The hot trend in retail? Tech watchdog Technavio reports that vending machines are riding a 26 percent growth wave in 2018. By processing credit cards and other cashless payments, they can sell far more than beverages and snacks.
Enough with the soda slurping. A California start-up has developed machines that serve up cold-pressed juice at locations including supermarkets and fitness centers. JuiceBot promises that its ingredients are fresh, within 24 to 48 hours, and consumers can pick their flavor blends. Drinks are $4 to $8.
No factory-made “snack cakes” here. Instead, Sprinkles machines, in 12 cities across the U.S., dispense gourmet cupcakes, freshly made at the company’s bakery. Perfect for when you need a sugar fix at an odd hour. Confections, including red velvet and triple cinnamon flavors, run $5 to $6.
Champagne on demand
Where do the elite meet? Vending machines. At a hotel in Las Vegas and an upscale bar in New Orleans, you can get a mini or split (bottle) of Moët & Chandon champagne for $20. Or purchase precious metals at Gold to Go machines in New York City, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, N.J.
Clothes on the go
You arrive in a new city and find that you didn’t pack enough. For travelers who are chilly upon arrival, salvation may be found in a machine. Mechanical vendors in some U.S. airports will sell you a stylish Uniqlo down vest for $70. A machine in a San Francisco terminal reportedly brings in $10,000 per month.