Market Status & Development Trend of Chinese Vending Industry in 2019

The Broad Market of Vending Machine Industry
After nearly 20 years of development, the domestic vending machine industry has ushered in a sound future. According to incomplete statistics, China’s vending machines are mainly distributed in coastal developed areas such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dalian, Hangzhou and Zhejiang. Due to the flexibility and low operating cost, it is popular with consumers and businesses, having great development potential and broad market space.

The Arrived 3.0 Era for Vending Machine Industry
With the improvement of the machine models, the sales category has expanded greatly. In the early days, the machines in China only accepted coins, or paper current with small denominations, and only sold cold bottled or canned drinks.

In the 2.0 era, the device can sell beverages and food at the same time, and simultaneously offer drinks in cold and room temperature by setting up two separate space. Besides, no matter how many things you buy, you can pay it at one time.

As for the 3.0 era, smart vending machines appeared. Except for selling beverage and food, it also supports internet payment and mobile payment. Also, the release of commodity display cabinet made it possible to accommodate any goods of moderate size, including fast food, daily necessities, etc.

In 2018, China’s Market Scale of Vending Machine Reached About 19 Billion
According to the statistics released by FORWARD (an industry research institute in China), China’s market scale of vending machine is growing rapidly from 2013 to 2017. In 2013, the market size was only 1.9 billion yuan; however, it surged to 7.5 billion yuan by 2016, with a year-on-year increase of 74.42%. As of 2017, the market scale exceeded 12 billion yuan, increasing 60% year-on-year. In 2018, the scale reached about 19 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 58.5%.

Market Size of China’s Vending Machine From 2011 to 2018
(Unit of Measurement: 100 million yuan)

Vending Machine Business Singapore

The Most Distributed Area of Vending Machines: Factory/Office Building
According to the research on the global retail market, consumer demand for vending machines will burgeon when the per capita GDP reaches $10,000. Combined with mobile technology, vending machines will become an emerging channel for the retail of FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods).

As a whole, the volume of China’s vending machine has grown rapidly; however, compared to the huge population base in the country, the overall penetration rate of the devices remains low. At present, it mainly spread in the first- and second-tier cities, while the third- and fourth-tier cities are still to be developed. The market space is huge.

Specifically, cities with high penetration rates in China are located in the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Bohai Rim. Major cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. According to statistics, the total vendor occupancy rate of these areas is close to 80%, and the ones of other cities in the country is only 20.5%.

Vending Machine Business Singapore
Source: FORWARD

Judging from the machine distribution in the survey, the main distribution zones are factory and office building, accounting for 34.4%. The subway station and train station are also popular locations, accounting for 22.8%.

Vending Machine Business Singapore
Source: FORWARD

Capital Inflow Accelerating the Industry Process
With the economic development and the change of domestic consumption concept, vending machines have been an emerging market for FMCG, attracting many beverage companies and even industry giants. Since 2016, the roll-out of new species and formats in the retail industry have significantly accelerated. Two major groups, Ali and Tencent & JD.com have enlarged their army and competed in various fields.  Being unwilling to lag, traditional retail enterprises also actively use their accumulated resources to exploit some areas.

This round of new retail commercial activities focuses on two main lines. The first one is digitalization and platformization of offline retail activity, obtaining massive transactions and user data to make precision marketing and select products, and so on. The second is consumer-centric, revolving around the consumer to restructure the products and market, focusing on user experience and convenience.

According to statistics, the accumulated financing amount of the self-service retail sector has exceeded 50 billion yuan, while the startup enterprises have quickly occupied the market by investing butch of money with the help of capital. Among them, unattended shelves became the most competitive area in the second half of the year, with more than 50 market players.

Financing Analysis of Chinese Vending Industry in 2016-2018

Date Company Name Amount (RMB)
Nov. 2018 UBOX 1.2 billion
Feb. 2018 Haha Lingshou Tens of million
Jan. 2018 e Zhan Duo 100 million
Dec. 2017 S. Mall 5 million
Nov. 2017 Bangmart 60 million
Nov. 2017 Gump Come More than 100 million
Nov. 2017 Meiwei Shenghuo 60 million
Oct. 2017 Tianshi Zhicheng 400 million
Sept. 2017 CITYBOX $15 million
Aug. 2017 Gump Come Tens of million
Jul. 2017 FMEIMEI 50 million
Jun. 2017 UBOX 530 million
Jun. 2017 Laibei Kafei Tens of million
Mar. 2017 Laibei Kafei 10 million
Feb. 2017 Coffee 0.8 Unrevealed
Dec. 2016 Bangmart 10 million
Sept. 2016 Laibei Kafei millions

Source: FORWARD

Five Development Trends of China’s Vending Machine Industry
In recent years, self-service convenience stores have sprung up, as well as various new types of self-service devices, such as self-service supermarkets and coffee shops, seafood sales equipment. The market has presented a prosperous picture.

From the aspects of the product, the vending machine would provide more choices while focussing more on the concept of healthy living. As for the technical side, the machines will carry out various service methods with intelligence as the core, such as big data intelligent operation and face recognition.

As for enterprise, the traditional vending machine companies will make the equipment more flexible by combined with artificial intelligence technology, which enables the device to provide convenient service for different groups in various zones. It will also lead to a higher penetration rate of the machines. Also, companies could promote new products by taking the densely distributed machines as a marketing medium.

An Unprecedented Opportunity to Tap Into Chinese Market 
For exploring the huge potential Chinese vending market, Guangzhou Int’l Vending Machines & Self-service Facilities Fair (VMF 2020) will be held on March 4th-6th in China Import and Export Fair Complex. Being a professional business trade platform, VMF has been held for 7 years in succession. If you are interested in the expo, please contact us.

Guangzhou Int’l Vending Machines & Self-service Facilities Fair (VMF 2020)
Date: March 4th-6th, 2020
Venue: China Import and Export Fair Complex
Website: www.chinavmf.com 

Contact Person: Candice Li

E-mail: candicelsm@126.com

Vending Machine Business Singapore

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