American Industry Overview: Automatic Vending Machines

This industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing automatic vending machines and coin-operated mechanisms for such machines.

Industry Snapshot

With significant advances in technology and innovation, the vending machine industry served numerous markets and in the mid-2000s was pushing into new venues and offering new vendible products. In 2006 shipments of coin-operated vending machines by manufacturers totaled $1 billion, down from $1.6 billion in 2003.

Traditionally, the industry has segmented itself by the kind of service provided by the vending operator, including the four C's: coffee, cola, candy, and cigarettes. Merchandisers also provide full-line vending, which includes hot food, canned soda, and dairy and frozen food; specialty vending, which encompasses such special products as pizza or french fries; office coffee service; bulk vending, focusing on such unpackaged items as gum or nuts; and street vending, which includes music machines, video games, and other vending machines used in public places. Although cigarette vending has come under strict regulatory code in an effort to curb underage smoking, in the mid-2000s the vending industry was successfully pushing into new areas, such as DVD rentals, cellular ring tones, and coin-to-cash operations.

Organization and Structure