Bottoms Up Vending: State of Vending 2024

In an insightful conversation with Zach Montovan, the Operations Manager at our vending company, we delved into the intricacies of consumer preferences, operational evolutions, and the strategies that have sculpted our path through 2023. Here’s a personal look into our journey, capturing the essence of change, challenge, and innovation.

Caricature of interview with bottoms up vending

Popular Products and Evolving Tastes

Interviewer: Zach, could you tell us which snacks topped the sales charts in our vending machines in 2023?

Zach Montovan: Absolutely. Our best-sellers were Lays Classic, Doritos Nacho Cheese, Mrs. Freshley’s Chocolate Cupcakes, Snickers Original, and Grandma’s Vanilla Cookies. It’s clear our customers love their classics.

Interviewer: And what about beverages? Which drinks saw the highest increase in sales last year?

Zach: Coca-Cola and Pepsi were our standout performers, with sales reaching nearly 6 pallets of Coca-Cola cans a week. It’s been impressive to watch.

Interviewer: Have you observed any consumer trends towards healthier options or specific dietary needs?

Zach: Interestingly, the sectors we serve haven’t shown a strong demand for healthier or diet-specific options. Though, we’re always monitoring these trends closely.

Interviewer: What new product introductions were most successful in 2023?

Zach: Energy drinks have surged in popularity. We introduced varieties of Monster, C4, and Venom, and they’ve all seen significant sales increases at our locations.

Interviewer: Are there any regional differences in product popularity that you’ve observed?

Zach: Definitely. Beverage preferences vary, with some areas favoring RC/7up/Dr. Pepper, while others lean towards Coke and Pepsi. Spicier snacks are more popular in the south suburbs and northern Indiana.

Fantasy vending machine in an office drawingNavigating Industry and Operational Changes

Interviewer: Shifting gears a bit, were there any significant changes in vending machine technology we adopted in 2023?

Zach: We’ve made a critical update by converting all our machines to accept Tap, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, responding to the shift towards contactless payments.

Interviewer: How did our inventory management strategies evolve last year?

Zach: Our growth necessitated stricter product rotation and a reorganization of our warehouse to simplify loading and unloading for our workers.

Interviewer: Did we make any changes to our supply chain or logistics in response to market demands or challenges in 2023?

Zach: Yes, we diversified our distributors significantly. The COVID era taught us the importance of not relying on just a couple of sources due to potential product shortages.

Interviewer: With the rise of contactless payments, how has this trend affected us?

Zach: Contactless payments have exploded, almost half of our sales are now through card readers, a significant shift from cash transactions.

Cartoon vending machine in a gymReflecting on a Year of Growth and Adaptation

Interviewer: Looking at marketing and business growth, what strategies did we find most effective in attracting new locations for our vending machines in 2023?

Zach: Our website has been a key tool in attracting new locations, showcasing the convenience and variety we offer.

Interviewer: Can you share any success stories of partnerships or collaborations that significantly impacted our business last year?

Zach: Partnering with more distributors like Dr. Pepper/Keurig and Total Foods has been game-changing, allowing us to navigate supply chain issues effectively and secure competitive pricing.

Interviewer: How did customer feedback influence our business decisions or product offerings in 2023?

Zach: Customer feedback led us to diversify our product offerings, focusing on higher quality products to meet our consumers’ evolving tastes.

Interviewer: What challenges did we face in 2023, and how did we overcome them?

Zach: The challenges of increasing product costs and shortages in distribution were significant. We combated these by expanding our distributor network, which has been a successful strategy for us.

This interview with Zach Montovan not only sheds light on the operational intricacies and consumer preferences that shape our vending company but also highlights our adaptive strategies in meeting these challenges head-on. Would you like a vending machine at your place of work? Contact us today!

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