The COVID-19 pandemic hit vending hard across captive, semi-captive and non-captive environments. The closure of workplaces and educational establishments halted sales through vending machines in these locations, as well as significantly reducing foot traffic in key transport locations, which are also prominent sites for vending machines.
Vending machines are unevenly distributed throughout the country, found almost only in large cities, and the vast majority of that in Bogotá and fewer in Medellín and Cali. There is thus much room for growth in the sales channel.
Having gained the lead from Autosnack in 2018, Novaventa remained the largest player in vending in 2021. The company has benefited from its Novaventa al Paso programme, which involves locating vending machines containing major brands from Grupo Nutresa in high-traffic public spaces.
While there is expected to be a revival of hectic consumer lifestyles as the immediate threat from COVID-19 wanes, the pandemic is set to have an enduring impact on social and economic activity. One key influence of the COVID-19 crisis is likely to be a lasting shift towards working from home now that the necessary routines and technologies are in place and both businesses and employees have come to appreciate its benefits.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Colombia was witnessing the rapid installation of vending machines throughout the country, both in captive and semi-captive environments. Players were importing a greater volume of machines, although Colombian companies also started to manufacture them nationally at cheaper prices, bringing in technological improvements and innovations.
While vending continues to be dominated by packaged foods and packaged drinks, addressing demand for convenient on-the-go snacks such as carbonates and chocolate bars, players are looking at ways to improve their offer and adapt to the increasing demand for electronic devices such as inexpensive headphones, chargers, and batteries. Such vending machines, which are found in heavy traffic locations such as terminals and airports, are expected to become an increasingly prominent feature of the channel during the forecast period.
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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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