. The bacteria are important for your digestive health.

Another study in the same year shows that taking green snacks like spinach and kales counters depression. The study indicates that leafy greens contain folate which improves the metabolism of neurotransmitters noradrenaline and serotonin. These two are known to enhance your mood and general mental wellbeing.

Vending Machines and Office Culture

Vending machines may be different things to different people in the workplace. For employers, it’s another way of injecting money into the business and a means to keep employees motivated and on-site. For employees, vending machines are a cost-effective and time-saving option when it comes to buying foods and other office supplies.

Visiting customers are also not left out. They see vending machines as another way of getting an array of foods and drinks on a budget. The truth is that vending machines have changed the office culture. Largely, the changes have been positive. But still, there are a few habits promoted by vending machines that are cause for concern.

Positive Office Culture

On a positive note, the emergence of office vending machines has seen some impressive lifestyle changes and habits being introduced into the office environment. Here are the most notable ones:

  1. Self-Service Norm

Every investor always looks for ways that they can reduce overhead costs. Vending machines, actually, provide them with this option. These machines are automated and thus employees serve themselves. Basically, there are no labor costs. All the owner has to do is restock the machine and wait to come to collect cash at the end of the day. For employees, they just need cash or credit cards to buy what they want. Self-service, basically, has become a norm.

  1. A Free Market

Vending machines can practically dispense anything. From fresh fruits and fruit blends to cereals and protein concentrates, a vending machine can dispense them all. For employees, this kind of freedom allows them to enjoy what they like in the workplace. For employers, this freedom allows them to sell food supplies that they are passionate about. The final decision, however, belongs to the staff.

  1. Staff Motivation

The presence of food vending machines in the office gives employees the impression that the employer values and appreciates them. Additionally, the freedom to buy whatever they want at a subsidized price motivates them. They become really happy at work. As you know, a happy employee will always give the best. In the long run, office productivity improves. Actually, we are seeing employers investing in vending machines solely for staff motivation.

  1. Office Networking

A lot of times, even workers in the same office can’t get time to talk about non-job matters. Nonetheless, vending machines are changing the communication landscape in the office. They provide employees with an opportunity to network during their free time. For those employees who are afraid of expressing themselves during work hours, they become aware of the freedom when they go to serve themselves at the vending machines.

  1. Corporate Wellness

These days, vending machines are not the junk hub they used to be years back. They are now stocked with healthy foods that employees appreciate. From coffee and water to cereals and fruits, employees can buy them from office vending machines. This has seen corporate wellness improve significantly in most offices. We are seeing employees now learning to consume healthy meals and locking out junks at the workplace.

  1. No Bargaining, No Credit

From an investor’s standing, this is really impressive. Employees don’t have to bargain for food prices since they are predetermined and fixed. Unless they have the money needed, they can’t buy from the dispensers. Additionally, employees can’t buy on credit. This has seen losses at the workplace related to food vending reduce significantly. No bargaining, no credit has become a formidable office culture.

  1. A 24/7 Market

An office vending machine can run as long as the office is opened. So, if there’s always someone in the office, then they are guaranteed access to the food dispensers. Simply, they can walk to the machine to buy whatever foods they want. This has seen the emergence of a consumer employee community that is not time-sensitive. Considering that vending machines run 24/7, employees can buy from the machines anytime they feel like.

  1. A Time-Saving Working Community

Employees are really funny when offered the opportunity to go out to look for food. A majority of them will waste valuable office hours during their breaks trying to find what to buy. However, having vending machines within reach means that they have to stay around. In the long run, office hours are saved. Employees use salvaged hours to engage in productive office duties.

 

7 Benefits of Coffee

Globally, coffee happens to be the most consumed drink in the world after water. This shows how popular the beverage is. In the US alone, the National Coffee Association estimates that over 50% of the adult population consumes the drink daily. Not only is the drink rich in caffeine (a mild stimulant) but it also has powerful antioxidants (polyphenols) like caffeic acid, cafestol, and chlorogenic acid.

According to research, the antioxidants are more in coffee than in tea and cocoa. They help to protect your body cells against oxidative stress and possible damage. In addition to antioxidants, coffee contains vitamins like niacin and riboflavin and minerals like magnesium and potassium. All these nutrients play an important role in the body.

Out there, people consume coffee in different forms like coffee flour, coffee syrup, coffee beans, and essential oils. In the restaurant business, the caffeine beverage is referred by different names such as cappuccino, Turkish coffee, Irish coffee, Espresso, and iced coffee. Because of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients present in coffee, the caffeine beverage has the following 7 benefits:

Healthy Heart

Recent studies show that coffee helps in reducing the chances arrhythmia which is associated with heart failure. In the end, it helps to reduce the mortality rate associated with the condition. However, you have to take the caffeine drink moderately as too much of it is bad for your heart.

How?

The effects of coffee on the heart are quite obvious. For one, its antioxidants provide soothing effects to the heart muscles against inflammation. This helps immensely in warding off heart conditions like heart failure and hypertension. The antioxidants also lower cholesterol and this is important in protecting the heart from stroke and heart attack.

Healthy Liver

Coffee has been found to decrease the rate of liver diseases like hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. This is according to the Archives of Internal Medicine. As a matter of fact, they argue that there is a 20% decrease in liver diseases following the intake of coffee.

How?

Researchers argue that there’s a big relationship between caffeine intake and liver enzymes. By boosting your caffeine intake, you are able to reduce the production of liver enzymes. These enzymes when in excess are known to cause harmful effects to the liver like inflammation and cell damage. Additionally, coffee helps to improve blood circulation around the liver and this is necessary to influence its healthy functions.

Short-term Memory

Do you know that coffee can make you look sharper and smarter? Well, the caffeine in the coffee travels quickly to the brain to exert its effect. When it gets there, it fires up your neurons and stimulates recent memory. This is according to one study. The study shows that there’s an immediate surge in the brain’s short-term memory after taking coffee.

How?

According to research, coffee targets the part of the brain that’s in charge of memory. By stimulating this part, your short-term memory is vastly improved. It becomes easy to remember recent things as accurately as possible. However, the power of recall varies from person to person. Some people are able to remember more details than others.

Diabetes Management

There are strong suggestions that taking at least 6 cups of low-sugar coffee drink a day can significantly help to avoid diabetes type 2. According to a finding by Nurse’s Health, the incidence of diabetes type 2 reduces significantly among coffee drinkers who are in the young and middle age bracket.

How?

Coffee manages diabetes in different ways. One, it helps to regulate insulin and to prevent its resistance. In this case, your blood glucose is effectively controlled. Two, it soothes the cells against inflammation caused by toxic sugar. This is possible through caffeic acid. So, coffee not only prevents diabetes but also helps to manage it. Three, coffee slows down the absorption of glucose, thus reducing its availability in blood.

Active Brain

You probably know that coffee helps you to stay awake and alert. What you probably don’t know is that it helps to prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer and Parkinson’s. According to one study, coffee helps to delay the effects of Alzheimer, the leading neurodegenerative condition, by 65%. Another study shows that a daily intake of coffee lowers the risk of Parkinson’s by almost 60%. Parkinson’s is the second leading neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer.

How?

There are different theories that explain how coffee promotes brain activity and prevent cognitive decline. Some theories argue that caffeine discourages the buildup of plague around the brain. The deposit is known to slow drain brain activity resulting in cognitive decline. There are also other theories that argue that caffeine prevents brain slowness when it keeps diabetes at bay. This is how you are able to stay away from dementia.

Weight Loss

Are you aware that you can lose weight and keep fit by taking coffee? Well, this is possible according to the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. They argue that coffee improved metabolism by 7% in the first 3 hours of intake. This is critical when working out to shed excess body weight and fat.

How?

Caffeine in the coffee is a natural endurance-enhancer. It helps your body not to succumb to fatigue when working out. When the muscles are constricted, caffeine helps to stimulate and strengthen them. In the end, you are able to double your workout rate, resulting in faster weight loss.

Anti-Cancer Effects

According to one study by Scientific Reports, coffee is a very effective agent when it comes to reducing risks of oral cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, and cancer of the liver. Another study by Cancer Letters shows that the risks of colorectal cancer, cancer of the kidney, and breast cancer reduces immensely following the daily intake of coffee.

How?

Because of the presence of polyphenols, coffee injects anti-cancer effects into the body. Caffeine buffers your blood to starve cancer cells. When the cells are starved, they just can’t grow or proliferate. In the end, their population is significantly reduced. Polyphenols are also known to reduce inflammation caused by cancerous tissues. Since their proliferation is stopped, so are their effects.

Closing Thought: Should You Take Coffee?

Though there are a few researched risks of taking coffee, especially addictively, the benefits outweigh them. As seen, the major organs in the body need this therapeutic stimulant. You just have to ensure that you are able to take the drink in healthy amounts, more when you are doing it daily. This will help to reduce the risk of its side effects and to promote the discussed benefits.