Maybe it should not be called a snack vending machine.

The snack vending machine has grown and developed over the last few decades into a device that provides more than the ubiquitous “snack.” Snack machines now offer all sorts of merchandise that go far beyond the common understanding of a snack.

More than just a candy vending machine or a soda vending machine, modern vending machines are able to offer an array of hot and cold beverages and mini meals.

In fact it is the development of the combo vending machine that is able to offer a variety of different products. These products meet both the “eat” as well as the “drink” needs of customers.

There is hardly anything that cannot be dispensed from a vending machine nowadays. Vending machine suppliers are becoming ever increasingly creative in what a vending machine can offer for sale.


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From small automotive spare parts, such as fuses and light bulbs to general medicinal products such as headache tablets, plasters, bandages and ointments, all can be sold from a vending machine. Vending companies are finding more and more locations in which to place their machines.

It is the growth in the variety of snack vending machines that is most surprising. Far from dispensing only small “unhealthy” snacks, the snack vending machines are able to dispense healthy food products such as fruit and healthy mini meals.

The question that is raised is whether these machines can become a source of healthy and balanced meals? Can one sustain oneself on the products of snack vending machine? Obviously the issue of the costs involved have to be put aside for the purpose of this line of thought. It is surely always more cost effective to purchase the raw ingredients of a meal and prepare it from scratch than purchase the finished product from a vending machine.

However, this aside; can one live off snack machines? I think one has to primarily consider the product sold from the vending machine. The typical college dorm snack vending machine is not designed to replace or substitute the meals served in the dining room.

One can therefore not live off this machine necessarily. However, certain machine placed in office buildings are designed to dispense a range of nourishing and healthy products.

Again, this cannot serve as a substitute for a proper meal. It can however, tide one over in an “emergency” such as working overtime or on weekends.

Given that these machines will grow in importance as well as in sophistication of product, perhaps a time will come where they are not called snack machines but rather “life support systems.”


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