In this article, we have compiled 75 most profitable and popular vending machine business ideas for 2022. The key to success in this business is finding products that are in high demand in a given location and get along with the proprietor of that location.
LIST OF TOP VENDING MACHINE BUSINESS IDEAS
1. SODA & BEVERAGES
The best selling products from vending machines are without a doubt soda and cold drinks such as coca cola, water, sprite and energy drinks. According to the available knowledge soda and cold beverages account for about 50% of the products sold in vending machines in the USA* (sources at the bottom of the article).
Best locations: shopping malls, train stations, near office spaces, stadiums, hospitals,
2. SNACK VENDING MACHINE
Sweet and salty snacks are the next best selling product type in vending machines. The top selling snacks are: Snickers bars, Clif bars, Pop tarts, various chips like Lay’s and Sun Chips, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Planters Trail Mix,
Best locations: metro stations, train stations, shopping malls, libraries, universities
3. CANDIES & SWEETS
Candy and sweets are some of the top selling vending machine products. Their advantage is that these products have quite a long shelf life, they are small in size so you can fit a lot of them in the machine and moreover almost all people in the world like sweets, so you can sell them in many places.
Best locations: city centers, shopping malls
4. COFFEE & HOT BEVERAGES VENDING MACHINE
To buy such machine you will need to pay somewhere around $900 for old, used machine up to $10,000 for newest, best models*. There are also companies that offer rental of such machines. Coffee machines are the best type of hot beverage vending machines and one of the top business ideas for crowded places.
Best locations: every crowded place, university campus, shopping malls, train stations
5. BURGERS VENDING MACHINE
A warm, delicious burger straight from the vending machine? Here you go! There are already many companies on the market offering such machines, including RoboBurger.com.
This is a perfect vending machine business idea for crowded places. Especially a good business idea if there aren’t many other places to buy food in the area.
Best locations: near bars, night clubs, beaches, train stations, stadiums
6. SANDWICHES VENDING MACHINE
Both cold and hot sandwiches are another great idea for a vending machine business. The best selling sandwiches are usually the hot ones. The most popular ones are such as turkey, bacon, grilled chicken, tuna and grilled cheese sandwiches. Mayones, mustard, honey and other tasty sauces and fresh vegetables are good additions to such sandwiches. You can see an example of such a machine in this video.
Best locations: metro stations, schools, universities, near office spaces, train stations
7. PIZZA MACHINE
Pizza is one of the most popular types of food in the world, so selling it in a vending machine will also find many customers. You can watch an interesting example of a pizza making machine in Singapore in this video.
Best locations: universities, crowded bus & train stations, near bars, night clubs and beaches
8. ICE CREAM
The market is already full of vending machines selling ice cream. This is a very good business idea, depending on where you put such a machine. Ice cream sells best in warm and crowded places like the one in this video.
Best locations: near parks or schools, in front of restaurants, in hotels and universities, popular beaches
9. PASTA, RAMEN OR NOODLE VENDING MACHINE
The best-selling products in the vending machine business are definitely drink and food, so the next vending machine business idea on our list is machine with pasta, noodles, spaghetti or ramen. A lot of people during work or study want to eat something warm and such noodles are perfect for this.
Best locations: shopping malls, near universities, metro stations
10. HEALTHY ORGANIC SNACKS
In recent years, there is a trend towards healthy lifestyles and healthy eating. Many schools are phasing out unhealthy foods, and it is also common for adults to go on diets and pay attention to what they eat. Fortunately, it is possible to eat tasty and healthy. Examples of such healthy snacks are: dried fruit snacks, whole wheat toasts (e.g. with fish), oatmeal snacks or carrots with hummus.
Best locations: city centers, office spaces, universities, metro stations, schools
11. SMOOTHIES & MILKHAKES
Smoothies and milkshakes are another of the top veding machine business ideas. There are already many smoothie vending machines available in the market like the one in this video.
Best locations: shools, universities, office spaces, metro and train stations
12. BEAUTY PRODUCTS VENDING MACHINE
A very interesting and profitable vending machine business idea is a machine with beauty products such as make up accessories, eye lashes, lip glosses, lip balms, eyeliners, mascaras etc. There are already some beauty vending machines on the market and they are quite popular just like the one in this video.
Best locations: shopping malls, near grocery stores, city centers, metro stations
13. FRESH SQUIZEED FRUIT JUICE MACHINE
Juices squeezed from fresh fruit are a very profitable business with a substantial profit margin. The best-selling juices are mainly those made from oranges and, to a lesser extent, apples.
Best locations: city centers, popular touristic destinations, office spaces, schools, shopping malls
The most popular types of food also sell best in vending machines. Another such type of food are undoubtedly burritos. Place such a machine with good quality burritos in a good, crowded place and you will have good profits.
Best locations: metro & train stations, most of crowded places
15. FRESH MILK, CHEESE & DAIRY PRODUCTS VENDING MACHINE
Almost all people buy a lot of milk and dairy products. If there is no store in your area that sells such products, then this type of machine that offers fresh milk, cheese, butter and other most popular dairy products will be worth it.
Best locations: near apartment buildings, city centers
16. FRENCH FRIES
French fries are a great and quite simple vending machine business idea. Masses of people around the world love to eat them and they can be served as a main meal, lunch, snack or side dish at any time of the day. Such a machine set up in the right location is able to generate really big profits. You can see a good example of such a machine in this video.
Best locations: city centers, near night clubs and bars, most of crowded places
17. DOUGHNUTS MACHINE
Doughnuts are great snacks that many people love. However, not everyone has a doughnut store close by, so a machine that offers these sweet treats is a great solution for many places where there are lots of people and no donut stores. A great example of such a machine would be Krispy Kreme’s doughnut vending machine described in this article.
Best locations: train and metro stations, city centers and most of crowded places
18. LITTLE TOYS VENDING MACHINE
Children all over the world love toys therefore in places near where there are many children a great vending machine business idea is such a toy machine. You can buy many different machines of this type on the market. They are even available on Amazon, just like this machine.
Best locations: city centers, shopping malls, near cinemas, schools, zoos and popular parks
19. PET FOOD VENDING MACHINE
A lot of people have pets and need to give them some food and treats. Offer them a wide selection of the best treats and foods and you will earn a nice easy income. Such machines already exist and you can see an example of such a pet food machine in this video.
Best locations: near vet’s offices, dog parks, in most crowded places
20. JELLY SWEETS
Small, inexpensive items that everyone knows and needs sell best in vending machines. One of these things are undoubtedly most popular jelly sweets, which many children and adults love to eat. Well-selling types of such jelly sweets are gummy-bears, jelly beans or sour jelly candies.
Best locations: nearly all most crowded places
21. MEAT & MEAT SNACKS VENDING MACHINE
Both small meat snacks, cold cuts, dry cured ham, sausages, beef jerky, as well as steaks and raw meat arouse the appetite of many meat lovers. Although it may seem strange, such meats can be sold in vending machines – there are already such machines in Japan and in many countries around the world and even in the USA as in this video.
Best locations: nearly all most crowded places, universities, schools, office spaces
There are different categories of jewelry. The simple one, worn by most people on a daily basis, cheap. and the other, expensive with the most expensive materials. This first, cheaper category is ideal for vending machines. A lot of women like to buy sometimes new earrings, bracelets or necklaces which can be sold in vending machines without any problem.
Best locations: shopping malls, train stations, city centers, cinemas, popular touristic destinations
Sushi vending machines are already quite popular in Japan. Also in the USA and all over the world sushi has many fans, therefore especially in the centers of large cities this type of vending machine business has a very good chance of success. Offering fresh products, especially fresh fish, is essential to the success of such a machine.
Best locations: city centers, popular touristic spots
24. PHARMACEUTICAL VENDING MACHINE
All people need to buy medicines, vitamins and dietary supplements. Some of them such as painkillers, vitamin C, vitamin D, micronutrients and others are ideal for vending machine. In such a machine, it pays to sell well-known brands of medicines.
Best locations: near hospitals, city centers
25. CHOCOLATE BARS
Some of the best vending machine business ideas are themed machines that offer many different products from a certain category. Such a popular product is chocolate and chocolate bars.
Best locations: every crowded place, metro stations, train stations
26. CHARGERS, HEADPHONES & PHONE ACCESSORIES
Almost all people need to buy a new phone cable, headphones, or other cables or devices like flash drives or powerbanks from time to time. These are ideal items to sell in vending machines. Another item to sell in such machine can be pop sockets like this one (Amazon). Everyone needs them, they are not big, and you can fit a lot of them in every machine.
Best locations: shopping malls, universities,
27. CAKES VENDING MACHINE
Fresh cakes sold in popular locations will always find many customers. Such a machine selling cakes can be seen in this video. Cakes are such a product that almost all people love. Placing such a machine in a popular location has a very high chance of success and generating a lot of revenue.
Best locations: nearly all most crowded locations
28. HAIR EXTENSTIONS & HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
A unique idea for a vending machine business is a machine that offers the most popular hair accessories and hair extensions. Examples of products that can be sold in such a machine are: hair conditioners, styling products, shampoos etc.
Best locations: shopping malls, near hair salons, city centers, near supermarkets
29. NUTS VENDING MACHINE
Nuts are another of the most profitable vending machine business ideas. By selling nuts you can count on a large profit margin, they usually have a long shelf life and can be offered in different versions (sweet, salty, coated, spicy, mixed, etc.). Pistachios also sell well.
Best locations: schools, universities office spaces, nearly every crowded places
30. FRIED CHICKEN TENDERS & WINGS
Battered, fried, grilled or sauced chicken are delicacies loved by many people around the world. There are already many machines on the market that offer such chicken, a good example is shown in this video.
Best locations: near bars and night clubs, stadiums, nearly every crowded places
31. FRESH VEGGIES VENDING MACHINE
Fresh vegetables are not only a basic ingredient in many dishes, but also a tasty and healthy food that is ideal for a snack or as part of a diet. With a vending machine like this, you can sell both raw vegetables as well as washed and cut vegetable pieces – perfect for snacks.
Best locations: city centers, near office spaces, universities, schools
32. TAKEAWAY FRUIT VENDING MACHINES
Fruit can be a great snack, part of a lunch or added to a breakfast. People who are in a hurry to get to work or have a break during their university classes often want to eat something healthy and enjoyable – this ready to eat fruit is just the thing to satisfy that need. Such fruit should be cut into small pieces and packed in a package with a fork.
Best locations: most crowded places, near office spaces, universities, schools,
33. CLAW AND CRANE VENDING MACHINE
Claw and crane vending machine is a good business idea in places where there are groups of friends or a lot of young people. Often someone just wants to play something like that to have a good time with friends and have a laugh together. You can even order such a machine on Amazon (link here).
Best locations: shopping malls, near cinemas, near bars and night clubs
34. SOUPS VENDING MACHINE
Although it may seem unbelievable soups are one of the best products that can be sold in vending machines. They are nutritious, delicious and easy to drink. A great example of such machines (very popular in Japan) can be seen on this video.
Best locations: train stations, airports, hospitals, nearly all of the most crowded places
35. VEGAN SNACKS & DRINKS VENDING MACHINE
Many people like to eat meatless snacks, and there are quite a few vegetarians and vegans who are looking for something to eat. Such a machine with vegan delicacies can create a lot of interest and attract different customers.
Best locations: city centers, near office spaces, universities, shopping malls
36. HOT VEGAN MEALS VENDING MACHINE
Also vegetarians and vegans sometimes like to eat something hot quickly. A vegan hot food machine like this one is sure to attract many non-vegans as well.
Best locations: nearly every crowded place, especially in city centers
37. SALADS VENDING MACHINE
The most popular salads have many lovers who are eager to buy them when they see them in the vending machine. The best selling salads are mainly Caesar Salad, Greek Salad, Chicken Salad, Cobb Salad, Fattoush and Niçoise Salad.
Best locations: most crowded places, office spaces, universities, schools, train stations
38. HOT DOGS
Next on our list of vending machine business ideas is a vending machine selling hotdogs. Hotdogs are a snack that is loved by a lot of people all over the world. They are simple and quick to produce and can therefore be very profitable if you place the machine in the right location.
Best locations: stadiums, metro stations, shopping malls
39. DETERGENTS VENDING MACHINES
All people need to buy detergents for their home sometimes. They have a long shelf life and therefore are a good idea for a vending machine business if you locate them in the right area.
Best locations: near apartment buildings, near schools
40. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Although selling alcohol with a vending machine is a big challenge and often impossible in many states it is without a doubt a very interesting vending machine business idea. The key is to comply with local laws and to make sure that alcohol will not be purchased by underage persons.
Best locations: adult-only facilites
41. NUTRIENTS & PROTEIN FOR ATHLETES
The key to success in any business is to provide supply where there is demand. This is the case with a vending machine selling supplements and proteins for athletes and gym goers. It is more than certain that if such a machine is placed near a place where many people practice sports, it will gain many customers. Best products to sell in such machine will be e.g. protein bars, shakes, vitamins and energy drinks.
Best locations: gyms, stadiums, sport objects like swimming pools
42. CIGARETTES & TOBACCO
Another type among interesting vending machine business ideas. Such a machine can be really profitable, but it must be located in a place where it is allowed by law.
Best locations: adult only facilities
43. PRETZELS & FRESH BREAD VENDING MACHINE BUSINESS
Bread and products like pretzels and croissants are some of the most consumed types of food in the world. The demand for such fresh bread is high and therefore a vending machine offering such bread and pretzels is one of the best vending machine business ideas to consider in places where there is no bakery.
Best locations: crowded places, near universities, schools offices
Another good idea for a vending machine business is a machine with a variety of the most popular yogurts. Yoghurts are popular types of food in small sizes ideal to sell in such a machine ideal for a quick snack during a break from work or study.
Best locations: metro stations, bus stations, train stations, shopping malls, schools, offices
Although it may seem strange, another type of machine can be one of the best vending machine business ideas, especially if you locate it in a good location. People often buy new socks. They can stay in the machine for a long time, and they are quite small so the machine can hold a lot of them.
Best locations: near hostels, hotels, shopping malls, popular touristic destinations
46. FLOWERS VENDING MACHINE
Flowers are a popular gift and a decorative element. Often people need to buy such a gift quickly, so such a machine placed in a suitable location (e.g. at restaurants or popular tourist spots) can be really profitable.
Best locations: city centers, near restaurants and bars, underground stations
47. SEAFOOD VENDING MACHINE
This is especially popular in Asia. For example, you can buy live crabs from a vending machine in China, or fresh oysters in Japan. Depending on local laws, selling live or ready-to-eat seafood can also be a great idea for a vending machine business in the USA or Europe.
Best locations: city centers and most crowded places, airports, train stations
48. BABY PRODUCTS, FOOD & DIAPERS
Another interesting niche of vending machines is selling baby products such as diapers, baby food, baby hygiene products and the most popular accessories like pacifiers and bottles.
Best locations: maternity hospitals, crowded places
49. PANCAKE VENDING MACHINE
Pancakes are one of many people’s favorite foods. Their production is quite simple and therefore they can be a very good product to sell in vending machines.
Best locations: nearly every most crowded place, schools, universities, near office spaces
50. DEODORANTS & HYGIENE PRODUCTS
All people need personal care products. Depending on the location of the vending machine, a good idea to sell these types of products is to offer products such as handkerchiefs, tooth paste, shower gel, razors, pads and tampons etc. The best locations for such vending machines should be near places where a lot of people live and where a lot of people go home from work.
Best locations: dormitories, hostels, skyscrapers, airports, train stations
51. NACHOS WITH CHEESE & SAUCE OR FRESH POPCORN
Nachos with cheese or fresh popcorn are perfect snacks for a movie and many other places. Especially with popcorn the high profit and low cost is a big plus.
Best locations: near bars, night clubs, cinemas, popular parks, and crowded spots
52. LAUNDRY PRODUCTS
To clean clothes, you need the right powders, softeners, bleaches, and sometimes fragrances and other products. Such a vending machine business is especially a good idea near places with a lot of people who need to wash clothes.
Best locations: near laundromats, apartment buildings, hostels
53. LITTLE GIFTS
A great idea for a vending machine business can be a vending machine that offers various small gifts. Examples of such gifts are handbands, interesting cufflinks, power banks, smart bracelets and smart watches and other most popular items desired by many people.
Best locations: city centers, metro and train stations, shopping malls, airports
54. CAR ACCESSORIES (CAR PERFUME, ETC.)
A vending machine is a great device for selling a certain small group of thematically related items. These products are certainly the most common small accessories and add-ons for cars like phone mounts, car chargers, air fresheners, bluetooth transmitters and many more.
Best locations: car washes, gas stations, parking lots
55. LEGOS VENDING MACHINE
Another idea for a themed vending machine is selling Legos. Lots of kids love Legos, so if placed in the right location this can be one of the best vending machine business ideas that will bring in a lot of revenue.
Best locations: shopping malls, city centers, near schools
56. KITCHEN & HOME ACCESSORIES
Everyone needs to buy some home accessories sometimes. Items like cutlery, home decorations, sandwich bags, shopping bags are things that everyone needs and can be one of the best vending machine business ideas if you place such a machine in the right location where you will not have much competition to sell such products.
Best locations: near apartment buildings, most crowded places
57. SOCKS VENDING MACHINE
Socks are another interesting product that almost all people need and that will be perfect to sell in vending machines. Like underwear they are small and often needed by tourists who run out of clothes at the hotel or people who quickly need to buy fashionable socks for a party.
Best locations: near hotels and hostels, bowling alleys, popular touristic destinations, shopping malls,
58. VENDING MACHINES PRODUCTION & SERVICE
One of the profitable and very future-oriented vending machine business ideas is also the production, design and service of vending machines. As you can already see vending machines are becoming more and more popular and it is estimated that in the future almost all products we buy today in stores will be sold by robots – or vending machines. This is a very promising business niche to invest in nowadays.
Best locations: every country around the world
59. VENDING MACHINES SALE
Since the demand and interest in the vending machine business is still growing and will continue to grow, selling, distributing and helping to sell vending machines is a great business idea. This business is most likely to be successful in big cities, but the key to success is to have a good internet marketing and offer vending machines for sale online.
Best locations: big cities
60. EGGS VENDING MACHINE
Eggs are one of the most commonly eaten foods around the world. In any neighborhood where many people live (e.g. in large apartment buildings), people are always eager to buy fresh, good eggs. Additionally, in such a machine can be sold some other very popular products, e.g. spices, salt, sugar, or paper towels.
Best locations: near apartment buildings, near metro and train stations
61. SKINCARE PRODUCTS VENDING MACHINE
Skincare is an important part of beauty and health. Many skin care products are ideally suited for sale in a vending machine. Cleansers, toners, serums, exfoliants, masks, hydrators and moisturizers are not large in size and many can fit in such a machine.
Best locations: near grocery stores and supermarkets, city centers, metro and train stations
62. DISPOSABLE MASKS & GLOVES
In recent years, demand for products such as disposable masks, gloves and disinfectants has increased dramatically worldwide. Such products are ideally suited to be sold in vending machines, which can be placed, for example, at subway entrances or hospital doors.
Best locations: hospitals, airports, train stations, shopping malls
63. HATS & CLOTHING ACCESSORIES VENDING MACHINE
Some types of hats are one-size-fits-all and look so attractive that many people would buy them without even trying them on. They are not large in size so they are perfect for selling in a vending machine. In addition to hats, you can also sell gloves, scarves and umbrellas or raincoats.
Best locations: city centers, popular touristic destinations
64. NAIL POLISH
Nail polish is almost a perfect product to sell in vending machines. The nail polishes are small and you can fit a lot of them in such a machine, plus they have a long shelf life. It is a good idea to show next to each nail polish how the color looks in real life, so that customers can see what color they are buying.
Best locations: shopping malls, metro stations
65. BAITS & FISHING ACCESSORIES
It’s a great idea for a vending machine business, but only in certain special places where there will be a lot of anglers and people who love fishing.
Best locations: near lakes, rivers and popular fishing spots
66. SCENTED CANDLES & SOAPS
Many people like to buy scented candles, scented soaps, and soaps or candles that look good or are made from interesting (e.g., having medicinal properties) natural ingredients.
Best locations: shopping malls, city centers
67. CANNED FOOD, CAVIAR, ANCHOIS
Many possible vending machine business ideas could also apply to machines that sell canned food – the most popular products with long shelf life, but also other more specialty items such as traditional Italian tomato sauces and preserves, or survival food in jars or cans.
Best locations: city centers, in popular, crowded spots
68. PHOTO BOOTH MACHINE
Photo booth is not really a vending machine, but it can be a great idea for entrepreneurs looking for profitable vending machine business ideas. Such a machine is very profitable in popular places where there are a lot of people and, for example, friends meet there and want to take photos together. The success of a photo booth depends on how creatively it is designed and how unique photos it enables to take.
Best locations: shopping malls, night clubs, stadiums, air ports
69. STATIONERY MACHINE
Stationery is something that is needed in almost every school as well as near office spaces and city centers. It is perfect for vending machine sales, so if there is no competition around, it can be a good idea for an extra mini business.
Best locations: schools, universities, offices
70. TECHNICAL TOOLS & ACCESSORIES
Often at home or at work we need to fix something or do some technical work. For this we need things like glues, screwdrivers, adhesive tapes, staplers, paints, gloves and much more.
Best locations: near technical universities, city centers
71. SUNSCREEN VENDING MACHINES
Every trip to the beach or waterfront in the summer comes with some accessories that you need to have a good time. Sunscreen, also googles, beach toys for kids, swimming accessories or mini-towels are just some of the beach accessories that can be sold in the machine.
Best locations: near beaches and crowded swimming spots
72. VIDEO GAMES & GIFT CARDS
The games have a lot of adult and younger fans, so selling them is a good business idea in almost any place with high traffic. Also, gift cards would be perfect to sell in such a vending machine.
Best locations: near grocery stores and supermarkets, shopping malls, city centers
73. BOOKS VENDING MACHINE
Selling books can also be a viable additional business idea. In order to maximize profits, it is worth selling best sellers, but you can also sell old, used books that can often be obtained for half free at a high margin.
Best locations: city centers, near universities, schools and educational spots
74. PAINT & ARTISTIC ACCESSORIES
This is an interesting idea for a niche wending machine business that can be very profitable in certain locations. Many people need paints, artistic markers, pencils, pedals and other such accessories. You just have to be smart about where you find a lot of these people.
Best locations: art schools, universities, schools, art galleries
75. JAMS, HONEY, MAPLE SYRUP VENDING MACHINE
ending machines are also ideal for selling popular jams, honeys, syrups and even sauces (including hot sauces). All of these have a long shelf life and many people love them, so they are a great commodity to sell in a vending machine.
Best locations: crowded places, near apartment buildings
VENDING MACHINE BUSINESS MOST IMPORTANT TIPS
There is specific group of vending machines that generate biggest profits. Profitability of vending machine depends on:
– location of the machine (crowded place like school or metro station, or place where are many tourists will generate more sales than empty places)
– popularity and demand on the products
– profit margin and number of products you will sale some are more profitable and some less
– maching of product and the niche (there must be demand for that type of good which is offered in machine)
– the lack of competition selling the same type of products as your vending machine is another big plus (in terms of competition from both machines and traditional stores).
BEST PLACES TO PUT VENDING MACHINE
- Airports – people often have to quickly buy products like cosmetics, food, snacks or drinks and they don’t have time to search for a shop in all terminals
- Shopping malls – always a lot of people who want to buy something there
- Metro stations and bus & tram stations – best places to quickly buy and grab most needed thing
- Schools and universities – and places nearby
- Hospitals and clinics
- Office spaces & office buildings
- Hotels – near them or inside
- Sport places – like stadiums, swimming pools, basketball fields etc. – usually there are many people there during sport events – all these people might get hungry or want to buy any products
- Places with a lot of tourists – most famous spots near sea, in mountains, in cities etc.
BENEFITS OF VENDING MACHINE BUSINESS
- Highly scalable business
- Pretty stable income
- Clients do not have to wait in line in shop
- It’s up to you how often you visit the machine (and “work” with it)
- Possibility to change the products offered – even if your products are selling badly, with many machines you can switch to other products and see what sells better and what is in higher demand
- Cold drinks as a percent of products sold in vending machines – https://brandongaille.com/23-intriguing-vending-machine-sales-statistics/
- Costs of buying coffee machine – https://coffeespiration.com/is-coffee-vending-machine-a-good-investment/
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