Soda vending machines are easily one of the most- if not the most- common types of kiosks in the United States of America. In fact, odds are most people in the country are within a mile radius of a soda machine. Soda is one of the most popular beverages in the entireUnited States, and for good reason: it is caffeinated (usually,) refreshing, sweet and carbonated. All of those things are traits that most people find quite pleasing. When people have the choice between water or soda, many will pick soda.
Since soda companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi came into existence, they have been looking for ways to further market their products. The vending machine became one of the most popular ways for them to do this for a variety of reasons:
- A vending machine is easy to set up because they can pretty much be located anywhere.
- A vending machine gives the company complete control over the distribution and pricing of their products.
- A vending machine is not only a way to sell a product to the consumer, it is also a way for a company to market themselves- as a vending machine also serves as an advertisement.
- Soda no longer had to be constrained by store hours and other circumstances. In essence, a vending machine can operate 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year.
The History of the Soda Machine in the United States
The earliest form of a vending machine can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece. The first recording was by Hero of Alexandria, who described a machine that would receive money and dispense holy water. The first modern version of a vending machine was in the 1880’s inLondon,England. These machines dispensed post cards. Around the same time, vending machines popped up inNew York Cityand were selling chewing gum to subway passengers. Soda machines got into the vending machine scene in the 1920’s, but at the time they only dispensed soda into cups, rather than the cans and bottles were are more accustomed to now. Can technology did not come into play for another couple decades.
Number of Soda Machines in the U.S.
According to the documentary Super Size Me, there are more than 3 million soda machines in the country. That means there is one soda vending machine for about every 100 or so Americans.
Booby S. is a freelance writer and soda pop enthusiast. Growing up in the Midwestmeant guzzling down bottles of soda on sunny Summer afternoons to put up with the grueling humidity and heat. These days, he calls the mild Pacific Northwesthome and spends his time writing for small newspapers, regional magazines, hyper-local blogs and various websites, as well as freelancing for media companies and marketing teams. His fondness for kiosks can be seen here.