What are the Most Popular Items to Stock in a Traditional Vending Machine?

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Ssnacks[1]elling the right product to your customers is one of the most important aspects of running a good, profitable vending business.  I get calls all the time from new vendors who are excited to stock their new vending machine but don’t know what items to stock it with.  This blog-post will focus on the most popular and profitable vending snacks and drinks.

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, there is not one solution that will work with every location and much testing and modifying should take place to get the right fit for each location.  What I have seen work well is to provide the business with a checklist of snacks and beverages that you are willing to sell and have all the employees check the items in which they are most interested in seeing in their machine.  I would not give them a blank sheet as you may get some suggestions that just aren't available or aren't popular enough to consider.  Many times I have had customers ask me to stock something odd like black licorice or raisins and I had to refuse them as I knew that they just wouldn't sell to the masses.  Listed below is my list of  most popular items to be sold in the different vending machine categories:

1. Snacks

This is my list of the most popular items found in snack vending machines, not in any particular order: Snickers, Peanut M&M’s, Twix, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger, Milk Duds, Milky Way, Baby Ruth, gum, Doritos, Cheetos, Lay's potato chips, Oreos, Grandma’s Cookies, Rice Crispy Treats, peanuts, Corn Nuts, trail mix, honey buns, strawberry Pop Tarts, Cheez-It's, Granola Bars, beef jerky, & pretzels.

2. Soda Pop & Drinks

The following drinks are my most popular ones: water, Mountain Dew, energy drinks, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Gatorade.

3. Bulk Candy

The most popular Bulk Candy, in order of popularity, would be Peanut M&M’s, Mike & Ikes, Skittles, Gumballs, Hot Tamales, Plain M&M’s, Runts, and Boston Baked Beans.  I have tried various kinds of nuts but I prefer not to stock them with my bulk candy machines since they go bad so fast and make a mess.

Most people use vending machines to sell food and drinks, but they can also be used to sell a multitude of items. The other day I had someone who owned a laundromat call me to discuss the possibility of selling laundry detergent packets from a vending machine.  I have had other people call me who were interested in selling school supplies in the vending machine at school.  Motels use vending machines all the time, not just for snacks and sodas, but also to sell items that travelers often forget, such as toothbrushes, tooth paste, aspirin, deodorant, feminine pads, chap stick, cough drops, or condoms.

Vending machines can sell almost anything and the list keeps growing everyday.  Most machines are adjustable so they can accommodate a variety of items with differing shapes and sizes; however, knowing if the item will sell or not is another crucial step to making your vending business a success. What are your most popular and profitable vending items?  Be sure and check out the huge selection of New and Pre-owned vending machines at The Discount Vending Store.

3 Comments

  1. Easton Memmott

    I really like when you mentioned how you can stock more than just popular candy bars. My wife and I are thinking of renting a car wash which will have a vending machine. If we do end up renting the car wash, we will be sure to acknowledge any possibility of stocking our vending machine.

    Reply
    • Mike Edwards Crowley Louisiana

      Do soda machines sell better than snacks? Would a combo be better in prime locations!?

      Reply
      • TheDiscountVendingStore

        Typically drinks are higher in demand than snacks, by about 2-1. However, I would definately recommend selling both snacks and drinks as it’s not much more work to sell both. A combo machine makes that easy to do as long as the traffic isn’t too high. Most locations don’t warrant a snack and drink machine and one combo is just fine. However, if you see that you are restocking the machine twice a week, I recommend you get a snack and a drink machine to save on time. Good luck.

        Reply

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