When you think about “the kids these days,” Millennials might come to mind—the generation everyone loves to hate. If you’re thinking about stocking vending machines for the next generation of kids in Los Angeles, CA, though, you’re about 20 years behind. Millennials are currently in their mid-20s to late 30s. The newest market you should be considering is Gen Z. This generation has grown up with the internet and other technology, making them different from previous tech-adaptable generations like Gen X-ers and Millennials. Here’s what to consider when you’re installing vending machines for the younger set.
Who is Gen Z?
Gen Z-ers were born in the late 1990s to early 2000s, which makes the oldest ones just under 25. They’ve never known an era without cell phones and internet, which makes their way of approaching the world significantly different from previous generations. That includes their relationship with vending machines, from how they access them to the type of food and beverage they seek out.
When you’re marketing to Gen Z, it’s important to balance their needs with some reliable older favorites. You can’t paint any generation with a broad brush, but there are certain characteristics they share.
Technology and the new generation
Since Gen Z-ers have always had access to the internet and cell phone technology, they’re used to that guiding all of their choices. Not sure how many calories are in that food or beverage? The internet can help them find out. If they don’t have a wallet on them, they’re used to paying through their smartphones. If you’re adding vending machines to places with younger residents or visitors, embrace technology. Make sure your machines have digital payment options, or you can expect they’ll move on to one that does.
Different beverage choices
Soda will never completely disappear, but the younger generation is far more likely to pick up a coffee-based beverage rather than sugary soda for an energy boost. They’re also slightly more health-conscious, so consider adding smoothies and healthy food choices to round out your selection. Even sports drinks, which are often formulated with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, are preferable to soda.
Of course, you don’t want to solely cater to Gen Z kids—not only do some prefer traditional sodas, but you should also try to appeal to as wide an audience as possible with your vending machine stocking. It’s best to try stocking the machines with a variety of options, determining what sells and then readjusting your food and beverage plan.
Next gen vending machines in Los Angeles, CA
Ultimately, your machine location will determine how you stock your machine. Even if you’re not in a youth-friendly location, however, you should consider upgrading your machines with digital payment options like card readers, Apple Pay and more. Even many members of the older generations find these payment methods a lot more convenient to use.
To learn more about vending machine options, how to stock your machine in Los Angeles, CA and more, call VSI Vending & Coffee Services today.