So just what exactly is the hot food vending machine business? How does it work and why do people prefer hot food vending over typical cold food vending?
Well, to start off with the basics, what is a vending machine?
To quickly define this:
“A vending machine is typically a machine that allows consumers to purchase items without a cashier. Thus, a hot food vending machine dispenses hot foods in their systems in comparison to other vending items.”
For this article, we will use Japan as a clear and present success profile for the hot food vending industry. But how?
First, Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita; we’re looking at approximately one machine for every 23 people (roughly 5,582,200 machines!). They have also shown consistent success in their machines, and this includes hot food vending machines.
Some examples of hot food items that they sell in their machines are ramen, rice, instant noodles, and fried foods. It started off with a “sweets” dispensing machine over 80 years ago that showed skyrocketed sales in just one night! Since then, you can find hot food vending machines on practically every street corner!
Of course, America has begun following this trend quickly by adopting the Japanese style of vending machines. America now has many specialized vending machines much like their Japanese counterparts with the inclusion of their very own hot food vending machines. We’re looking at hot dogs, pastas, pizzas, burgers, chicken wings, and a large variety of “ready-to-heat and eat” foods.
Success has continued to rise in vending machines in America as well. Most machines include the option of credit or debit cards and accept bills typically higher than $5 (they used to only accept $1 bills!).
It comes as no surprise though. After all, products in machines have high gross margins, can be purchased in bulk, and have long shelf lives. This allows the vending operators to leave the machines on their own to make automated sales!
With the continuing success of hot food vending machines in the US and many other countries around the world such as Japan, we can expect some really impressive innovations in the future!