6 Hotspots you should consider for your smart vending machines.

By Jay Jackson

Selling products through vending services is a no-brainer. But where do you put them? Discover 6 hot spots you shouldn’t ignore from Mother's experts.

Vending machines are old hat when it comes to taking your product to the customer. We’ve seen vending machines in the most unlikely of places. Look at our friends in Japan, whose bonkers product placements have seen machines placed in remote villages, cliffsides, and even at the base of volcanoes. But, can you put a vending machine anywhere in the UK?

Let’s be real - aside from placing your brand in a truly unique area for the press to pick up - you really want to drop them where the footfall is hot. Read on to find out the 6 spots that we think are the hottest places to distribute your vending machine services.

Vending machines for gyms.

Whether you’re an avid gym goer, or if you’re still mustering the energy to deliver on that New Year’s resolution, there’s no denying that gyms are a prime location for vending machines. There are currently over 7,200 health and fitness clubs in the UK, boasting over 10 million members, making them a hotspot for passing trade.

While vending machines aren’t necessarily the equipment that gym-goers are making the trip for, they are providing valuable refreshment for athletes working up a sweat. If your business supercharges fitness fanatics with electrolyte-infused beverages or protein-packed shakes, the gym network is definitely not one to ignore.

A clearly targeted audience and consistent year-round footfall make gyms look like a no-brainer. However, before you get on the phone to your local health club, it’s worth considering that some of the larger health and fitness chains often insist on free vending machines, and expect a sales rebate too.

Vending machines for hospitals.

There’s nothing worse than a 4 hour wait in your local A&E department outside of the cafe’s opening times. With over 16 million people visiting major hospital A&E departments every year (and 9 visiting minor units) - this is a hotspot for vending services.

You’re not just fuelling the patients either. You’re fueling unsung heroes that are the hospital staff, especially post-COVID, who are among some of the busiest workers around. Grabbing a snack or a meal on-the-go will allow them to maximise time transporting patients, rehabilitating the injured, and saving lives.

Not to mention, if your products are both healthy and nutritious, a hospital is the perfect place for business, bringing a health-conscious audience together under one roof, and a solution that meets their immediate needs.

Vending machines for schools.

In today’s society, giving candy to a baby is almost as bad as taking it away. You’ll see that some early years schools still adopt a ‘Jamie Oliver’ approach, taking them out of the running for unhealthy on-the-go snacking. But, not only do vending solutions have to just contain unhealthy food, school doesn’t just end at 16 either - the college and university network in the UK is an optimal hotspot for vending machines.

There are over 2.8 million students enrolled in higher education across 121 institutions in the UK. We expect there’s even more in the college network too. Made up of mostly 16-21 year-olds, these students are among the most impressionable people you’re likely to encounter. A perfect audience for new, bright, and bold brands trying to stand out from the crowd.

Plus, we all know how much of a lifesaver those energy drinks can give you wings when you’re sitting on the edge of a 3 hour lecture. Yes, we’re looking at you Red Bull.

Vending machines for offices.

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing a huge migration back to the office building around the UK. With flexible working more popular than ever, offices are forced to stay open 24/7, making on-site cafes or services difficult to man.

Placing vending machines in these areas solves that problem. Not only do they offer quick lunches, snacks, and more, but they are a completely automated retail solution.

Workplaces aren’t limited to offices either - think outside the box, like with builder’s yards, remote data centres, or even off-grid holiday retreats. With over 4 million registered companies in the UK, there’s an opportunity there for every type of service to push their brand or products.


Vending machines for airports.

Did you know that 61.6 million people passed through Heathrow airport alone in 2022? It might surprise you further to know that the UK is home to around 40 airports too.

It goes without saying that airports are a great place to push your brands and products, and they aren’t simply for refreshments to substitute pricey WHSmith and Boots meal deals either. Airports deal in essentials, as once a traveller has passed the check-in procedure, there’s no easy way back.

Whether you deal in toiletries, electricals, or tasty meals - the sky’s the limit in an airport, and brands are starting to notice. Take a look at our partnership with Huel at Heathrow, for instance.

Vending machines for theme parks.

Theme parks are back on the up in the UK. Post pandemic, ‘Alton Towers’ - one of the UK’s biggest parks - doubled its visitor count in 2021 to over 1.8 million. We’d say it’s well on track to growing back into its old shoes in the coming years, too.

With this kind of footfall during the spring and summer seasons for one theme park alone, passing trade is a peak opportunity for your brand to push its product. Rollercoaster enthusiasts aren’t just looking to quench their thirst either - there’s a market for essentials vending as well. That poncho could literally be the saving grace from hypothermia when it comes to riding the log flume. Fact (sort of).

Hitting the hotspots with Mother.

So, when it comes to vending machine placement, - follow the footfall! There’s plenty to follow too. Whether you’re looking at schools, gyms, hospitals, theme parks, airports, or offices - Mother will help you deliver your products far and wide.

We have a solution to fit all business challenges too, from our one-stop-shop fully managed service, that is perfect for clients who want a hands-off solution, to our white label service, that allows you to self-stock your own products and brand the machine however you like.

Find out more about Mother’s automated retail solutions on our services page.


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