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Data for today’s episode is provided by Mercator Advisory Group’s report – Intelligent Vending Technology in the U.S.: Reinventing an Industry
- By 2017, there were roughly 2.1 million vending machines; a decline of 1.4 million in a year!
- Total estimated revenues range from $12 billion to $17 billion, averaging $14.6 billion in 2017
- Other industry observers are more pessimistic and suggest revenues are as low as $7 billion
- Vending machine density is estimated as 1 per every 160 people in the US
- In Japan, where vending machines are more popular, its 1 per every 23 people
- US machines are located mostly in manufacturing facilities (26%), offices (15%), universities (11%), hospitals (8%), and schools (8%)
About the report
Electronic payments moving vending machines out of the gumball era. Roughly half the vending machines in the United States are still cash-based, a commentary on the industry’s slowly modernizing technology. The technology gap extends far beyond payments, however, lagging in user interfaces, machine management, inventory management, merchandising, etc. Exciting technologies and applications are available for vending machines. The question is whether they will be deployed in time to grow the industry or whether some surprising competition will present itself that is better positioned for success.