What is a Micro Market?

Micro markets are small spaces for food retail that make use of self-checkout technology. The primary focus of these markets is to offer customers with healthy and convenient options, and their adoption is growing rapidly in the US following years of success in Europe. In this piece, we will discuss what micro markets are, how they are vastly different from vending machines and were you can find them.

Micro Market – What is it?

Micro market vending includes refrigerated food kiosks and open shelves offering healthy drinks, coffee, fruit, pre-made food, and other healthier alternatives to traditional vending. Their checkout makes use of automated payment systems to offer customers maximum convenience. While many people compare micro markets to vending machines, they are quite different. Sure, there are some similarities, but they serve different purposes.

Micro markets are like mini supermarkets and provide people with alternative food options for lunch or breakfast. These markets are located in easy to access places on corporate university, and government campuses , where people can grab a meal or snack to proceed with their day.

How Micro Markets and Vending Machines are Different

Mentioned below are a few differences between vending machines and micro markets.

Vending Machines

  • Numerous payment options
  • Food offerings limited
  • Strict restocking schedule
  • Dispensing items from vending machines can be challenging
  • Some refrigerated machines for soda and other drinks

Micro Markets

  • Micro markets accept loyalty cards and coupons
  • Healthy meal and snack options
  • Micro markets are restocked every day
  • They use touch screen automated service along with tap-to-pay options

The Emergence of Micro Markets in Recent Years

The demand for fresh and healthy food options is one of the biggest reasons why micro markets have become incredibly popular in the recent years. More and more people are choosing healthy eating options by cutting back on junk and fast food and eating smaller portions. According to a recent survey containing over 1400 adults, over 85 percent of the people stated that nutrition is vital to them. Over 50 percent of the people stated they found healthy eating to be quite difficult.

It’s worth keeping in mind that healthy eating habits can significantly improve workplace productivity. Plenty of research proves that employees consuming a healthy diet have a higher likelihood of being productive and are less likely to be absent from work. This is a major reason why many forward-thinking companies that operate during odd hours or have shift-based systems are slowly but surely embracing micro markets in their offices. Offering employees and visitors healthy, easy-to-access meal options comes with plenty of benefits.

Introducing micro market vending in office premises is a fantastic way to ensure employees can eat healthy, which could greatly improve their productivity.

Common Places Where Micro Markets Can be found

Micro markets can be installed anywhere there is adequate floor space, a reliable internet connection and power outlets. The markets include refrigeration access to ensure grab-and-go food remains cold and at a safe temperature for people to consume. Micro markets are increasingly found in places like:

  • Health clubs
  • Government offices
  • Factories
  • Senior care facilities
  • Academic buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Supermarkets
  • Corporate office buildings
  • Airports

Common Items Found in Micro Markets

While regular vending machines can hold around forty different items, micro markets can stock around 200 to 400 items easily. According to a reputable report, snacks, food and cold beverages are among the largest categories that generate revenue in micro markets. In most cases, customers want healthy snacking options. Gen X and Boomers choose micro markets for low sodium, sugar, free, low fat and healthy snacks. On the other hand, millennials generally seek micro markets for fresh afternoon meals.

Interestingly, you will also find plenty of nonfood items in micro markets. These items include health and wellness products, cell phone chargers and other electronic items, toiletries, etc.

Micro markets present a fantastic business opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to provide customers with healthy food options. With more and more people becoming health conscious, having more businesses are doing away with vending machines and replacing them with micro markets for customers and workers.