Unexpected Things You Can Buy From Vending Machines

Around the world, 24/7 kiosks sell a variety of often strange-seeming offerings. There’s a live crab vending machine in China, a lettuce machine in Japan, and a mashed potato machine in Singapore. (Yum!)

But what about in the U.S.? According to market research firm IBIS, the U.S. vending machine industry sees revenues of $7 billion annually, which isn’t that difficult to imagine when you consider how widespread simple candy vending machines are. But the industry itself is expanding: Zany kiosks holding baked goods, clothing, and exercise equipment have popped up across the country.

What can you snag from your nearest vending machine? Most Americans will still have to settle for a bag of potato chips or soda, but depending on where you live, you might be able to outfit your next fishing trip or wine night via a vending machine.



Cupcake chain Sprinkles has more than 10 cupcake ATMs across the country, the first of which opened in Beverly Hills in 2012. You select the cupcake flavor you want and swipe your credit or debit card like you would at a traditional ATM.

In 2014, Sprinkles said it was selling about 1,000 cupcakes a day at each cupcake ATM at $4.25 a pop.Seattle residents can now purchase cannabis the same way they buy soda and snacks – right out of a vending machine.Well, maybe not quite the same. First they need to enter a medical marijuana dispensary and show a medical marijuana ID. But those hurdles cleared, the glowing green machines beckon.