Top 10 Types of Vending Machines in India [May’24]

Hi, In this blog post, we are going to talk about different types of vending machines that are available for different products and use cases.

You must have seen or heard about vending machines that can offer you anything that you could want in a particular situation and more.

Late for a meeting? Grab a quick snack; Need to wake up for that meeting that could have been an email? Grab a cup of coffee on the go. Not just food, Forget your hand sanitizer? Just buy one from a vending machine!

These are just a few examples of the utility of vending machines.

Vending machine technology has come a long way since it was first used in ancient Rome to dispense holy water, in a controlled manner. Vending machines have many types and models and we will be discussing all of them in detail in this blog post.

Early Vending Machines:

Some early instances also include machines dispensing tobacco, banned books, stamps, and even envelopes.

The first coin-operated vending machine was active during the 1880s. Nowadays, we have smart vending machines that accept multiple modes of payment and offer a variety of products. Some vending machines even offer different bike options to choose from!

Vending machines were invented in the 19th century in the UK. They are automatic machines that dispense items like snacks, beverages, lottery tickets, etc. Initially, vending machines were used to dispense postcards only.

Since then, vending machines have been designed and programmed to provide everything from potato chips to bikes.


This new-age retail channel is unparalleled in its appeal. Vending machines can be differentiated based on several parameters which are as follows:

1. Based on the Mode of dispensing items

Based on the mode of dispensing items, the following are the different types of vending machines-

(a) Spiral: These machines consist of a spiral coil that rotates and dispenses an item when a specified coin is inserted. When a coil is inserted, the spiral coil rotates and drops the product into space from where the purchaser can access the product.

(b) Gravity-based: In these machines, a motor activates a delivery mechanism where gravity is used to force the item out of its position and into such a position that the purchaser will be able to access it easily.

(c) Elevator: These machines have an elevator tray that moves vertically. When the purchaser selects an item, the tray moves to the vertical level of the item. Then, the tray moves downward and dispenses the item into the slot where the purchaser can access it.

(d) Smart-shelf: There are several smart-shelf vending machines. In some machines, items are equipped with an RFID tag. The software fetches the item that matches the item ordered by the purchaser. In some machines, weight sensors and computer vision technology are applied to dispense the item ordered by the purchaser.



2. Based on the temperature in the vending machine

Depending on the types of goods that the vending machines are carrying, different temperatures need to be maintained.

(a) Frozen (-7 degrees): These machines maintain a certain temperature inside the glass front to keep the items fresh for the purchasers. Typically, items such as ice cream, fresh meat, etc., are dispensed.

(b) Chilled (2 to 5 degrees): These machines are typically used to keep items such as fruit drinks, soda, etc., at the desired temperature to experience the drink at the perfect temperature.

(c) Ambient: Items such as potato chips, chocolates, etc., are best enjoyed at room temperature. These machines maintain room temperature for these items.

(d) Combo: These machines are divided into sections. Each section maintains a certain temperature. This mechanism allows an assortment of goods to be sold via a single vending machine.


3. Based on Different Modes of Payment

Based on the different modes of payment that the different types of vending machines accept; the differentiation is as follows:

Cash: These vending machines are designed to accept coins and banknotes. With people using traditional currency less by the day, these might soon turn obsolete.

Digital: With the introduction of digital payment systems, vending machines have been programmed and updated to accept payments digitally. They accept payment from different apps (e-wallets), cards, or a QR-code is created to accept payment.


4. Based on the Assortment of goods

Vending machines can also be categorized by the assortment of items they dispense. Traditionally, they were used for cold drinks, chips, etc. The different types of vending machines categorized by the assortment of items they sell are as follows:

Packaged food: These machines dispense packaged foods like Lays, Doritos, Kurkure, etc. Chocolates and other confectionery items are also dispensed. These machines keep items at room temperature.  

Fresh food: With advanced technology, vending machines can keep items fresh no matter the temperature required. Fresh food like hot meals and chapatis can be dispensed from these machines. Coffee is one of the most widely consumed items. Coffee dispensing vending machines are extremely popular.

Ice cream, one of the crowd’s favorites, is also a great option to be dispensed using vending machines.

Office Supplies/ Stationery: These machines are really useful and convenient for working professionals. They dispense items like A4 papers, staplers, etc. All kinds of stationery emergencies can be dealt with efficiently.

Grocery Items: These machines dispense grocery items like dairy products, cereal, canned goods, bread, etc. These machines have become popular during the pandemic and are going to get even more popular with time.

Health products: These machines dispense items like face masks, sanitary pads, gloves, etc., and are usually placed in hospitals and washrooms.

Snacks: the vending machines that carry snacks are currently the most popular in the Indian space. They carry items like chips chocolates and other packaged drinks.

Miscellaneous: some vending machines placed at airports carry items like earphones, eye masks, etc.

Apparel: some vending machines that are placed at concerts often carry plain t-shirts or official merchandise from the concerned artists.

Combination: a vending machine can be customized in a way that it can hold 2 or multiple categories of assortment goods mentioned above depending on the place and requirement.


5. Based on utility and special uses

Vending machines can be customized to carry almost any item. They can dispense foods like upma, oats, noodles, etc., by adding hot water when the user purchases the item. They can be designed to carry items like pizza, paani-puri, daal-chawal, and many more.

Size and capacity based: Their size and capacity matter while sorting machines. Depending on the foot traffic, the right size and capacity of the machine to be placed are decided.

Wall-mounted: Some vending machines are mounted on the wall. They can be designed to carry any item, ranging from gloves to soda and many more.

Tabletop: These machines are small enough to be kept on tables. Generally, they dispense items like tea, coffee, chips, etc.

Standalone: These machines are standalone. They can be of different sizes like 3 feet wide, 4 feet wide, and 5 feet wide.


6. Based on the placement of the machine

Vending machines can also be differentiated based on the location where they are placed. The location where the vending machine is placed is very important. The placement location of the machines is the factor that will decide whether you have a successful business or not.

Offices: Offices are the best places to place a vending machine. Office goers often look for quick snacks while on their breaks. Offices have vending machines that carry stationery, coffee, soda, fresh food, etc. as well.

Apartment complexes: Apartment complexes house a lot of people from the community and see people moving around 24/7. Placing a vending machine in shared community spaces is a great idea. These complexes have vending machines carrying packaged food, cold drinks, etc.

Hospitals: From doctors and other hospital staff to people visiting patients, vending machines are a great way for them to get a snack on the go without wasting a lot of their precious time.

Hospitals have vending machines that carry soda, coffee, etc. They also have vending machines that dispense items like gloves, syringes, face masks, etc.

Hotels and motels: Hotel and motel lobbies are another space that people frequent a lot. From tourists to regular business fliers, there is a lot of foot traffic.

A vending machine could also be placed on every floor for the guest’s convenience and preferences.

Gyms: People after working out are looking for a quick healthy snack or meal and vending machines are a great way to offer them that service. Instead of driving around looking for options, they can simply pick something up on their way.

Schools, colleges, and universities: All of these institutions have people with healthy appetites who are on a tight schedule. Vending machines are a great option for them.

Hostels and PGs: These places have vending machines that cater to the needs of students.

Malls: Malls have vending machines that carry various goods since they get every kind of customer.

Coworking spaces: They carry vending machines that cater to the various offices situated in the space.

Amusement parks: People visiting amusement parks want to have access to drinks and snacks during or after their day out. Vending machines can offer them all kinds of options at affordable prices.


7. Based on Management System

There are different management systems of vending machines depending on the type of vending machine. Some machines have to be managed daily and manually, while others can be passively managed. Primarily, machines are managed in two ways:

Traditional Management: Inventories in traditional vending machines that accept coins and hard currency as payment have to be managed manually. Someone has to physically go to the site of the machine, check inventory, and restock items.

 Smart Cloud-connected Systems: These new-age machines are connected to the cloud. The information about each item in the machine can be accessed from anywhere. RFID tags are attached to every item for this purpose. Users can see when inventory needs to be replenished from anywhere. A remote IoT management system can manage inventory.


Anyone thinking of starting a vending machine business can go through the guide above to figure out which machine is perfect for their business.

Daalchini provides smart vending machines that can be used for anything and everything and it is the best option for you to get started. Daalchini provides vending machines that can carry food items like breakfast foods, evening snacks, hot meals, and whole wheat bread like chapattis, parathas, etc

New-age vending machines with a remote IoT management system are excellent investments and do not need to be actively managed.

Daalchini has a robust supply chain, ensuring the quality of the food being made available. We make sure that all the FSSAI norms and regulations are being followed.

We have several meal options to offer along with a huge assortment of snacks, fresh bakery items, and beverages.

The Vending machines allow tiffin services and other home chefs to diversify and expand their customer base which helps them in expanding their businesses.

Daalchini is a well-established brand with its Vending machines placed at several offices, hospitals, colleges, hostels, etc., making it an attractive option for FMCG brands that are constantly looking for new consumers and new consumers expanding their consumer base. Prominent companies like TCS, OYO, Dell, GE, Snapdeal, Times of India, etc., have partnered up with Daalchini for our vending machines. 

We provide round-the-clock customer support and are here to help you with all and every query that you might have. We take pride in being a ‘customer first company.

If you want to partner with us, you can send us your details by filling out this form – Click Here

Our team will get back to you as early as possible to assist you further with the process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Planning to start vending machine business? Click Here