Ice vending trends to watch in 2023

The year 2022 saw record-breaking temperatures and this trend is predicted to continue. As such, ice machine manufacturers and vendors can expect to see strong market growth this year. Dan Doromal, co-owner and vice president of operations for Everest Ice and Water Systems comments

Due to its high ROI and low-cost business model, ice vending is currently the fastest-growing segment of the USD 4.6 billion global retail ice market. For 2023, there will be multiple factors at play that will drive further growth in this market, some of which have been in motion for a few years already.

With last year reported to have been the warmest year on record, one of these factors is rising global temperatures leading to a high demand for ice products. Retailers and entrepreneurs who get in early on this market demand are likely to see the best returns, and more retailers will likely be getting in on the growing ice vending market.

The current labour shortage on the UK has been especially hard on the accommodation and food service industry and this means more businesses are likely to look for automation and self-service technology.

The after effects of the pandemic still see many people exercising caution. It means many people are likely to appreciate any service that allows them to accomplish social distancing. Automatic ice vending fits that bill entirely, providing a safe, sanitary, and socially distanced means of accessing services.

As the costs for goods and services continue to rise, businesses are having a harder time keeping their operations up and running. As a result, many wholesalers resort to shrinking their packages, providing less of their product but at the same price to retailers. This is known as “sinkflation,” or “meltflation,” when it comes to packaged ice.

Retailers bear the brunt of this sneaky practice and, considering the unpromising predictions for the UK economy in 2023, it’s likely that more ice makers will continue to shrink their package sizes.

With that in mind, more retailers are likely to see the benefits of investing in an ice vending machine, which will allow them to eliminate the need for a supplier while also enjoying full control of their ice inventory.

Final thoughts

While ice vending machines have already been around for a while, it’s only in the last few years that technological advances have increased the quality and trust in these machines. They’re now widely in use among retailers and independent businesses and are likely to become even more popular in 2023 due to the trends mentioned above.