Promotions are a fun and creative way to engage consumers for vending and micro market operators across all industries. Whether your vending machine or micro market is inside a hotel lobby, a part of a hospital cafeteria, at an office, or on a college campus, the following promotional tips will help you increase sales and inspire repeat visits.

1. Bundling

It’s hard to beat a bundle. From the classic “burger-and-fries” deal to supermarket BOGOs, customers are used to banking on bundles when they shop. So, of course, bundling can work with micro markets and vending, too. In fact, according to Technomic, nearly half (46%) of respondents in its Snacking Consumer Trend Report consume food and beverages together as snacks.

Important to note when designing bundles is the time of day that consumers enjoy snacking. According to Datassential, 70% of consumers’ last snacks were eaten after 1 p.m.2 For consumers interested in replacing a meal with a snack, lunch is the most popular meal to replace (51%), followed by breakfast (45%). Consumers rarely choose to replace dinner with a snack.1

Consider the following bundles for breakfast, lunch, and in-between occasions:

Offering a breakfast bundle, lunch bundle, and an afternoon snack bundle will ensure that you’re covering three different dayparts and encouraging repeat business throughout the day.3

2. Coupons

Sometimes consumers need a little nudge to get them excited to try new snack items. According to a Real-Insights Survey conducted in May of 2023, 51% of consumers try a new snack for the first time solely because they have a coupon for it. In addition, 38% of those same consumers said that they are using more coupons for snacks than they used to.4

Coupons can be used as rewards given to students, staff, or new visitors to incentivize vending machine purchases and drive traffic during certain periods. Program your coupons to work only on specific days or during times that your traffic or sales are usually slow by using your sales data.3

3. Themed Promotions

Give people another reason to visit your micro market or vending area by having some fun with themed promotions throughout the year. These can be limited-time offers that coincide with seasonal holidays or plentiful “National Day” holidays such as National Beverage Day. Promoting special items and bundles that fit the theme introduces a creative element to your vending machine or micro market. 

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • If you offer hot beverages, add flavored creamers or sprinkles that fit the theme
  • For cold beverages, consider themed koozies or other accessories to fit the theme
  • Attract attention by decorating your market area in the colors of the holiday or season 
  • Partner with a supplier for marketing materials based on the theme, season, or holiday 

Themed promotions don’t have to coincide with a holiday or season. The theme can be more targeted to a consumer’s everyday needs, too. For example, V8 +ENERGY® is currently running a promotion for healthcare workers to enter a sweepstakes with the chance to win HOKA sneakers. Other snacks, like Pepperidge Farm® Milano® Cookies, might answer a midday sweet craving.5 Lean on product manufacturers for support when introducing new products. Oftentimes, they’re happy to provide collateral, swag, giveaways, and even discounts to help your promotion succeed.6

4. Technology Integrations

You’ve heard the saying, “There’s an app for that.” The saying holds true for a growing number of vending machines that now allow customers to track purchases and rewards, offer special prices for using prepaid cards, and even introduce memberships through an app.7

Beyond these high-tech options, try utilizing mobile push notifications that send alerts about new products, an e-newsletter with a monthly snack lineup, or an online video illustrating how to purchase snacks from your vending machine or micro market.

Campbell’s Foodservice Snacking Portfolio is the perfect way to get started with bundling and limited time offers. Start by integrating the following popular vending and micro market products:

1 Snacking Consumer Trend Report, Technomic

2 Datassential Snacking Keynote

3 “How To Maximize Micro Market Promotions,” Vending MarketWatch, June 2019

4 “Consumer Digest – Snacks & Sweets Special Edition,” 84 51 Degrees Research, May 2023

5 “How to Increase Sales with Micro Markets,” Bernick’s

6 “Why Micro Market Promotions Still Matter,” Vending MarketWatch, June 2020

7 “Loyalty Trends in the Vending Industry,” ID Tech