Convenience is always a key selling point, and vending machines are having a moment in Singapore. Drinks and snacks still dominate, but the variety is increasing. Machines offer bread, curry puffs, freshly cooked pizza, freshly squeezed orange juice, Wagyu beef, salmon, and even cooked chilli crab.
One company has set up a chain of cafes that serve hot local dishes from machines. There’s also a small chain of unstaffed convenience stores, selling everything from plasters to baked beans out of machines. One local retailer has a book vending machine, while another company sells cacti.
Market research firm Euromonitor says vending machine revenues in Singapore grew about 15% from 91 million dollars in 2014 to 104 million dollars in 2019.
Last year was tipped to be a bad one due to the pandemic, but growth is expected to resume this year. Machines offer entrepreneurs their own retail space, and the barriers to entry are fairly low.