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How Much Do Snack Vending Machines Make

Snack vending machines have become ubiquitous in various public spaces, providing a convenient way for people to grab a quick bite. With their enticing array of snacks and drinks, it’s natural to wonder about the profitability of these automated merchants.

Determining the exact amount a snack vending machine can make is dependent on various factors, including location, foot traffic, product selection, and operational costs.

While some vending machines can yield substantial profits, it is essential to consider market trends, consumer preferences, and maintenance expenses to gauge the true earning potential of these self-service snack havens.

In this article, we will explore the factors influencing the revenue generated by a vending machine business and delve into the variables that can impact its financial success.

Table of Contents

What is a Snack Vending Machine?

It is one kind of vending machine for selling snacks. The vending snack machine is a common sight in public spaces, but with the increasing demand for quick and convenient snacks, there is a growing need for more vending machines to cater to people’s cravings.

Whether it’s an office building, a shopping mall, or a busy train station, installing specialty machines ensures that people can easily satisfy their hunger on the go.

Read more: Snack And Drink Machines

Are Vending Machine Businesses Profitable

Vending machines can be profitable due to their low operating costs, high potential for taxable income, and ability to serve various locations.

Vending machines are commonly used to provide quick food and beverage options to individuals on the move. 

Given that the products sold in vending machines are typically lower in value, there is often skepticism regarding their profitability.

However, when structured effectively, vending machines can indeed yield significant profits.

The current state of the industry attests to the financial potential of vending machines.

In the United States alone, there are approximately 5 million operational vending machines, generating over $7 billion in annual sales for their operators. 

The snack niche, in particular, stands out, contributing a substantial $64 million in annual profits to vending machine operators.

These figures demonstrate the substantial revenue-generating capacity of a well-executed vending machine business profitable.

Well-placed, well-stocked vending machines will continue to be in demand as long as people consume food and beverages while on the move.

Vending machines have proven to be a profitable business venture for many entrepreneurs. 

Low Operating Costs

One of the primary reasons vending machines can be profitable is their low operating costs. Once a vending machine is installed and stocked with products, the ongoing expenses are minimal.

The main costs involve restocking the machine and occasional maintenance. 

Potential for Passive Income

Vending machines provide an opportunity for passive net wage generation.

Once the machine is placed, the automated nature of vending machines allows for continuous earning potential without constant supervision.

Versatile Locations 

Vending machines can be strategically found in office buildings, schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and transportation hubs.

By identifying locations with high foot traffic and consumer demand for convenient snacks, beverages, or other products, operators can maximize their profits.

How Much Do Snack Vending Machines Make 

How Much Does a Vending Snack Machine Make Per Day

On average, a snack vending machine can make around $25 to $100 per day. However, the actual earnings can vary significantly based on several factors.

The location of the vending machine, the types of snacks offered, and the foot traffic in the area all play a crucial role in determining daily earnings.

How Much Do Snack Vending Machine Options Make Per Month

Monthly earnings for a vending business can range from $750 to $3,000. Again, these numbers are approximate and depend on the factors mentioned earlier.

However, with strategic placement and regular maintenance, it is possible to achieve consistent monthly earnings.

How Much Does a Vending Machine Make in a Year

Assuming a conservative estimate of $1,000 per month, a snack vending machine can generate approximately $12,000 per year.

However, it is important to note that this number can significantly increase or decrease based on location, product selection, and marketing efforts.

Formulas to Measure Vending Snack Machine’s Net Profit

The core fact is having the right support, strategies, and appropriate pricing structures in place to ensure a vending machine business makes money.

The Formula of Sales Profit

How much your snack vending machine can make is primarily driven by three things:

The Profit do you make per sale?

How many items do you sell per day?

How much your monthly expenses are

The profit formula looks like this:

Net Profit = ( Items Sold Per Day x Profit Per Item Sold x Days Per Month )- Monthly Expenses

For example, let’s assume the following:

-65 items sold per day

-$0.50 profit per item sold

-Available 24 days per month

-Total expenses of $220 per month

Your Profit Would Be

Profit = (65 x $0.50 x 24) – $220

Sum up of the Profit = $560 per month.

The numbers used above are almost realistic averages. But let’s go into greater depth on each of these key numbers.

Number of Items Sold Per Day

The location of your vending machine plays a pivotal role in determining your daily sales. Let’s provide a sneak peek into the three key factors that contribute to success, known as the “Big 3”:

  • Daily foot traffic
  • Likelihood to buy
  • Competition

While selling fifty items per day might initially seem like a substantial goal, it’s essential to consider the number of hours your vending machine operates during the day.

For instance, if your machine is located in a building open for ten hours daily, you would only need to make five sales per hour to achieve this target. With a well-chosen location, reaching this goal becomes highly feasible.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that customers often purchase multiple items. If, on average, each customer buys 1.5 items, you would only need to make 33 individual sales (approximately 3.3 per hour) to sell a total of 50 items.

Profit Per Item Sold

This section discusses the pricing strategies of vending machine business owners. It explains that most vending machine owners mark up the prices of their products by at least 100%, and sometimes even as much as 200% or 300%.

For instance, a can of soda that costs $0.31 might be sold to customers for $0.75 (a 242% markup) or $1.00 (a 323% markup).

However, the author emphasizes that percentages are not as important as the actual Profit in dollars and cents. The focus should be on how much money the owner earns from each sale.

To illustrate this, the passage uses the example of the soda can.

If the vending machine owner charges $0.75 for a can of soda that costs $0.31, the apparent Profit is $0.44.

But the author reveals that a vending machine business owner also has to collect and remit taxes to the state.

So the $0.75 price tag actually consists of two parts: the actual retail price of the soda ($0.70) and the tax that must be paid to the state ($0.05).

Therefore, the actual Profit on the can of soda is $0.39, not $0.44.

This explains why most soda machines charge $1.00 or more per can. Depending on the tax rate of the state, a $1.00 purchase translates to $0.92 to $0.95 of product revenue after removing sales tax, resulting in a net income of $0.61 to $0.64 per sale.

Days Per Month

Except for February, all months have either 30 or 31 days.

However, the availability of a vending machine throughout the month depends on its location. If the machine is in a facility that operates only on weekdays, it will be accessible for approximately 22 days per month.

In contrast, if it is in a building open six days a week, sales can be made for approximately 26 days each month.

Monthly Expenses

If you decide to finance the purchase of your vending machine, your biggest monthly expense will be the payment to the company.

This expense will continue until the 24- or 36-month mark, after which it will completely disappear. Once the machine is paid off, you can look forward to a monthly raise of $125-160.

Apart from the financing payments, there are other expenses to consider. First, you’ll need to pay rent to the business owner or property owner where your vending machine is located.

The rent can either be a flat monthly rate of $50-100 or a percentage of your revenue.

For low-electricity machines, the percentage typically ranges from 5-10%, while high-electricity machines, such as refrigerated ones, may require 15-20% of your revenue.

You will also need to account for the cost of vending machine software, which is necessary to manage your machine’s inventory and sales data.

Additionally, if your vending machine accepts credit card payments, you’ll have to cover credit card processing fees, as having a credit card reader is essential in today’s world.

Another expense to consider is the cost of gas for traveling to and from your vending machine. This will vary depending on the distance you need to travel and the frequency of restocking or maintenance visits.

Lastly, occasional repairs and maintenance are to be expected. Vending machines can encounter issues that require repairs, and regular maintenance is essential to keep them operating smoothly.

It’s important to note that the list of expenses mentioned does not include the cost of the products you sell in your vending machine, as those costs are already factored into the Profit per sale.

Overall, while you are still paying off your vending machine, you can expect your total monthly expenses to be around $250.

However, once the machine is paid off at the 24- or 36-month mark, your expenses will decrease by $125-160, providing you with additional income each month.

So How Much Does the Average Vending Machine Earns

In summary, the cost of a vending machine ranges from $300 to $600. If an additional monthly income of $300 to $600 doesn’t excite you enough, you can multiply that number by 2, 5, 10, or 20 for even greater potential earnings.

Numerous customers have vending machine routes consisting of 10 to 20 machines or more, and they earn a substantial full-time income.

Furthermore, whenever they pay off one of their machines, they experience a significant monthly increase in earnings.

What Are the Most Profitable Vending Machines 

The most profitable vending machines vary depending on the location, like school, hospital, office space, and target market.

However, some of the consistently lucrative options include machines that offer popular snacks and beverages, such as sodas, chips, and candies.

Additionally, machines that dispense healthier alternatives like fresh fruits, salads, or specialty items like gourmet coffee can also be profitable in the right setting.

Here are some types of vending machines which are considered to be profitable:

Snack Vending Machines

Start a vending machine business snack machine offers a convenient and accessible way to satisfy cravings on the go.

With a variety of options ranging from chips and chocolates to healthier alternatives like granola bars and nuts, these machines cater to diverse tastes and dietary preferences.

Whether in schools, office buildings, or public spaces, vending machines provide a quick and reliable solution for a quick snack fix.

Coffee Vending Machines

Coffee vending machines are automated devices that dispense freshly brewed coffee with just the push of a button, providing a convenient and quick caffeine fix for on-the-go individuals.

These machines offer a wide variety of coffee options, from classic black coffee to specialty blends, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. 

Soda Vending Machines 

Soda vending machines are automated dispensers that provide a convenient way for individuals to purchase their favorite carbonated beverages with ease.

These machines are often found in public spaces, offering a wide selection of sodas and refreshing options to quench one’s thirst on the go.

Cold Food Vending Machines

Cold food vending machines provide a convenient solution for quick and on-the-go meals, offering a variety of refrigerated options such as salads, sandwiches, and beverages.

These machines ensure freshness and accessibility, catering to the needs of busy individuals seeking a convenient and nourishing food option to start a vending machine business.

Average Profit Margin for Vending Machines

The average profit margin for vending machines typically ranges between 10% and 30%. This margin is calculated by subtracting the cost of goods sold, including inventory and maintenance expenses, from the total revenue generated by the machine.

Factors such as location, product selection, and customer demand play a significant role in determining the profit margin.

Vending operators often aim to maximize their profit margin by carefully selecting popular and high-margin products, optimizing machine placement, and minimizing operating costs.

How to Optimize Profits

To optimize snack vending machine profits, start by carefully selecting the location for your machine, targeting areas with high foot traffic and a diverse customer base.

Next, ensure your machine offers a variety of popular and appealing snacks that cater to different preferences and dietary restrictions.

Regularly monitor and analyze sales data to identify top-selling items and adjust your product selection accordingly.

Finally, consider implementing strategies such as pricing optimization, promotional offers, and seasonal themes to start a vending machine, attract more customers and encourage repeat purchases.

Snack Vending Machine Profit Statistics


Snack Vending Machine Profit Statistics


Snack vending machine options continue to be a lucrative business, with impressive profit statistics to support their popularity.

National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) shows how many machines in the USA  in 2015. The report said there were 5 million vending machines producing an average of $20 billion in sales each year.

According to recent data, the average annual revenue generated by a single vending machine business is estimated to be around $20,000. This figure varies depending on factors such as location, foot traffic, and product selection.

Additionally, studies have shown that one machine operator can achieve profit margins of up to 40%, making it an attractive investment opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking net income streams.

How to Start a Snack Vending Machine Business

Starting to fund a vending machine business can be a lucrative venture if approached strategically. Here are six essential steps to help you to start a vending machine business:

Research and Planning

Begin by conducting thorough market research to identify profitable locations and target markets for your vending sales.

Analyze factors such as foot traffic, consumer preferences, and competition. Develop a business plan outlining your goals, financial projections, and marketing strategies that can increase your vending machine sales.

Choose Your Niche

Select a specific niche for starting a vending machine based on market demand and your interests.

Options range from snacks and beverages to healthy food options, coffee, or even specialized items like electronics or beauty products.

Understanding your target audience will help you tailor your offerings accordingly.

Find Suppliers and Machines

Source reliable suppliers for your chosen products and negotiate competitive pricing. Research vending machine manufacturers and distributors to find machines that suit your needs in terms of size, features, and payment systems.

There are multiple machines option available in the market, including drink machines, bulk vending machines, toy vending machines, and gumball machines.

Among them, a few vending machines are for specialty vending, like-refurbished machines, refrigerated machines, etc.

A refurbished vending machine is also the best choice for starting a vending business. Consider both new and used machines to manage costs effectively.

Secure Locations

Secure high-traffic locations for placing vending machines. Approach businesses, offices, schools, gyms, hospitals, or any place where people gather.

Negotiate contracts or revenue-sharing agreements, highlighting the benefits your machines can bring to their premises. 

According to the 2021 State of the Industry report by Vending Market Watch, the vending machine business experienced a significant decline in sales, dropping from $24.2 billion in 2020 to $13.3 billion in 2021.

When selecting an appropriate location, it is important to factor in the possibility of its closure in the near future.

Stocking and Maintenance 

Develop a restocking schedule to keep your machines adequately supplied with fresh products. Regularly monitor inventory levels, expiration dates, and consumer preferences to optimize sales.

Maintain your machines diligently, promptly addressing any malfunctions or repairs to ensure uninterrupted service to start a vending machine business.

Marketing and Expansion 

Implement effective marketing strategies to attract customers to your vending machine products. Utilize online platforms, social media, and offline advertising to create awareness and build a brand that can make your own business more profitable.

Monitor sales data, customer feedback, and trends to make informed decisions about expanding your business into new, most profitable locations or diversifying your product offerings.

Vending Machine Cost

Setting up a vending machine business can be an affordable venture, with the cost of one or two machines typically ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the type and features.

With an investment of just a few thousand dollars, aspiring entrepreneurs can enter the vending industry and potentially generate significant profits over time. 

The cost of a snack vending machine can vary depending on various factors such as size, features, and brand, but on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 for a new vending machine.

Additionally, there may be additional expenses involved, such as restocking fees and maintenance costs.

Types of Vending Machines Businesses

Traditional snack and beverage vending machines are one of the most common types of businesses that offer a range of popular drinks, healthy snacks, and sometimes even grocery stores option in workplaces, schools, and public areas.

Fresh food vending machines have gained popularity in recent years, offering a variety of ready-to-eat meals, salads, sandwiches, and even gourmet options. 

Specialized vending machines cater to specific niches, such as vending coffee machines that provide a selection of freshly brewed coffee or espresso-based beverages. 

Automated retail vending machines can sell items like electronics, cosmetics, personal care products, clothing, and even luxury goods. 

Healthy vending machines focus on providing nutritious and wholesome snacks and beverages. They offer options like granola bars, fresh fruit, yogurt, healthy snacks,  smoothies, and organic drinks. 

Bulk vending is one of the most popular business categories. Bulk machines are designed to contain and dispense a generous quantity of a specific product, typically providing a set portion in exchange for a quarter or a dollar. 

This type of single vending machine is commonly encountered in various locations, such as restrooms, where they are commonly used to distribute sanitary products, among other items. 

The majority of bulk machines are mechanical in nature and do not rely on electricity or batteries for operation.

This advantageous characteristic significantly reduces or eliminates the operational expenses associated with them. This feature of the machine is helpful to start a vending machine business.

Passive Income Ideas and Vending Machine Profit Statistics

One vending machine makes a viable taxable profit opportunity. By diversifying the product offerings, such as including healthier snack options, beverages, or even personal care items, vending machine owners can attract a wider customer base and potentially increase their profits.

It is worth researching popular products and consumer preferences in the target area to make informed decisions.

Tax and Compliance Considerations

When it comes to snack vending machines, businesses need to be aware of tax obligations such as sales tax and potential requirements for reporting and remitting tax collected from sales.

Additionally, compliance considerations include adhering to health and safety regulations, obtaining necessary permits or licenses, and ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Business Insurance

Business insurance for vending industry provides coverage for potential risks such as theft, vandalism, machine malfunctions, and product liability.

It ensures that snack vendors can protect their investments and operate with peace of mind. Additionally, a business bank account is required for a safe transaction for your business.

Advantages of Vending Machine Business 

It is Easy to Scale a Vending Snack Machine’s Profit Statistics

Starting a vending machine business allows for easy scalability as you can gradually expand your fleet of machines to different locations, increasing your potential customer base.

With the right approach, starting a vending machine business can provide a regular income stream, enabling you to generate revenue even when you’re not actively present.

By strategically selecting popular snack machines option and optimizing the placement of your machines, you can maximize profits and create a successful venture.

Moreover, an examined business structure should be followed to earn maximum profit from this vending business plan.

Additionally, Little to no Overhead Costs

One of the significant advantages of a vending machine business is the low startup costs involved.

Compared to other successful businesses, such as retail stores or restaurants, setting up and launching a vending machine business requires minimal investment, making it an attractive option for aspiring entrepreneurs with limited capital.

With low business expenses, a vending machine business offers an excellent opportunity for individuals to enter the entrepreneurial world without taking on substantial financial risks.

The initial investment typically includes purchasing or leasing vending machines, stocking them with products, and securing suitable locations, allowing entrepreneurs to get started quickly and easily.

The low business expenses associated with a vending machine business enable entrepreneurs to experience a faster return on investment.

With lower overhead expenses and a steady stream of sales, operators can recoup their initial investment relatively quickly, leading to a profitable venture in a shorter time frame compared to many other business models.

Vending Machine Business Disadvantages

Vending Businesses are a Time Commitment

Vending businesses are a multi billion dollar industry, so it is a time commitment as they require regular restocking, maintenance, and cash collection, often demanding constant attention to keep the vending equipment running smoothly, which can be a hard process for a small business owner.

The operational demands of local businesses can be overwhelming, as vending machine entrepreneurs must constantly monitor inventory levels, analyze sales data, and respond to customer inquiries, leaving little time for other personal or professional pursuits.

It’s important to recognize that vending machine industry is a significant time investment, as owners must dedicate considerable hours to scouting new locations, negotiating contracts, and implementing marketing strategies to ensure the success and profitability of their vending operations.

Problem with Theft and Vandalism

One of the main disadvantages of operating a vending machine business is the constant problem of theft and vandalism, which can result in significant financial losses for property owners.

The high incidence of theft and vandalism in this industry requires extra security measures and vigilance in vending machine route to protect the machine and maintain profitability. 


Should I Buy a New or Used Vending Machine?

The decision to buy a new or used vending machine depends on your budget, desired features, and the condition of available used machines.

Assess your needs and weigh the costs and benefits of each option to make an informed decision.

Can you Get a Small Business Loan to Buy a Vending Machine?

Yes, it is possible to obtain a small business loan to purchase a vending machine, as many lenders offer loans specifically tailored for small business equipment purchases.

However, eligibility and terms may vary depending on factors such as your creditworthiness and the specific lender’s requirements.

What Type of Vending Machines Makes the Most Money?

Vending machines that offer popular snacks and beverages, such as those found in high-traffic areas like schools, office buildings, and malls, tend to make the most money due to consistent demand and a wide customer base.

Additionally, machines that accept various payment methods, including cash, credit cards, and mobile payments, can attract more customers and generate higher revenue.

How Much Does a Snack Vending Machine Cost?

The cost of a snack vending machine can vary depending on factors such as size, features, and brand, but on average, it can range from $3,000 to $7,000. 

Are Credit Cards a Viable Option for Financing a Vending Machine Business?

Yes, credit cards can be a viable option for financing a vending machine business as they offer flexibility and convenience for purchasing machines and managing cash flow, but it’s important to consider interest rates and repayment terms to ensure it aligns with the business’s financial goals and capabilities.


In conclusion, snack vending machines have the potential to generate a steady and profitable income stream. If you’re considering financing a vending machine industry, take the time to research and plan carefully.

To maximize your chances of success in the new vending machines business, thoroughly research potential locations, understand customer preferences and strive for operational excellence.

Evaluate potential locations based on foot traffic and target customer demographics. Understand the preferences and trends in snack and beverage consumption. 

Additionally, seek advice from industry professionals or join vending machine associations to gain insights from experienced operators. 

With all these tips, we hope that you can increase your chances of running a profitable snack vending machine business as early as possible. “Comment here.”



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