The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely movement restrictions, strongly hurt vending sales in 2020 as there was significantly lower foot traffic in vending locations, such as those in travel and retail. The progressive lifting of restrictions and the “softer” lockdown in 2021 ensured a recovery in 2021; however, vending sales did not reach their pre-pandemic levels.
The pandemic has changed consumers’ habits when it comes to grocery shopping. The increasing relevance of food e-commerce and quick commerce, the strong rise of proximity stores, and limited movement due to COVID-19 restrictions resulted in an extremely negative performance for packaged drinks and snacks vending.
The Coca-Cola Co maintained its lead in vending in 2020, thanks to its iconic Coca-Cola brand. Lekkerland Deutschland GmbH & Co KG also remained in second place, with its Conway brand.
The progressive return to pre-COVID-19 conditions in terms of mobility, returning to work/school etc is set to give a boost to vending sales over the forecast period as foot traffic will increase in locations with a high prevalence of vending machines.
The full recovery and the development of vending over the forecast period is linked to innovation. Among the key factors in innovation is payment methods.
In 2020, manufacturers expanded the vending channel to products such as beauty and personal care products. And Other Stories, for instance, has vending machines selling fragrances.
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Vending means automatic retailing. It covers the sale of products and services at an unattended point of sale through a machine operated by introducing coins, bank notes, payment cards, tokens or other means of cashless payment. Sales figures cover vended products only, ie food, drink and other consumable goods such as vended tobacco, sanitary products and condoms. Services such as the public telephone, laundrette facilities, travel tickets, stamps, passport photographs, domestic energy supplies and business card creation are excluded. Coverage includes vending systems installed in public and semi-captive environments only. Hotels, transport networks, recreational centres, shopping centres/malls are included. Factories, offices, hospitals, prisons, schools and other captive environments are excluded.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Vending research and analysis database.
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