Discovered this really interesting article by JWT Intelligence, basically confirming my suspicions that we have become overwhelmed by easy consumerism and mindless boredom in train stations and airports. This article explains the expansion and diversification of the vending machine as an outcome of a “I want what I want when I want it” attitude of the Urgency Economy and a movement towards a cashless society, which given that I often have to resort to using cards in newsagents, I can completely understand. However, what I was unaware of was the diverse range of items you can purchase from vending machines, including-
1) Bike repair parts in Minneapolis.
2) Pharmaceutical prescriptions in England, and while we are here (good old England seems to rule on odd vending machines)- gold bars in London (yet to actually see this!) and unoffical marriage certificates.
3) IT accessories in businesses like Facebook.
4) Donations for the earthquate relief fund in Japan and ebooks.
5) Fresh baguettes in France (would buy one just to see the machine in action!)
6) Not so fresh burgers in Amsterdam.
What’s more vending machines are expected to evolve further as near field communication technology develops (when bank details are transferred via phone rather than through a card reader), which means that the vending machine looks a cheaper and more portable alternative than sales staff. So next time you meet that grumpy sales assistant who forgot to give you change- think of her nemesis, the vending machine. Likewise, spare a thought for this poor kid, who managed to get his hand stuck in a vending machine, which is no doubt expected to be a growing problem.