2022 was a strong year for unattended retail operators. Another year removed from the pandemic, operations once again focused on growing their business. However, 2022 also brought new challenges like inflationary pressures, industry consolidation, a slower than expected return to work. In 2023, operators will need to stay informed of industry trends to have a successful year and beyond.

Here are 4 unattended retail trends to watch in 2023 that will help your business find success:

Product Price Changes

Due to inflationary pressures and supply chain issues, many soda, snack, and food prices are increasing. For example, inflation has grown 7%-8% over the last year, which has a profound impact on the success of unattended retail operations. In an effort to combat inflation, operators should consider raising prices to offset rising costs. Businesses can utilize a VMS to identify product cost trends, change prices in their vending machines or micro markets, and measure the impact of price changes on their overall profits. 

Product Alternatives

A new year means new unattended retail trends and product trends. For example, 2021 was the year of plant-based options, as consumers demanded healthier foods. As workers continue to return to their workplaces, operators will find that tastes and preferences have changed. Always stock tried and tested products, but don’t be afraid to try new products your customers may end up loving. Leveraging a VMS and product merchandising tools will help you try new products and get quick answers on customer preferences. 


As our industry continues to bounce back from the pandemic, competition can be fierce. To get new business and keep current customers, it’s important to differentiate your company and brand. What makes your business special? What do you do that no one else does? Once you know your differentiators, make sure the world knows it too! Update your website to accurately reflect your company. Make sure you stay active on social media. Go above and beyond to accelerate your growth. And don’t be afraid to ask your industry partners for product images or text that you can put on your website – we’re always happy to help. 

New Technology 

As workers continue returning to the workplace, new technology is rising to help operators meet their increasing demands. New technology can help you capture new accounts or create new revenues out of existing accounts. Smart coolers enable unattended food and beverage operators to offer a more diverse, higher-margin product mix to locations where a micro market wouldn’t work. Smart pantries can help operators take advantage of untapped, highly transient accounts. New and improved dining kiosks can help you offer made-to-order meals for locations that demand it.

Interested in seeing how you can capitalize on these unattended retail trends in 2023? Get in touch with Parlevel today, and see how we can help your business find success this year and beyond!

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