Cold drinks machines have come a long way since their introduction in the early 20th century. What began as a way to conveniently access fizzy drinks and sweet treats, cold drink vending machines have now evolved into intuitive unattended retail solutions, offering a wide range of healthier, diet conscious beverages in workplaces and in public spaces.
In this blog post, we will look at how cold drinks machines have evolved over the years and the impact that changes in consumer demographics have driven this change.
From High Sugar Fizzy Drinks to Healthy Alternatives
According to the NHS, more than 10 billion litres of fizzy drinks are consumed in the UK every single year. Cold drinks machines are an incredibly popular way for people to access these drinks, especially in public places and busy workplaces.
Traditionally, drink vending machines stocked sugary drinks and bottled water, but this is changing. With the rise of low sugar alternatives, more and more people are opting for healthier options, with a 2017 survey by YouGov finding that half of consumers preferred low sugar drinks.
Cold drinks machine suppliers have responded to this shift, now stocking a much broader range of options including vitamin drinks, energy drinks and protein drinks. This has been a valuable source of expansion for burgeoning drinks brands, helping them reach a huge audience of customers with much more varied drink preferences.
Customisable and Diet-Specific Options
When you buy a cold drinks vending machine, you get ultimate flexibility in terms of product line composition and options. Many machines can have up to 60 vending spirals, allowing you to offer a huge variety of drinks to suit different dietary requirements and customer needs.
The product line composition can quickly and easily be changed by either your vending supplier, who will be able to suggest the bestselling products, or by you as the customer on a DIY basis. By keeping an eye on which products are being chosen more frequently and not selling well, you can adjust the selection in the machine to best suit your customers’ needs.
This means that you can offer everything from sugary sodas to healthier alternatives, as well as diet-specific drinks like vegan, gluten-free, or low-sugar options. With the ability to change and customize drink vending machines, customers will always have access to a wide range of drinks that cater to their individual tastes.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Cold drinks machines have come a long way from the rudimentary and frustrating machines of the past. Recent improvements to vending technology, combined with the rise of smart fridges, have made the dispensing of cold drinks much more intuitive for consumers and in a way that is far less prone to fizzing up or damaging drinks when they are dropped into dispense areas.
Additionally, card readers are now commonplace on cold drinks vending machines, making it much easier and more convenient for customers to pay for their refreshments. This also removes the need for operators or businesses to manage cash collections and cash floats per machine, with card transactions all able to be monitored remotely.
Most notably, the interface for selecting drinks has vastly improved, making it easier than ever for customers to choose from an array of drinks, including healthy alternatives and those tailored to specific dietary requirements.
Some machines also allow you to add multiple drinks to an order without having to complete separate transactions, which is a game changer for those buying drinks for their family.
Cold drinks machines are now an integral part of any commercial setting and offer customers an enjoyable and stress-free experience.
Commercial Smart Fridges and Beyond
The evolution of cold drinks machines has also seen the early adoption of other unattended retail solutions, including micro markets and commercial smart fridges. These offer quick and convenient access to cold drinks and often feature enhanced aesthetics that make them a better fit for certain environments.
Micro markets are the perfect solution for locations with limited space and a need for a wide array of food and beverage options, while commercial smart fridges offer a unique way to access cold drinks and other chilled items for people on the go.
They also provide an easy way for retailers to track their sales data, giving them more control over their inventory and pricing. The emergence of commercial smart fridges has provided a new level of convenience for consumers and opened up many opportunities for businesses looking to expand their reach.
Find out more about cold drink vending machines
If you’re considering the options for buying a cold drinks machine, we can help. Our expert team of vending professionals are on hand to find you the best machine for your requirements, and can help you stock and clean the equipment with our fully managed vending service.
To get started, give our team a call on 01865 341011 or contact us. We’d love to hear from you.