In 2021, vending sales continued to decline, resulting in large part from the lengthy lockdown in Germany in the first half of the year. This led to a considerable reduction in demand in key vending locations both in public and semi-captive environments, including streets, transport networks, cafés/bars and hotels.
While vending continued its declining path in Germany in 2021, the pandemic actually had a positive impact in terms of promoting the use of vending machines in certain circumstances, due to the no-contact aspect. In 2021, the pandemic continued to drive innovation amongst retailers, including in terms of the introduction of vending machines.
In 2021, tobacco vending not only suffered from the immediate effect of restrictions caused by the months-long lockdown, but the channel also saw a considerable decline in the number of tobacco vending machines. This was an already existing trend in Germany, as tobacco players increasingly switched to other more cost-effective channels, in view of the rise in vandalism and additional youth protection requirements.
Over the forecast period, vending in Germany is expected to continue to record a steady decline in sales. Yet within the channel, there will be diverging development between tobacco and non-tobacco vending.
Over the forecast period non-tobacco vending is expected become increasingly influential in the German retail landscape. Although not necessarily translating into significant sales growth in the short-term, the pandemic inspired a rethinking of the various usage cases for vending machines, thereby being increasingly considered an alternative, or in some instances, a whole new retail option for consumers, depending on their location.
The emerging growth potential in vending following the pandemic is likely to be further supported by digital innovations that enhance the customer experience and will significantly improve the consumer perception of the vending channel in Germany. A growing number of vending machines already accept non-cash payments, including contactless payments, which have made transactions at vending machines easier and more convenient.
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Vending (automatic merchandising) is the sale of products 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 (i.e. food, drink and other consumable goods such as vended tobacco, sanitary products and condoms). Services such as the public telephone, launderette 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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