The Truth about Micro Markets

Micro markets are unattended, self-checkout food & beverage retail solutions that are popular in office breakrooms. Often, micro markets take the place of vending machines or unequipped breakrooms. Micro markets are a massively growing trend in the food and beverage industry. According to Vending Market Watch, micro markets reached over 10% of all vending sales revenue in 2015, and 51% of operators who expanded into new services invested in micro markets. Micro markets are clearly a new, exciting part of the industry, but why is their adoption growing so fast? Are they simply a new fad, or are they a new business model that is here to stay?

One reason micro markets could become a permanent fixture in the industry is because of the healthier diet of Americans. 91% of Americans consider nutritional content before choosing their food. Micro markets offer a larger selection of healthier snacks than traditional vending machines, so they appeal more to these healthier customer preferences. Vending operators and entrepreneurs have embraced micro markets because they can meet the new consumer demand for healthy food and variety.

Satisfying this demand is what makes micro markets so profitable. A study conducted by Parlevel on deployed micro market kiosks across the United States revealed that micro markets that replaced vending led to an average sales increase up to 80%. For example, in a location with 125 employees, an micro market can average about $1,000 per week. Part of this increase is attributed to higher ticket items in micro markets and purchases of several items at a time.

Micro markets can be even more profitable with a good management system. Detailed sales reports, analytics,product merchandising recommendations, and other tools can help an operator make intelligent decisions their micro markets. With this info, it is easy to pull poor sellers and replace them with hot items to increase sales and customer satisfaction. At the same time, a good management system can help cut operational costs associated with micro markets by dynamically routing, prekitting, and managing multiple business lines all in the same system. These tools will help increase overall operational efficiency and decrease micro market service time.

What is the bottom line increase of pairing a micro market with an effective management system? One operator who replaced two vending machines with Parlevel’s micro market solution experienced an 800% increase in sales. Instead of collecting $600 a month from two vending machines, the operator was able to collect over $5100 a month from his micro market. So what is the truth behind micro markets? They can generate huge profits in the right location and backed by the right management system. After all, money talks – and it seems to say that micro markets are here for the long haul.