Micro markets are exploding in growth. According to the 2018 NAMA Industry Census, Micro Market Revenue increased 99% from 2016-2018 and represents two billion dollars in annual revenues. And this rapid growth doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

Right now, many five star micro market accounts are located in manufacturing facilities and office buildings. According to NAMA, micro market operators have 59% of their business in manufacturing and 47% of their business in office buildings. These workplace environments are perfect for micro markets because they are controlled locations with little in and out traffic, have plenty of people who could purchase from a market, and they already have a space for breakroom services.

As micro markets continue to grow, these ideal accounts will be harder and harder to get. They’re logical, easy targets, so chances are you’ll have a lot of competition in capturing these accounts. Savvy operators will look to unconventional micro market locations to grow their micro market businesses.

Here are 5 unconventional micro market locations your business can target:


Universities / Colleges

These higher learning facilities currently represent 44% of current or potentially new business in the micro market space. Some challenges with universities or colleges include integrating with a campus ID card or payment system, competing with many different food options right on campus, and security. But, these locations have high potential due to a large student base, the large amount of time students spend on campus, and frequent snacking habits of younger consumers.

Government Buildings

Government buildings currently represent 10% of current micro market business. The biggest challenge here is with security and regulations. Chances are, these facilities require very high security standards. Plus, these locations often include a lengthy bidding process. But if you win the bid and meet security standards, governmental facilities can be highly successful. The consumer base at these locations can be huge, and these white collar workers have money to spend. Plus, many of these locations don’t have other high-quality snacking locations nearby.


Hospitals represent 46% of current or potentially new business with micro markets. The biggest challenge here is with security. Hospitals are not completely closed facilities, and have a ton of transient, in-and-out traffic. But if your micro market security is beefed up, there is a lot of money to be made here. Doctors and nurses work long shifts and don’t have time for a full, off-location lunch break. Plus, visitors will want options better than the ill-reputed hospital food. With the right security, profits can pour in.


Hotels represent 33% of current or potentially new micro market business. Similar to hospitals, the biggest concern here is with security. But if you can replace the manned sundry shop at the front desk with a micro market kiosk, both the hotel and consumer will have a more enjoyable experience – leading to unconventional micro market locations that put more money in your pocket.

Health Clubs 

Health Clubs represent 15% of current or potential micro market business. Challenges – changing patron’s mindset. Many gym goers simply don’t eat at their health club. Luxury gyms likely have manned cafe’s, and less premium gyms might have a vending machine. But if you can find a larger gym, a micro market would be the perfect checkout solution for post-workout snacks like smoothies, protein bars, premium water, and more.

With these unconventional micro market locations in mind, you can find some incredibly successful accounts in some overlooked locations. Sure, office buildings and manufacturing facilities are ideal, but if those locations become saturated, you’ll need to look elsewhere. By targeting these 5 types of unconventional locations, you can get ahead of the game and find successful micro market accounts in overlooked areas.

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