Posted on: June 26, 2024 |

Decades ago, vending machines were generally limited to snacks, soda, and candy. Today, the possibilities for products to dispense through vending machines are vast. Health foods, ready-to-eat meals, beauty products, electronics, novelty items and much more sit on the automated shelves of vending machines around the world. This opens up many possibilities for vending machine owners. But what type of vending machine business should you start? And why? Let’s take a look at the hottest new vending machine businesses to start in 2024, and why these opportunities are likely to be eye-catching, easy to manage, and lucrative.

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The Hottest New Vending Machine Businesses to Start in 2024

Today, you can put almost anything in a vending machine. If the demand is there, a savvy vending machine owner knows that convenience and ease are big motivators for customers. From live crabs to shoes to pecan pies, creative vending machines can dispense almost anything customers want. However, novelty or peculiarity doesn’t mean a vending machine business is a good opportunity. We selected these hot new vending machine businesses to start in 2024 because they are unique and future-minded, as well as easy to manage.

Ice and Water

With temperatures rising each summer and extreme storms or severe rainfall often overwhelming sewer and water treatment systems, clean, cool ice and water will continue to rise in demand. Ice and water vending machines are convenient for both customers and business owners alike. With minimal maintenance and no need to refill inventory, ice and water vending machines are a great opportunity for vending machine business owners, and are likely to continue to increase in popularity.

Learn more about starting an ice and water vending business >>

Electronics and Chargers

About 90% of Americans own a smartphone. On average, we use our phones over 4 hours a day. The need and desire for electronics and their accessories has never been higher, and is likely to continue growing. Vending machines for small electronics can fill an important need when they’re placed in the right areas. These types of vending machines might provide chargers, wireless earbuds, adapters, screen cleaning cloths and solution, SIM cards, and gift cards for electronic services like games or ebooks. The inventory in these types of vending machines won’t go bad, but it must be placed in a secure location where theft or vandalism is unlikely, like an airport, bank, or shopping mall.

Health Food Vending

About 50% of Americans say they are actively trying to eat healthier foods, but a quarter said that time to cook and prepare healthy meals was a barrier to healthy eating. Between working long hours, housekeeping, child rearing, commuting, and more, time is becoming a shrinking resource. With the right placement, health food vending can provide healthy food for those who are on-the-go. These might include healthy microwavable meals or fresh meals, like salads. These types of vending machines are likely to be successful near areas frequented by busy professionals, including the lobbies of large office buildings, busy downtown subway stations, airports, and similar areas.

Energy Drinks

With less free time, energy drinks have become more popular. Energy drinks with less sugar and more healthy ingredients have also become more popular. While soda, energy drinks, and other beverages are certainly not new to the vending industry, many other drinks can help to diversify your vending inventory. Consider drinks that use alternative ingredients that can help customers relax as well as recharge, such as adaptogens, yerba mate, B vitamins, collagen, or CBD.

Beauty and Hygiene

Today’s beauty standards are demanding, as are the associated consequences for not adhering to them. With a wide variety of new products becoming essential in skincare routines, nail care, hair care, dental care, and, especially, make-up, it’s difficult for many people to keep up. Vending machines which dispense beauty and hygiene products are likely to stand out in 2024, and meet a need for quick, convenient appearance uplifts. To appeal to a broad audience, choose products that appeal to different genders, such as teeth whitening pens, toothpaste and brushes, mouthwash, stain remover pens, travel-size fragrances and deodorants, moisturizers, lip balm, dry shampoo, brushes and combs, wet wipes, masks, hand sanitizer, tweezers, or razors. These types of vending machines are likely to perform best in areas where potential customers have been traveling for long periods, such as airports, bus stations, subways, rest stops, or hotels.

Collectibles, Toys, Games

Collectibles, toys, and games can be a great vending machine business in 2024. It’s important to keep up with trends and find a great location where customers are likely to be waiting with friends or children. This might be a great choice for a store near a school, shopping mall, day care center, pediatric medical office, or even a more creative location like a college campus or laundromat. Consider a variety of toys or collectibles that can appeal to different ages, like Funko Pops, trading cards, card games, fidget toys, action figures, toy cars, Play-Doh, stress balls, bouncy balls, plush toys, Legos, and many more are popular with children and adults.

To test a new vending machine business idea in 2024, talk to passersby near the location you’re considering. Assess the businesses nearby and talk to business owners to see what types of products customers are buying. With the right placement, a vending machine business can be great to start in 2024. If you’re interested in vending that doesn’t require inventory, contact us today to learn more about starting an ice and water vending business.