Vending machines in the UK

The country with the most vending machines per capita in the world is Japan. They have 1 vending machine per 23 people, and there you can buy almost anything, from DVDs to live lobsters, in vending machines. There are nearly one million machines across the country selling nothing but Coca-Cola. As no other country can stop these vending fans in the near future, let’s focus on vending machines in Europe and the UK in particular.

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1 of 9 Europe’s vending machines is in UK

According to the surveys available at European Vending Association, the total vending machine field-base in Europe amounts to 3.8 million machines, with almost 80% of them distributed among the 6 leading countries. The turnover for the covered area is around £9.5 billion. According to analysts, the European vending machine market tends to grow 5-10% every year.

Here in the UK, birthplace of the modern vending machines, there is 1 vending machine for 55 persons, and the number has been increasing with custom vending machines gaining more an more prominence. It’s the second largest vending machine market after Germany, with 1 of 9 Europe’s vending machines operating in the UK. More than 7 billion items are vended in more than 500,000 UK vending machines, generating over £1.5 billion profit.

Most popular products sold in UK vending machines

The products vended most successfully are cold drinks and snacks. But like in the rest of Europe, hot drinks have also become popular vended items in today’s UK, with 60% of these vending machines found in workplaces.

More than 8 million cups of coffee and 2 million cups of tea are vended in the UK on a daily basis. The selection continues to increase rapidly and during the last few years there has been a significant increase in consumption of drinks in larger cups. UK people have always demanded quality and now they want more of it, with 9oz or even 12oz becoming the new norm. Also some vending machines in the UK start to grind their own coffee beans, ending a long-lasting instant coffee reign.

One of the most significant changes in the UK vending machine business was the ban of dispensing cigarettes from October, 2011 in order to prevent under-age sales and also help adults quit. Speaking of health issues, vending machines providing healthy food and drinks are becoming increasingly popular. Other never-seen-before products, such as shoes and sports equipment, are also appearing in he vending businesses, often following Japanese trends.

So what are the TOP 10 vending machine products sold in the UK? Download our free PDF about vending machines and find out now!

As the opportunities for vending machine business in the UK seem inexhaustible for the forthcoming decades, the only question arises – what are the benefits of this business? Is it really worth investing your money in this particular segment?

To find out why this is a good choice for your business, see our next section dedicated to the benefits of vending machines.

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