Crunchy crisp potato chips covered in ample salt or perhaps even a cheesy option that makes your mouth water upon first taste; pastries coated in some intoxicating sweet layer of goodness; nourishing beef jerky flavored with the exact taste you’re craving; even some cookies to wash it down; and maybe even a granola bar or something healthy to bring it all together- these are all things you think about when you think of vending machine snacks.
If you are new to the world of vending machines and snacks, you’ll be interested to learn the USA’s vending culture isn’t as advanced as places like Korea or Japan because these locations have a more vast range of items available from machines. Nonetheless, in the USA, at vending machines there are many times you’ll see the same items from space to space- but have you ever wondered the reasons why it seems you can often find many of the same items again and again?
If you’ve read some other FlowerFieldz articles about popular vending machine candies and top vending drinks being stocked, then you know one reason behind similar items is the concentrated supplier market. Also, a concept vending operators try to follow is to carry snacks you and the rest of the general public may want to eat – so oftentimes only tried and true options make the cut. While the brands may change from machine to machine, you’ll find that most all vending machines will have similar selections of snacks, albeit perhaps with slightly different flavors. While it often seems certain you’ll find some potato chips at vending machines, along with other staple snacks, one exception in this regard is that some school locations and other government spaces are restricted to only “healthy items” and thus some of your favorites are left out in these cases.
At this point, you may want to grab some snacks to finish this article because it’s going to make you hungry. If your willpower is strong enough, without further delay, continue reading this article to learn more about 11 Popular Vending Machine Snack Foods For 2024 (listed in no particular order).
11 Top Vending Machine Snack Foods 2024
1) Lay’s Original Potato Chips
When most people think of potato chips in the USA, the 1st option that comes to the minds of many is Lay’s Original Potato Chips. Certainly, there are many different brands and different variations of the incredibly versatile potato chip- however Lay’s Potato Chips have essentially been a top seller ever since debuting in 1932. Fried potatoes covered in salt may sound simple, but the people have spoken and the people like simple. In fact, to show you just how beloved Lay’s is, it should be notes that Lay’s was the leading potato chip brand in the USA in 2023 with over $4.3 Billion of sales.
2) Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavor
While Doritos may have debuted in 1966, the Nacho Cheese flavor which has won the hearts of many people didn’t debut until 1974. Despite the actual origin story of Doritos being a bit murky, 50 years later the public just knows that they love the Nacho Cheese Doritos flavor. Accordingly, these are a staple in vending machines everywhere. Just like Frito Lay, owned by PepsiCo, is the owner is Lay’s Original Potato Chips- PepsiCo also own Dorito’s.
3) Beef Jerky
The exact origin of beef jerky is hard to confirm, but humans have been enjoying this hearty treat in some form for thousands of years. Brand hasn’t necessarily mattered as much in vending machines for beef jerky and beef sticks, but they are now a vending machine snack staple.
A snack as unique as Oreo cookies is something that can be hard to find in some vending machines because it can be fairly hard to find vending size Oreo packs- but when you do find Oreo in a vending machine it feels like a bit of a score when this is what you’re out to get. Definitely you can find a large variety of Oreo flavors today, but the original is still what it seems you’ll see most in vending machines.
5) Honey Buns
You know the sweet pastries lathered in a honey and cinnamon glaze? Of course you do, and you know a honey bun is something that fans of this treat will seek out from near and far. Especially in vending machines, stocking items like honey buns can be hard because any baked goods often have a fairly short shelf life. Longevity, or a lack thereof, is a main reason why baked goods are typically found in high-traffic vending locations while slower locations may refrain from having these sorts of products because they may become expired and be wasted before selling.
6) Flamin Hot Cheetos
While there is much dispute regarding who is responsible for the actual creation of Flamin Hot Cheetos, it’s not disputed that the people love this spicy and crunchy snack. What’s also not disputed is that these unique snacks have been one of Frito Lay’s greatest sellers since launching in 1991. With a 30+ year history of success, it wouldn’t be a surprise to continue seeing Flamin Hot Cheetos be a favorite vending machine snack for another 30 years or more given how beloved this product is.
7) Rice Krispies Treats
The original recipe for Rice Krispies Treats was created in the 1930s or earlier, but Kellogg’s did not start marketing the treat as an individual product until the mid 1990s. Ever since being placed on store shelves and vending machines everywhere, this ooey gooey marshmallow and rice cereal combination has been beloved by consumers. No matter the reason,
8) Protein Bars
No matter the brand, consumers are increasingly seeking a healthier snack option while they’re on the go. Enter the protein bar- one of the more popular snack options around, especially for the health conscious snacker- a phenomenon only rising in popularity by the day it seems.
9) Mini Doughnuts
Chocolate or covered in powdered sugar, once again a mini doughnut is a somewhat rare find in some vending machines like other baked goods solely because their expiration dates necessitate a fast sale. Of course, when you do find mini doughnuts at a vending machine, many people feel it’s a “must” to buy a pack… or 3. A breakfast or anytime snack that delights a lot of people, well that just can’t be wrong. Hostess, Little Debbie, and several other brands all compete for mini donut dominance, with the consumers being the ultimate winner of these flavor battles every time.
10) White Cheddar Flavored Popcorn
Crunchy, cheesy, popcorn. Just with those 3 words alone you have a good chunk of people who are interested in reading more. White Cheddar Flavored Popcorn (made by several different brands) is starting to become a favorite snack and a top vending machine food option for the convenience and flavors.
11) Trail Mix
Healthy snacks seem to be increasingly unavailable anywhere these days, but trail mix is a snack that stands out among the pack. A fairly nourishing mix of things like nuts, chocolate, dried fruits or berries, and other items- trail mix is a welcome sight for many when they find a bag in a vending machine. Since there are many different brands and variations, you’ll likely find a different trail mix from machine to machine- but you can consistently bet most vending machines will have a trail mix if they have space.
Whether you are just wondering how to stock a vending machine with snacks, or you’re interested in the snacks themselves, or for any other reason, it’s a great pleasure to have you viewing this blog post. FlowerFieldz is not endorsing any specific products or being paid to promote anything, so please find your own preferences and simply take this as an informative and fun article. Now that you know more about the 11 Top Vending Machine Snacks in 2024, you’re probably a little hungry. You deserve a snack!