Vending machines have changed our eating and drinking habits, and at the same time, they have themselves changed in response to our lifestyles, both in work and at leisure. They continue to evolve, having an influence on our daily culture, and being influenced by it.
So what does the future hold for vending machines, and how will they continue to shape our work and leisure culture.
How and What We Consume
Obesity is on the increase in the UK, particularly among the young. It’s a result of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles but also the convenience of snack foods. There have been regulatory changes to food labelling and talk of a sugar tax or levy, which has now become a hot topic, giving rise to a fair deal of controversy.
The question for vending machines then is about what they sell, as much as how they sell it. There is an increased demand for vending machines to sell healthier snacks and drinks, with some now geared up to exclusively dispense these kinds of options.
It’s important to make the distinction between the convenience of vending machines and the type of food and drink on offer. Vending machines have already helped revolutionise workplace eating habits, and as work continues to become more fluid and changeable, so vending machines are ideally placed to respond to these changes.
There’s no real reason to equate them with only cheap and unhealthy snack options: the growing trend in healthier food can, and will, be accommodated into vending machine culture, with potentially very positive results.
The Future for Vending Machines
Convenience culture means that it’s likely that vending machines will continue to push the limits of what they sell. Just as supermarkets now sell a whole range of household and other items such as clothing alongside food, so vending machines are set to broaden their appeal to consumers.
Many businesses are starting to bundle together food and food-related products, such as branded mugs and t shirts. This trend is set to continue with a wider choice of goods being made available through vending machines.
In the near future, technology will enable vending machines to become more interactive, possibly voice-activated, and responsive to online activation. The whole user interface will become more personalised, with the capacity to remember specific orders.
As such an established part of our consumer culture, vending machines will continue to evolve alongside other developments in technology and lifestyles.
At Birchdale Vending Services, we can’t necessarily predict the future, but we do provide state-of-the-art vending machines in Stockport and across the North West. We know what works, and what our customers require, and we’re ready for whatever’s coming next.