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Cool Down and Find The Best Ice Vending Machine Locations

Discover the top locations for ice vending machines! Our refreshing list recommends the best spots to keep your vending business flourishing.

September 26, 2023


The ice industry expanded to vending machines a long time ago, but there is still plenty of opportunity for new and existing vending owners to claim a spot in the market for themselves. Franchise options through companies like Twice the Ice exist, but you can also be your own boss with equipment from a brand such as Kooler Ice or Everest ice. There are many more options in the USA aside from Twice the Ice or in ice and water vending business market in general. Below, we’ll explore the influencers behind the best ice vending machine locations, detail ice and water vending locations that are safe bets, and briefly discuss how to get started with an ice vending machine.

What Are the Best Locations for Ice Vending Machines?

When it comes time to search for ice vending machine locations, there are a number of influencing factors to keep in mind. Vending machines are designed to be profitable fairly easily, but the right location is arguably the most important factor to consider of all. The weather, customer base, and foot traffic of a location will all have an impact on the success of an ice vending machine in a given location.

Consider the Weather

Customers will be more likely to purchase ice on hot sunny days, so you’ll need to factor in the regular weather patterns of an area into your considerations when deciding on the right location. States like Texas and California are perfect in this regard, as they have more warm sunny days than not.

Consider the Customer Base

In order to find the right location for your ice vending machine, you need to understand your customer base. Step into their shoes and consider why they might need ice. For example, fishermen will buy ice on the way to the lake to keep their catch fresh, partygoers will need ice to keep drinks cold, and residents in apartment complexes that appreciate convenience are all consumers you can target by choosing the right location for your ice machine service.

Consider the Foot Traffic

More people will just pass your vending machine and only a small percentage will actually become customers and purchase bags of ice regularly. The exact percentage will be based on other influencing factors, but if you expect to earn a decent amount of money from an ice vending machine each month, you’ll need to choose a location that is prone to extremely high foot traffic on a daily basis.

What Ice Vending Machine Locations Are Safe Bets?

The right location for your ice vending machine can take a number of forms. To help you start off on the right foot, we’ve compiled a list of all the ice vending machine locations that are safe bets. Not only are these the places where people expect to see ice vending machines, but they are in fact quite profitable locations, too.

Gas Stations: Gas stations of all kinds are the most ideal place for ice vending machines. Consumers expect to see them there, and may even be actively looking for them in new areas.

Indoor Malls: Indoor malls, especially in densely populated cities, will see staggering numbers of pedestrian visitors throughout the day. They are incredibly convenient locations for ice vending machines, and marketing will essentially take care of itself.

Apartment Buildings: Installing an ice vending machine near apartment complexes is a great way to gain exposure and target a consumer base that is highly likely to purchase fresh ice regularly. The benefit of customer loyalty cannot be overstated.

Convenience Stores: Aside from gas stations, convenience stores are perhaps the most popular location for ice vending machines. People often choose to buy ice with the rest of their groceries, and the ability to meet all of their needs on one property is a major convenience.

Strip Malls: People who frequent strip malls will spend a lot of time walking around in warm weather, and they attract locals and tourists alike due to the excellent shopping opportunities. The combination of high foot traffic and overheated consumers leads to ice vending machine success.

Camping Spots: Anyone who has ever been camping will know that access to cold food and drinks comes primarily from ice, unless there is a camper on site with a small fridge and freezer. An ice vending machine on site will make it a lot more convenient for consumers to manage their food inventory, and they will always be well-populated in the summer months to improve machine profitability.

College Campuses: College campuses, especially ones that have a sports complex on site, are an excellent location for ice vending machines. College students that love to party will use the ice to keep refreshments cool indoors and out, and sports teams can use them to keep coolers of drinks cool during games and training.

Fishing Piers/Harbors/Marinas: Waterside locations such as fishing piers, harbors, and marinas will be a fantastic location for an ice vending machine. Consumers will be exposed to the elements while they visit their boats and enjoy water activities, necessitating cool drinks and snacks. Fishermen can also use the ice to keep their caught fish chilled and fresh for consumption later in the day.

Town Center: Downtown areas are an exceptional location for an ice/water vending machine. They will be hotter than other areas of the city due to all the buildings, and they are guaranteed to experience high levels of pedestrian and vehicular traffic constantly.

Bulk Stores: Bulk stores such as Costco and various superstores are excellent locations for ice vending machines. They see extremely high levels of pedestrian and vehicular traffic each day, and the customers are already in a buying state of mind.  

Busy Roads: Busy roads see the most traffic of any other place in a city, and a roadside ice vending machine will likely see a lot of business as a result. Whether they are travel routes to destinations or a commuting route, profitability is almost a guarantee.

Travel Routes for Beaches, Campsites, etc.: Nobody is perfect, and busy parents may forget to pack ice as they gather their family for a camping trip or a beach vacation day. Installing an ice vending machine on the route to these summertime locations is never a bad idea.

Parks: Large city parks, amusement parks, or recreational parks are often locations where people tend to engage in various activities or worse, get hurt. Placing an ice vending machine on such places may result in profitable outcomes.

Are You Looking to Start an Ice Vending Machine Business?

ice cubes dispensed from a vending machine

If you’re interested in branching out into the ice vending machine world, we can understand that you may find it to be a daunting endeavor. There are a variety of ice vending machine brands to choose from (Twice the Ice being the original and many following in their footsteps), many locations to choose from, and decisions to make about pricing (turn for advice to Vending Profit Calculator), and type of products you’ll be offering.

Whether you look at the profits of snack vending machines, drink vending machines, specialty retail vending machines, Twice the Ice vending machines, or any other types of vending machines, the industry is growing at a rapid rate. Now is certainly the best time to branch out with a new ice vending venture.

There are many financing solutions to take advantage of when starting out, and you can choose whatever option works best for your business design. With the right information and a little bit of effort, you can also land on affordable vending machines or even get them for free. Networking will also be incredibly beneficial to you, as you’ll find people who can assist you as you start out and support you as your grow your business.

As long as you set a goal, design a business plan, choose the ideal location, purchase your say, Twice the Ice vending machines sustainably, and stay in contact with a local network, you’ll be setting yourself up for success whenever you decide to take the plunge.

P.S. Cake vending machines are a huge hit right now. Read on to find reasons why they may be a solid part of your vending business venture.

Final Thoughts

The prevalence of Twice the Ice, Everest, and Kooler ice machines around the US is higher than most people would expect, and there are many more brands just like them. Whether you are just getting into the vending industry with an ice machine and are curious about the perfect location, or you’re looking to expand the offerings of an existing vending business, we are quite confident you know how to be successful with ice vending machine placement.

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