According to the National Automatic Merchandiser Association (NAMA) a vending micro market is:” an unattended retail environment where consumers can engage with products on shelves and in open coolers, allowing them to pick up products, review nutrition information, and more. Consumers use a self-checkout kiosk with a cashless payments system, and pay by credit card, company card or even by thumbprint."
Vending micro markets arose in the vending industry in the early 2000s in response to the desire of consumers for more choice and flexibility in their break rooms. The movement toward consuming health food and a more health conscious public offered an opportunity for traditional vendors to develop a way to answer these consumer needs.
In addition, the technology became more affordable early in this century. Self-check-out kiosks were appearing at grocery stores and the public was rapidly becoming used to using them. It was a logical step for traditional vendors to become involved in this new method of product delivery since they were already providing items to companies at their locations.
In certain instances vending micro markets can take the place of a company cafeteria which is costly and often complicated to run. The variety of product selection in a vending micro market can come very close and even surpass that of an employee cafeteria. Furthermore, vending micro markets can change their offerings more rapidly than an employee cafeteria thereby quickly and accurately respond to the unique needs of each location they serve.
Take a look at video put together by NAMA to get an idea of what a vending micro market can look like.