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In just six years from 2012 to 2017, micro markets grew nearly 700% from 2,642 to over 23,000 active micro market locations. With COVID-19 and a heavy focus on self-serve initiatives, the popularity of micro market is only on the rise. But as we look to the future of micro market vending, how will things change and what organizations could benefit from this method of food service?

Why Micro Markets Are Still on the Rise

Micro Market

Micro markets have only increased in popularity and as we look to the future it doesn't show signs of stopping anytime soon. The rise of micro markets is due to the convenience of a wider range of products than what you could get at a traditional vending machine. Many of the food options are healthier and fresher than what you can get at fast-food restaurants. The variety of sizes of micro markets makes them ideal for any environment. These features paired with the convenience of self-service cashless payment methods mean that you have low maintenance costs and customers can get what they need without having to wait in long lines.

Micro markets are not solely for food purchase but also for items like snacks, medicine, sundries, batteries, grab and go meals, coffee, apparel, and so much more. The ability to offer unique items that your customers find useful allow you to be a one-stop shop for all the essentials.

Additional Environments That Could Benefit from Micro Markets

Micro Market

Initially, micro markets were found primarily in manufacturing and office locations as a way to offer alternatives to venturing off-site for lunch and snacks. But, there are many locations that could benefit from micro markets.

What if instead of trays of communal breakfast food, your hotel offered gourmet breakfast sandwiches that were individually wrapped? No longer would your breakfast be confined to the official continental breakfast hours! And if you arrive at the hotel at the wee hours of the night, after the kitchen and restaurants in the area have already closed, you can still get a snack before settling into your room.

At schools and colleges, micro markets could be located strategically across campus so rather than all students rushing to a singular location between classes, they could grab a lunch from the nearest micro market on their way to class. By eliminating the need for large kitchens and cafeterias, a micro market can go in almost any space without significant expenses or a large staff. We believe micro market technology will continue to popup anywhere that snacks and food are needed.

How Will Micro Markets Change In The Future?

Micro Market

As we look forward and anticipate seeing micro markets in more and more industries and environments, there is a lot of talk about how they will change. There are two primary features anticipated in the future of micro markets: more items and stand-alone micro markets.

With the popularity of micro markets expanding, the desire to offer a wider variety of items is growing along with it. Especially as micro market kiosks are added to high-traffic areas, the demand for additional items is more prevalent than in the office environments that initially made micro markets so successful. Having a wider range of items for sale could mean the continued rise in popularity of micro markets as they stake a larger claim in the market.

Micro markets may be moving towards a stand-alone shop rather than just mini kiosks. Typically, micro markets are viewed as an extension of the vending machine market but in the future, we may start to more closely associate micro markets with a miniature grocery store. As we consider all the potential applications for micro markets in the future, we are excited to see how they could bring more options to rural towns that are too small for a grocery store, but the perfect market for a micro market! Whatever the future may bring for micro markets, it's clear that they continue to gain popularity and are a unique and desired solution in a wide variety of settings.

Get More Insights & Tips On Micro Markets

In our latest guide—The Complete Guide to Micro Markets—we highlight everything you need to know. Including:

  • Insights for increasing revenue and decreasing labor costs
  • The 8 benefits of micro markets
  • Top selling products to feature in micro markets
  • The difference between micro markets and vending machines (ROI included)
  • And so much more!

Meet Hubert

Running a business means making lots of decisions that impact your customers and employees. It can be difficult to know what will benefit your business and provide a nice perk for your employees. With our dedicated micro market experts, Hubert can share information on this fast-growing trend and offer advice to save time and money while building your own micro market. This popular one-stop-shop concept is here to stay—so we're here to offer our insight to make this a profitable and streamlined investment.

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Meet Hubert

We've been partnering and working with foodservice providers for 75 years, so we know what they need. Commercial kitchen equipment that makes their employees and kitchens more efficient.

And the way our team of experts deliver & install equipment sets us apart from the competition. Hubert offers turnkey services, so you don't have to lift a finger—we'll even help you design the perfect kitchen layout for your facility.