Top 5 Trends in Vending and Micro Markets

As competition for talent becomes fiercer due to a strong labor market, employers are looking for ways to differentiate. One way is to offer stronger perks onsite, like better food and beverage options.

In this environment, it’s important to understand key vending trends as well as trends in micro markets. The vending and micro market experts at Florida Fresh are seeing the following five trends emerge:

1. Micro markets are becoming more accessible and growing in popularity.

Micro markets are becoming more and more popular due to expanded choices and the freshness of their options. According to industry trend-watchers at Kiosk Marketplace, micro markets are now the fastest-growing channel in foodservice.

Micro markets allow your employees to:

  • Touch and examine products before purchasing, allowing them to more easily read nutrition information
  • Enjoy an open market shopping experience
  • Choose from a greater variety of products and fresher food options
  • Go cashless or even cardless with prepaid debit accounts

For employers, innovations like smaller kiosks and tabletop scanners have made it easier to create micro markets in smaller spaces.

2. We’re spending less time eating, prompting the need for quick meal options.

Why do we always feel rushed at work, especially when it comes to meals and snacks? A study backed by the USDA found that Americans are spending less time eating than just a decade ago, and in recent years a variety of sources have reported on our tendency to feel like there aren’t enough hours to get all our work done.

While it’s better for our health and productivity to take a break once in awhile, some days it’s just not possible. That’s why vending services, micro markets, and even pantry services are becoming a popular source for quick meals that offer employees a lot of variety without having to leave the office.

3. Vending technology is solving long-standing ease-of-use problems.

With the increasing popularity of cashless transactions, some vending services now offer “smart vend” technology that ensures ease-of-use. This means no more “the machine ate my dollar” headaches, which is especially welcome news for Human Resources teams who have traditionally had to resolve these kinds of issues.

Other innovations in vending technology include remote monitoring of inventory to prevent out-of-stock items, the ability to accept payment via Google Wallet and Apple Pay, and more energy-efficient coolers and freezers.

4. Employers want to keep staff onsite for greater collaboration and productivity.

Silicon Valley firms popularized the idea of offering more workplace perks for employees to inspire creativity and collaboration – and to keep talent onsite. The good news is, your company can tap into this trend without sponsoring lunchtime paddle-boarding excursions (like Glassdoor) or giving free bikes to interns (like Microsoft). Having fresh, healthy food options available onsite makes a big difference!

Learn more about the impact of what we eat on how we work, and the factors you should be considering when evaluating a vending service.

5. There is higher demand for healthy and specialty options.

The health-conscious movement continues to impact workers across all generations. While Millennials are the most likely to seek healthier food options, according to a health and wellness study conducted by Nielsen, older generations are also paying greater attention as they take a more preventive approach to their health. In addition, HR professionals see the value of helping their workforces maintain healthier lifestyles.

Recent trends towards gluten-free, nut-free, and other food sensitivities are also playing into the need for any foodservice option to offer more variety than ever. Healthier options and specialty offerings can now be delivered through both micro markets and modern vending solutions.

Find out more about Florida Fresh, Florida’s top vending and micro market provider serving Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Melbourne and more. We help companies drive employee satisfaction through better meal, snack, and beverage options – see how we’ve helped the team at Maximus Federal in Jacksonville.