Snack and sweet vending machines, while serving virtually any type of sweet or savoury snack, can also dispense bottled, canned or tetra-packed cold drinks. Snacks usually include various types of crisps, pastries, candies, chocolates, and such. If you decide to dispense both snacks and drinks, the option of setting different temperatures comes in handy. This is also useful in case of season change.
As any other, snack and sweet vending machines can have coin, cash, token or credit card payment systems or a combination of the several mentioned. They also come in different sizes, containing 12, 23, 32, 40 or even more selections, but you should always check the capacity and size ratio as bigger dimensions do not necessarily mean less restocking chores.
Just like any other modern vending machine, snack and sweet machines have special sensors to detect whether the product has been vended. If the attempt fails, the system tries again and gives back client’s money only as the last resort.
Snack and sweet machines tend to contain more than a few products, therefore a glass front is the best option as most clients need some time to make up their minds, and being able to see the selection is important to them. Also they can see which products are more popular and base their choice on that if they are unfamiliar with the brands offered.
As these machines are among the UK most popular, most models will pay off if you manage to sell as few as 4 products per day.
Gumball machine may be the most popular type of bulk vending machines that can also serve candy, gum, various toys and capsules with novelty. These machines are best suited for birthday parties, shopping malls, carnivals and so on as kids are highly attracted to them. It is important to look for new locations for the gumball machines to make sure your product is available in every hot spot.
Due to vending cheap small products, gumball machines have lower safety requirements and therefore are cheaper themselves. Usually they accept coins exclusively, sometimes only of particular denomination as they normally vend single product, although there are other models combining several vending machines on one stand or rack.
For kids who don’t know how to read to be able to use them, gumball machines don’t vend the product if given a wrong denomination coin and return it back. As some kids might try to shake them, these machines come with additional weight, no sharp edges and shatter-proof globes.
Ice cream vending machine
If you decide to vend frozen products, such as ice cream, be sure to choose an energy-efficient solution as average power consumption can fluctuate from 3 up to 12 kWh per day. Also make sure that your chosen model uses chest freezer as it is more energy-efficient than refrigerating the whole machine.
Another important factor is how long the holding time after power loss is. If it’s short, that means you can loose a big sum of money in case of power loss, e.g. using a larger ice cream vending machine. So make sure that the holding time is at least 10 hours, or more.
Also make sure that the temperature loss during restocking is as little as possible because if you need to refill your machine quite often, you are sure to feel this when you get your electricity bills.
Another question to ask the manufacturer is whether your chosen model goes through defrost cycles as these can have pretty serious negative effect on ice cream or certain other products. As you want your products always on display, make sure that the glass eliminates condensation and frost.
Speaking of ice cream, few of us would choose not to put any toppings if offered. This can also be done by ice cream vending machine, be it nuts, sprinkles, various sweets, syrups and so on.
Finally, those concerned with sustainability (and those who aren’t, should be!) can always ask about the refrigerant used – if it is environmentally friendly, such as R124, R134a, R152a or any other CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) alternative.