Category Archives: Vending Machines

Why Vending Machines Should Be Allowed in Schools

Should vending machines be allowed in schools? This is a question that has faced endless argument over the years. We know that some people support the idea and others don’t. Parents, for example, are concerned that their kids will overindulge in unhealthy feeding habits. Most have the notion that vending machines dispense only high-fats and high-sugars. Well, this is not true if we consider a recent CBS News finding.

According to the finding, the US government through the Department of Agriculture issued a directive that required vending machines to dispense healthy smart snacks over junks. Since the directive was issued, we are seeing vending machines dispensing healthier alternatives like peanuts, popcorns, and fresh fruits. If we can recap the opening question, the answer is yes and here are 10 reasons why:

1. Encourage Healthy Dieting

As indicated earlier on, vending machines of today sell healthier options. In schools, they dispense healthy choices like fruit snacks, cereals, milk, and yogurt. Since most habits are taught in school, it becomes easier for the kids to learn how and why to eat healthy because of the availability of vending machines. Besides, schools with food-dispensing vending machines are obliged to follow the government’s directive on combating childhood obesity and other diet-related conditions.

2. An Option During Lunchtime

For schools where lunch is not offered and students are required to carry food, vending machines can help a lot. Since these machines dispense nutritious and healthy food choices, students will find it smart to carry money for buying food from vending machines instead of carrying packed lunch. What’s more, those who have special diet requirements don’t have to settle for what’s offered by the school during lunchtime. It’s just a matter of buying what they want as long as they can afford it.

3. Easy Access

Accessibility is an important factor for all consumers and not just school-going kids. The consumer wants to access supplies easily without having to walk, cycle, or drive a long distance. This is exactly what vending machines promise when they are readily available in schools. Students can access them conveniently during break time and buy whatever they want if it’s available. They can also buy food supplies to take on their way home.

4. The Staff Can Also Benefit

Vending machines are not just beneficial to students. Both the teaching and non-teaching staff can access them and buy from them. Staff members don’t have to be forced to carry packed lunch or go outside the compound to look for food. Knowing that the options are low-cost, they can even buy some to take home. Schools, therefore, need to make an effort to also cater to the needs of the staff just as much as those of the students. If for example, the staff prefers coffee and tea to soda, then the school management should consider it.

5. An Option for Budget Students and Staff

Vending machines are generally an attractive selling point because they are a budget-option. Consumers buy from them because they promise cheaper supplies. So, their availability in schools is positive news to students. They can buy foods and non-food supplies cheaply. Staff members on a budget can also benefit from vending machines. Since foods are low-cost, the staff can plan on their spending every day.

6. Keeps Students and Staff Around

From an academic standing, it’s not a good habit to see students loaming the streets looking for food. Not only does this waste time but it’s also unsafe for the kids. To ensure that they always stick around, it’s worthwhile to invest in a couple of food-dispensing vending machines. The machines just need to sell food supplies that the students prefer to buy. The staff also gets to stick around the school since they no longer have a reason to go out looking for food.

7. Fuels Classroom Concentration

Students like to eat – that’s a universal truth. So, it’s almost impossible for them to concentrate in class when they crave for food. They prefer to snack during breaks and this can be assured by the availability of food-dispensing vending machines. The fact that they are assured of accessing the vending machines during their break makes them relaxed and extra attentive in class. Normally, it’s the worry of not knowing where to get snacks that makes students less alert in class.

8. A Bridge for Nutritional Gaps

Though it’s every parent’s dream to see their kids eat healthy at all times, they don’t have control over what they eat in school. The kids may need essential vitamins and minerals that they can’t get from the breakfast they take at home or the lunch they serve in school. However, such nutrients can be readily available in an array of healthy foods dispensed by vending machines. The foods come rich in vitamins and proteins and are meant to make up for the nutritional gaps that the kids may be experiencing. You’ll want this for your child as a concerned parent.

9. Not Limited to Food

Vending machines may be popular with selling foods but they can also dispense nonfood choices. In schools, they can dish out supplies like pens, pencils, notepads, and tapes. In this case, students will not be forced to go out of class to look for these supplies as they are available in a vending machine. It’s also worth noting that the vending machine technology has improved so much. We now have vending machines that allow students to sign up for after-school events. Others allow the buying of unusual items like personal computers, bandages, and personal effect items.

10. Revenue for Schools

Lastly, schools normally have an extensive budget that they need to meet. For instance, they have to pay utility bills, add new books, and organize trips. These costs can be partly met by the revenue generated by vending machines. Since students and the staff are encouraged to buy from the machines, there’s always profit streaming in. Even though it may not be much, it can help significantly. Generally, a larger school population calls for more vending machines. In turn, more revenue is generated.

Closing Thought:

There’s no doubt that vending machines are a great investment in schools. Both the students and the staff can benefit from them. Schools administrations can earn profit from them and the government’s advisory on child healthy can also be met. It all boils down to proper supervision and usage.

Benefits of Office Vending Machines

Today, a vending machine is not just a luxury at the workplace but actually a necessity. So, if you don’t have one in your business, then you are missing a lot. For starters, these machines can dispense different foods and drinks and not just candies. This means that your workers can grab a cup of hot cocoa or some cereals conveniently. This is not all.

The technology has advanced so much that vending machines of today can accept card payments. Therefore, change challenges are eliminated as it used to be the case of coin-operated vending machines. These machines are automated to follow the instruction of the customers. They are able to dispense what the customer wants to buy.

Moreover, the machines are quite mobile. This means you can change their positioning from time to time depending on where the market is concentrated. Though they may face issues like fraud and vandalism, vending machines are known to bring about so many benefits at the workplace. Here are the top 10:

To the Staff

  1. Accessibility

Vending machines are usually stationed in peculiar places to be easily accessible by the staff. During office breaks, employees can walk to the machines to buy whatever they want. To them, the machines provide them with a close solution as they don’t have to go out to look for foods and drinks.

  1. Reliability

The problem with most restaurants and supermarkets is that they are not predictable. One day they are opened and the next day they are not. As for restaurants, you may not get your favorite dish if you go during lunchtime as sometimes customers exceed the orders prepared. Vending machines, conversely, are very reliable. You’ll always get your preferred food or drink as long as it’s normally there.

  1. Product Variety

These days, vending machines are not just restricted to selling sodas and coffee. They can sell almost anything. From hot chocolate to cereals, employees can buy them all. This is actually one of the reasons why employees become motivated at work. Everyone wants the freedom to choose what to eat and drink.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

If you have in-house vending machines, it makes sense to subsidize the cost of items so as to encourage your employees to buy from you. To employees on a budget, this is a cost-effective approach since they’ll be able to save. You’ll be surprised to find some employees buying food and drinks for taking home in the spirit of saving.

  1. Staff Camaraderie

The staff likes to make friends. They want to interact during their break and share a few things. Vending machines provide them with just the perfect camaraderie opportunity. They are able to crack jokes and forget about work stress if any. You too can have the opportunity with some of them during office breaks when you go to the vending machines to grab something to eat or drink.

To the Employer

  1. Work Morale

It’s widely known that happier employees are productive. So, you have to do everything possible to lift their work morale. One incredible way to do it is by stationing vending machines within the business area. Since they’ll have the freedom to buy whatever they want and are able to get them at subsidized prices, they’ll feel satisfied working for you. In the end, work productivity will improve considerably.

  1. Time-Saving

Generally, it’s time-consuming to go out to look for food during working days. As the employer, this is counterproductive since time is money. Investing in vending machines ensures that these employees don’t go out often. This is because they are able to get (in-house) foods and drinks that they would get outside the business premise. This is not all. They are able to buy them cheaply. This is a reason enough to keep them onsite. In the end, office hours are significantly saved.

  1. Corporate Wellness

Though vending machines of the old days were known to only dispense sugary and unhealthy snacks, what we call junks, the narrative has changed. Today, you can have your office vending machines selling everything that you can think of. This is meant to encourage corporate wellness. Employees will not be forced to look for healthier foods somewhere else since they’ll be available in-house.

  1. Customize Selections

When you approach a vending machine company, you can ask them to make you vending machines that meet your needs. For most business owners, customization means dispensing a variety of products. For others, it means the freedom to serve hot cocoa or coffee. For a few, it means to only accept card payments. Whatever customization means to you, it’s possible with vending machines.

  1. Extra Money

From an entrepreneurial standing, vending machines at the workplace are an extra way to inject money into the business. Since employees and visiting customers will be paying cash, you don’t have to worry about selling on credit. Though you may not get so much if vending machines are not the focal point of your business, what you get is enough to meet a few business expenses. Besides, your employees will be returning a fraction of their salary to you when they buy from the vending machines.

  1. Few Overheads

Unlike most mobile businesses, vending machines have close to zero overheads. For example, you don’t have to incur salary expenses as you can manage the vending machines yourself. All you have to do is restock the machines and come regularly to pick money collected. So, you don’t have to hire someone for this job. Additionally, there are zero advertising costs since the machines self-advertise.

  1. Cash Flow

The moment your vending machines start running and the first customer makes the first payment, cash will start to flow. Provided that the machines are placed in the right places and are running, there’ll always be money coming in. The advantage is that there are no collection issues. Unlike bank transactions, there are no bad checks with vending machines. Similarly, there are no fake currencies when it comes to vending machines. They are programmed to notice this. Thus, you are guaranteed genuine money in the long run.

Closing Thought: Are Vending Machines Worth Investing in?

Clearly, both the employer and the workforce benefit from vending machines at the workplace. So, yes they are worth investing in. They make things easy for both the workers and the employees and in the end, the business as a whole gets to improve. In case you had doubts about this investment, it’s time the doubt vanishes as you join the world of vending machines. Chances are that you won’t regret it.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

How Profitable Are Vending Machines?

Thanks to vending machines, you don’t have to be on standby to receive orders from customers. The customers can basically serve themselves. These automatic retailers are the new trend in the commercial sector and they can dispense a range of items. From foods and drinks to medicines and newspapers, they are customized to dispense them all.

Since they allow convenience and flexibility in terms of purchases, they are likely to guarantee a steady income. Simply, if you are looking to improve your revenues, you can do it with the right vending machines. So, it’s not a question of whether they are profitable or not, as they are, but a question of how.

Understanding the Profit Margins

You probably have seen adverts indicating that you can make some amazing financial returns without so much effort if you use vending machines. But, how realistic are the adverts? According to a recent finding by NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association), about 18% of vending machines around the globe generate $1-$5 million annually.

Well, this can be good news or bad news depending on how you look at it. It’s bad news in the sense that the Better Business Bureau warns of so many scams and unending lawsuits which could erode your profits. On a positive note, nonetheless, vending machines can be really profitable if well taken care of and used creatively at the right locations.

Also, vending machines situated in high-traffic areas like shopping malls, hotel lobbies, hospitals, and schools are likely to generate more profits than those located in low-traffic areas. In this case, NAMA suggests that you are likely to generate $250/day if you sell drinks and $500/day if you sell snacks in the high-traffic areas.

Generally, NAMA considers the following factors to be important in determining your profit margins:

  • Your day-to-day operations
  • The location of your business
  • Your source of financing
  • What you are dispensing
  • Your regular suppliers

Understanding How the Profits Are Generated

You probably are wondering where the profits will come from considering that you’ll spend some hard-earned money to install vending machines. Well, there are different ways to generate profits for your business and one way to do it is through savings. Here are some logical ways of saving with these machines:

  • Saving on operating costs – Vending machines are generally cheap to operate as they do not require so much labor. Actually, you only need someone to occasionally inspect and restock them. The other duty is to pick up the money. This is a one-man job and so you don’t need to employ extra hands. So, the money saved on labor can be injected back into the business to make up for profits.
  • Saving on overhead costs – As already mentioned, you are able to save massively on labor costs. In addition, you don’t need to incur advertisement costs as vending machines self-advertise.
  • In-house saving – Let’s face it; it’s not just the outsiders who’ll buy from your vending machines. Even your employees will do it. This is usually the case when vending machines sell foods and drinks. Since the employees don’t have to go out looking for food and drinks, they are able to save office hours and this is a plus for your business. More importantly, the employees pay for their items and the money contributes towards your profits.

Besides savings, you can make profits with vending machines in the following ways:

  • Steady income – The advantage of vending machines is that they can sell any time of the day or night, unsupervised. So, you are guaranteed steady income as long as the machines are in operation and as long as customers continue buying. The secret is to base your vending machines in high traffic areas. The moment your customers sees your business to be a reliable one, they’ll always buy from you.
  • Employee productivity – The availability of vending machines in your business not only motivate customers to make purchases but also the employees. They are able to understand that their personal needs can also be met when they are still working and this boosts their work morale. Their performance improves significantly and at the end of the day, this improves your business productivity and profit margins.

Understanding the Costs Involved

Usually, the difference between making money with vending machines and suffering a loss is the costs involved. Here are the major ones:

  • Cost of the machine – The cost of buying and setting up vending machines varies depending on the type of machine and what is dispensed. Some companies offer standard vending machines for snacks or drinks at a bundle price of $2,500. This covers 10 machines.
  • Repair and maintenance costs – Most vending machines come with extensive warranties and so you don’t have to worry about the repairs and maintenance. But still, you should verify from the seller what the warranty covers.
  • Cost of restocking – Once you have set up your vending machines, you have to put some money aside for restocking it until the profits are steadier. The cost depends on what you are planning to sale.

General Tips for Improving Your Profit Margins

  • Busy location – If you are looking to sale more, then you have to find a busy location to set up your vending machines. It can be on a busy street, around a movie theatre or in a shopping mall.
  • Be trendy – Vending machines are a trendy innovation and so you have to invest in the latest designs. Furthermore, you should sell items that the current consumers want to buy.
  • Grab attention – You can install bright and shiny bulbs on the vending machines to attract distant customers.
  • Act convincing – Preferably, go for clear glass fronts so as the passersby customers can notice what you are selling. It’s a powerful way to convince them to buy.
  • Stock up – With vending machines, the more you stock up, the likelier you are to make sales. The more the sales, the higher the profits.
  • Use a truck – Depending on how big your business is, you can make it mobile by installing vending machines on trucks. This will help you reach a wider audience.
  • Get licensed – Since you require a seller’s license to run vending machines in some places, you should get it. This ensures that you operate freely.

Closing Thought:

There’s absolutely no doubt about vending machines being a source of profit for businesses. You can use them to generate more revenue each day. However, you have to know how better you can leverage their powers so as to take advantage of willing customers. This means coming up with a perfect marketing strategy. Vending One can help!

10 Unique Vending Machines around the World

When the term vending machine is mentioned, a majority of us only think about sodas, candies, and snacks. What you probably do not know is the fact that these machines can be designed to dispense anything. Out there, there are vending machines that dispense gold coins, cars, art pieces, crabs, gifts, among other unusual items. Some are weird but incredibly cool. Others are just beyond human comprehension. Well, you have to travel to see some of these exceptional designs to believe them. So as you can have somewhere to start from, we have compiled a top 10 list of some of the world’s most unique vending machine and where you can find them:


  1. Gold ATM, UAE

Who could have predicted that gold can be dispensed by a vending machine? This invention made its debut at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. It literary works like a cash ATM, only that it dispenses gold coins instead of paper money. You can buy gold coins from different countries like South Africa and Canada through the vending machine. Recently, such machines were installed in Florida. So, you don’t have to make the trip to the United Arab Emirates if you are already in the US. Just go to Florida and you’ll have an experience of a lifetime. If you have been looking for a way to buy genuine gold coins, then the Gold ATM is the way to go.

  1. Gift Machine, Dubai

In any holiday season, gifting is always a special occasion. However, it can be really difficult to find the right gift to give. In Dubai, you don’t have to struggle about it. All you need to do is visit one of the gifting machines in the streets. By the touch of a button, you can buy your special gift. From underclothes to scented candles, the vending machine has it all. You don’t even have to worry about the packaging as the gift will come with its own special wrapping. The bonus is that you also get a gift bag for carrying the gift. The shopping experience is just exceptional.

  1. Umbrella Machine, Hong Kong

Things get really interesting when you go to Hong Kong. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the rain coming and so you may need an umbrella when in the streets. The advantage is that you don’t have to struggle looking for one as all you have to do is to approach an umbrella dispensing vending machine. This is meant to save time and to prevent you from soaking in the rain as you look for shelter. Most of the umbrellas are easy to carry and so you shouldn’t have a problem putting it into your bag when the rain stops.

  1. Apple Products Vending Machine, USA

If you are a fan of the iPhone, the iPad or any other Apple product, then you can view the latest designs in Las Vegas. You’ll be able to access several vending machines showing Apple products. A majority of them are located close to airports and major hotels. Though you can’t buy directly from the vending machine, it allows you to know what products are on offer when you visit an Apple outlet.

  1. Live Crabs Machine, China

Speaking of weird vending machines, this one definitely fits the bill. The machine sells to you live crabs that you can bring back home to keep as pets or cook them. Well, the former reason is a bizarre one. To most people, the dispensing of the crabs is just horrific. Though these vending machines are not located everywhere in China, you’ll find them on major streets. The surprising thing is that the crabs remain alive even after packing. This is because they are totally chilled. The chilling temperature makes them dormant as long as they are within the vending machine. The bonus is that the packaging is edible and so can be consumed alongside the crab.

  1. Used Car Selling Machine, USA

A few years back, an Arizona-based auto company going by the name Carvana Dealership launched vending machines for selling used cars. Though they have an online platform, their strongest selling point has been the dispensers. Now, the company is expanding. They have vending machines for used cars in Washington, Philadelphia, and other places. Wondering how these vending machines look? Well, they take the shape of a tall building where cars are arranged on floors. The cars are found inside glass walls and so you can see them clearly when outside the building.

  1. Art-O-Mat Vending Machine, USA

In the streets of North Carolina where this invention originates, you are likely to buy the best local art pieces on the streets via the vending machine. The design is an improvement of the cigarette vending machine. Each vending machine is filled with small art pieces that are created and designed by local artist. So, if you are looking for American art and you really want to support local talent, then you should buy from Art-O-Mat.

  1. Farmer’s Fridge, Canada & USA

Who said that healthy foods can’t be dispensed as easily as junks? The farmer’s fridge is a vending machine that allows you to buy fresh and organic vegetables. The produce is mostly local. So, you don’t have to worry about what to buy when you get the vending machine. These foods are not just nutritious but also delicious. They basically do not compromise on taste or nutritional value.

  1. Pharmashop24 Vending Machine, Italy

In Milan, there’s an automatic dispenser that sells to your diapers, pain killers, and contraceptives. Considering that most shops don’t run 24/7 in Milan, these vending machines allow you to get the pharmaceutical products whenever the normal outlets are closed. Besides, most people like buying pharmaceutical products discreetly. You get this advantage when buying from Pharmashop24.

  1. Pizza Machine, Germany

Lastly, your favorite delicacy can now be dispensed by a vending machine. You just have to make the trip to Germany to witness this incredible innovation. The interesting thing about the machine is that it allows you to pick the pizza type that you want and it’ll be ready after a few hours. What pops out of the machine is freshly-prepared and incredibly delicious. Mark you; the machine handles everything from the preparation to the serving. The innovation is just genius.

Closing Thought:

Call them weird, special or just cool; the above machines are the epitome of vending machine innovation. They make traveling to these countries exciting and shopping tempting. You can’t help but try to be a part of the lovely experience.

When Were Vending Machines Invented?

Today, you are likely to see a vending machine in any physical store that you enter. Whether it’s the supermarket or a local restaurant, there’s always a designated vending machine that’s meant to serve you whenever you feel like buying. You actually don’t have to worry about the time of shopping or who’ll serve you as vending machines have you covered. From foods and beverages to cigarettes and newspapers, there’s virtually a vending machine for everything.

You just need to insert money or a credit card and the vending machine will automatically sell to you. Because of this, they are often referred to as automatic retailers. But, as you continue to marvel at these masterpieces, do you really know when the machines were invented? We try to break down the history of the machines for you so as you can understand their origin much better.

The First-Ever Vending Machine Invention (215 BC)

The first vending machine dates back in Ancient Greek in 215 BC. It was a piece of work by mathematician Hero of Alexandria. The idea behind the invention is very interesting. You were required to feed the machine with coins so as it can give you ‘holy water’. Once you insert a coin into it, it would fall on an empty pan that was linked to a lever. So, the weight of the inserted coin will pull the attached lever resulting in the flow of ‘holy water’. The water was called ‘holy’ because it was tantamount to a ‘Greek god’. Later in 1615, the tobacco vending machine was invented in the UK. The machine was a portable one.

The First Modern Vending Machine (the 1880s)

The first-ever commercial (coin-operated) automatic retailer was invented in London early in 1880. The whole idea was to help busy and money-hungry entrepreneurs sell quickly and in bulk. The automatic retailer was designed to dispense postcards. The man behind the idea was Percival Everitt. This machine not only became an important dispensing point at the post offices but also at the railway stations. Later, the vending machine would dispense envelopes and notepapers in addition to postcards.

In 1893, the first vending machine company was founded in England. The company going by the name Sweetmeat Delivery was established to facilitate installation as well as maintenance of commercial vending machines. In 8893, a German entrepreneur who was selling chocolate set up his own company for building vending machines for chocolate dispensing. The machine will later be used to dispense soaps and matches.

The First-Ever Vending Machine in the US (1888)

The US is never left behind when it comes to inventions. Though the first modern vending machine was invented outside the US in the early 1880s, a similar design was built in the US in 1888. The company responsible was Thomas Adams Gums. The vending machine was meant to sell fruity gums in New York City, especially around the railway area. In 1887, the company added a gaming incentive to their invention. This prompted people to refer to the machine as a ‘trade stimulator’ as it encourages more people to buy the gums.

The Evolution of the Vending Machine

So much has changed since the first invention of the vending machine. So many vending machines companies have been founded over the years. So, technology has vastly changed. Here’s a breakdown of the evolution:

  • 1890 – The First Vending Machine for Drinks

From dispending postcards and gums came vending machines for beverages. At around 1930, the first vending machine for dispensing sodas was invented. The only available dispensed soda drinks at the time were Pepsi and Coke. As expected, Coca Cola made the way for Pepsi. In 1946, the vending machine for dispensing coffee was invented for institutions. Later on, vending machines for canned soda were invented. The machines were also used to dispense water in restaurants and supermarkets. Surprisingly, a majority of the earlier designs are still in operation to date.

  • 1926 – The First Vending Machine for Cigarettes

The need to have a quick way of selling cigarettes prompted American inventor and innovator William Rowe to come up with the first vending machine for dispensing cigarettes. However, the invention has been marred with concerns about underage buyers and this messed up their popularity. Actually, they are more popular in Japan and Europe as opposed to the US as the countries have better ways to ensure age verification before selling.

  • 1950 – The First Vending Machine for Life Insurance

In 1950, American airports saw the need to sell life insurance via automatic selling points. So, they started using vending machines to sell policies to travelers that would assure them death coverage in case their flight crashed. Unfortunately, these machines were short-lived. They barely lasted two decades.

  • 1950 – The First Vending Machine for Schools

As you already know, the first coin-operated vending machine was invented in the 1880s. However, the machine was only redesigned for school use in 1950. This is the year that students and teachers would buy drinks and candies from automatic retailers. However, there were and still, are restrictions pertaining to what sugary consumables should be dispensed in schools and which ones shouldn’t.

  • 1965 – The First Vending Machine to Accept Paper Bills

Early in 1965, a man by the name John Greenwick decided to build a vending machine that uses paper bills instead of coins. This was a great shift from the original coin-operated vending machine. Now, people don’t have to carry coins anymore because of this invention.

  • 1972 – The First Vending Machine for Snacks

In 1972, a company by the name Polyvend saw the need to dispense snacks. So, they invented the first glass-front vending machine for shops. The machine would entice kids and adults with candy cravings to grab a bite. Such designs are quite popular around the shopping malls and in the streets.

  • 1987 – The First Vending Machine for Frozen Foods

The invention of vending machines for beverages and snacks opened the door for options that dispense frozen foods. Actually, the manufacturer saw the need to hold foods within the vending machine for long without risking them going bad. So, 1987 saw the origin of some of the world’s best vending machines for frozen food products.

Closing Thought:

The vending machines have come a long way and there is no doubt about it. From using coins to now using credit cards, it has been a story for the ages. These automatic retailers make things really interesting for the modern consumer. They not only get to save time but labor too. They are truly the future of the retail business.