Consider Carefully What You Sell
It is best to carefully consider the products you sell in your vending machines. There are a few items that are hard to vend unless the conditions are favorable at the business location. Here is a list of hard to vend items to help you:
Hot Tamales and Mike and Ike’s:
Both of these candies have a gummy texture which can cause the candy to stick together. This in turn causes the candy not to fall through the machine and vend (or get a partial vend). This can partly be solved by lightly spraying the candy with a cooking spray such as “Pam” available at grocery stores and Wal-Mart. I do not recommend cheap brands of cooking spray as they seem to not hold up as well as Pam. This problem is WORSE in humid climates as well as in the summer season. Some operators only use these choices in the winter and fall. If the sales are not high enough to empty the machine, the candy will turn hard and can smell bad in as little as 2-3 months.
Peanuts, Nuts, and Cashews:
While these can be vended successfully, if the volume of your sales are not high enough you will end up getting complaints about the product getting old. Throwing away product cuts into your profit margin. Nuts already have a low profit margin to begin with. For that reason, I vend nuts only as a last resort (when the customer insists on it).
I have many M&M Peanut machines and will probably sell about 500 large bags or so this year. They work good ONLY if you have a high volume of sales to keep them fresh. If a machine only sells a few dollars of M&M Peanuts you will lose money. Currently, these are the lowest profit margin on candy I sell but the high volumes cause me to stay profitable. You also must watch the temperature of the business. If it gets too hot the candy will melt. If it is by a window during the winter, it can freeze. When the M&M Peanut thaws, it explodes an becomes a real money-losing mess.
Reese’s Pieces and Skittles
You also have to watch high temperatures with Reese’s Pieces and less so with Skittles. Again, high volume will help make up for some of these problems, but it is always good to be aware of what can potentially happen with your candy choices. By far, these two choices are easier to vend than the previous products mentioned.
The image you project is just as important as anything else, and healthy looking candy helps you achieve a good name and great sales. And remember, great sales means you get to take that vacation, buy more machines, or do whatever floats your boat!
I recommend reading the article “Figuring Your Cost per Vend” to help you consider if you can sell some of these hard to vend items.