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Utilising Layovers: 15 Airport Vending Machine Ideas That Sell

Explore airport vending machine ideas that actually work and unlock new revenue streams.


Are you tired of the usual routine during your layovers at the airport? Sitting around, waiting for your connecting flight, and trying to find something to eat or drink can be quite boring. And wherever there's boredom a business opportunity may be lurking. So what if there were airport vending machines that offered unique and exciting products to make people's layover experience more enjoyable? In this article, we will explore 15 vending machine ideas that sell, providing you with options to make the most out of lousy layovers.

1. Combo vending machines

It is a combination of food and drinks, all in the same machine, thereby removing the need for two separate machines. These airport vending machines are very convenient as they offer a wide variety of products, which helps reduce traveling to the nearest stores for products such as snacks, sodas, candy, etc. They can even be placed inside office buildings at the airports, since they're really everyone's favorite daily choice.

Setting up Combo vending machines that offer travel accessories and other products in airports is a great idea due to their growing popularity among clients. Machines that offer a variety of payment methods and ease of operation tend to generate more income than those with fewer features.

2. Artisanal Snacks and Fresh food (healthy and veggie options)

For foodies looking for unique and artisanal snacks, airport vending machines showcasing local and international products would be a treat. From popular snacks, gourmet popcorn and handmade chocolates to organic chips, fresh salads, and specialty cookies, these machines could satisfy even the most discerning palates.

With an increasing number of people adopting healthy eating habits, healthy vending machines that offer pre-packaged, nutritious meal kits would cater to this growing demand. From grain bowls and salads to protein-rich dishes, these machines would provide a convenient option for health-conscious travelers.

At Paul International Airport they've made sure to stock products that are in tune with customer preference trends. Therefore, Paul International Airport vends primarily healthy snacks, fresh salads, and healthy meal options.

3. Drinks and fresh juice

two drink vending machines at the dark room in the airport

Airport lounges with bars are not always accessible to all travelers. A machine offering a selection of cool beverages can be the ultimate solution. From carbonated drinks to freshly squeezed juices, you can quench your thirst without having to search for the nearest café or restaurant. Especially when travelers are thirsting for a refreshment and having no choice but wait at the baggage claim.

That's why Myrtle Beach International Airport has these beverage machines as part of their digital transformation efforts. They want their passengers to be able to pick up their favorite liquid refreshment no matter the time of their arrival.

Going for popular drinks is a simple to enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice with the proper beverage automated retail. One of these autonomous juice-selling devices could be installed in airports. People will appreciate having the option to choose a freshly produced drink over one that has already been packed, and the flavor for the money is unbeatable.

Find the best-buy snacks and drinks vending machines here.

4. Coffee and hot beverages

There's nothing like a good cup of coffee to start your day or keep you going during long layovers. A coffee vending machine offering freshly brewed coffee, complete with various blends and flavors, would be a hit among caffeine lovers. This concept could include specialty options such as cappuccinos, lattes, or even iced coffees.

5. Airplane accessory vending machine

For frequent travelers and enthusiasts, having access to travel-specific accessories can make all the difference. Imagine a machine selling neck pillows, eye masks, Maui Jim sunglasses, noise-canceling earphones, and other travel essentials. It would be a one-stop shop for everything you need to make your journey comfortable and enjoyable.

In airports, it can be very useful to sell disposable face masks and gloves. Airport vending machines are useful for this for the obvious post-pandemic reasons. Other products that can be vended include Luggage tags, travel pillows, packing cubes, T-shirts, socks, ballet flats, underwear, and toiletry kits.

6. Sandwich vending machine

Black and white photo of vintage fresh food vending machine

Selling sandwiches from vending machines in airports, at baggage claim too, is a terrific way to keep your vending business profitable. To raise the average purchase amount, you can sell hot or cold sandwiches and even look for machines that have a variety of sauces and side dishes (such as a bag of chips and a drink).

If you feel like experimenting, even cake vending machines may be a good food option to offer at an airport.

7. Kids toys vending machine

People will be captivated by the appearance of a toy machine inside airports and will naturally want to amuse themselves by purchasing one and checking out what they get. These are among the top vending business ideas because of it and a reason why Chicago Midway International Airport is in a possession of one. Build a Bear Workshop, a chicago based company, made sure to put their machine at a disposal to passengers.

A toy vending machine by a build a bear workshop at Chichago Midway International Airport

Here, too, the collecting aspect is a major selling point. Due to the possibility of creating a full collection, many customers may be enticed to purchase many items in an effort to finish their own. Lego vending machines that reside at many airports are a testament to this.

Every parent has experienced the problem of keeping their children entertained in public at some point. When youngsters are waiting in an airport, a vending company that sells puzzles, Legos, coloring books, fidget spinners, and other tiny toys can be a lifesaver.

8. Souvenirs and postcard vending machines

Airport gift shops can be crowded and overwhelming, especially when you're pressed for time. Airport vending machines offering small souvenirs and unique gifts from the destination can be a great alternative. From key chains and magnets to local handicrafts, these machines would allow travelers to find the perfect memento without stress.

9. Candy bar vending machine

Whether people are searching for a traditional sweet treat or something new to try, candy is always alluring to onlookers. They thereby produce the ideal vending company. Candy bars are among the most popular goods in vending machines; they are also widely available and easy to purchase in quantity. Consider candy bars like Snickers, Twix, Crunch, Milky Way, etc. Offerings of chocolate can also be combined with other candy, such as jelly beans, gummies, and hard candies.

10. Pharmaceutical vending machine

pills and drugs spilled over the blue background

Traveling can expose us to new environments and potential health risks. Airport vending machines can stock travel-sized medicines, including pain relievers, motion sickness tablets, and common over-the-counter medications.

This is why Las Vegas International airport sells more than just junk food - and that includes a list of much needed, urgent medicine.

The Max-Well machine, which has locations in airports like Raleigh-Durham and JFK, sells items like stress-relief aids, cold and flu medicines, wearable face masks, disposable masks, sinus and headache relief, healthy foods, and even compression socks. These vending machines ensure that health-conscious travelers are prepared for any unexpected health issues.

11. Chargers, adapters, Virtual Reality, and electronics

In a world increasingly reliant on technology, having access to the latest gadgets and apple products can greatly enhance the travel experience. Airport vending machines - like the one in Las Vegas - offering apple products, apple airpods, bose headphones, portable chargers, power banks, and other tech accessories with growing demand can cater to the traveler who may have forgotten or lost their own devices.

Virtual reality (VR) is gaining popularity worldwide. Why not have vending machines that offer travelers the chance to experience VR during their layovers at commuter hubs? Whether it's exploring famous landmarks, indulging in adventure sports, or diving into a virtual world, these machines would allow travelers to rent VR and escape reality, even for a short while.

12. Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco

One of the main drivers of the market's expansion is the rising number of smokers regardless of our efforts to dwindle the number. Large developments in airports are also boosting the demand for cigarette-selling devices. Cigarette vending machines and vape vending machines are subject to obligations and limitations in several nations due to tight government regulations around smoking. Additionally, places with a designated smoking area frequently have cigarette vending machines.

13. Underwear vending machine

The emergence of knickers vending machines in unexpected locations, like airports, gives creative brands a chance to enter new markets and offer convenience to consumers. Undz, a vibrant new male knicker company, is already selling its knickers and happy socks through vending machines. Travel agencies could collaborate with knickers manufacturers to provide fresh and distinctive consumer experiences for on-the-go travelers thanks to the accessibility and convenience of Undz's vending machines in airports.

14. Personal hygiene

Outmn colored towels and soaps with dry flowers as arrangements

Men's and women's deodorant, as well as items for personal hygiene including wet wipes, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental floss, shower gel, soap, and the like, are best sold in airports.

Menstruating women are aware that their cycles can begin at the most inconvenient times. When you need a pad or tampon, it could be while you're in class, waiting for a plane at the international airport, or even just out and about. One of those vending business concepts that works in a variety of settings is feminine hygiene vending machine. Really, accepting this vending machine company can be beneficial wherever there is a lavatory. To help women in need freshen up, you can also include feminine hygiene items such as wipes, sprays, and even knickers in different sizes in addition to menstruation supplies.

15. Baby products, diapers

Baby food, diapers, teething rings, and pacifiers are common necessities for traveling parents. You could help a lot of people take care of their infants and toddlers anytime they need to if you placed one of these machines in airports. Jasmin Smith launched Baby Vend in 2015 as a result of getting caught without diapers for her twin infants in an Anchorage, Alaska, shopping center. In 2019, she built and inaugurated a vending machine at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).


Layovers can be transformed into enjoyable experiences with the right machine offerings. From healthy snacks and local delicacies to travel essentials and unique gifts, the possibilities at the international airport are endless. By introducing these innovative vending machines, airports can enhance the overall travel experience by catering to the diverse needs and interests of their passengers.

As the travel industry continues to evolve, embracing these vending machine ideas can revitalize airports, providing travelers with exciting options and making layovers more satisfying and memorable. So the next time you have a layover, be sure to keep an eye out for these vending machines and discover a world of convenience and delight.

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