There are two types of ice vending machines on the market today, machines that bag the ice automatically and machines that require the customer to bag their own ice. To offer a machine that automatically bags the ice, the ice machine manufacturing company has to invest in the technology and the research to do so. Why is this important? The whole goal of ice vending is to provide customers with a safe, quick, and convenient way to purchase fresh ice. If your machine does not automatically bag the ice, you have compromised on these goals. When the consumer bags the ice, the safety and sterility of the ice can easily be compromised by them (and others before them) coming in contact with the machine bagging area, the bags, and the ice itself as they work to catch it in the bag. It requires additional steps, additional instructions, and additional time, so the quick and convenient aspect is reduced. And, bagging your own ice reduces the fun and novelty of pushing the button and watching a full bag of ice fall out of the chute!
Additionally, when you require your customer to bag the ice, you are also potentially limiting your sales to the machines ability to be stocked with or mechanically dispense bags for bagging purposes. You may also have an issue with patrons bagging their own ice and taking more than one bag. This financial loss occurs, not only in bag loss from being stolen, but also in sales volume loss – since you may not be aware of the theft of the bags, and there may not be bags available for a paying customer when they come to the machine to purchase ice.
The Kooler Ice Vending machine automatically makes, stores, bags, and dispenses fresh ice on demand. The ice is delivered in the quantity requested, already bagged, when they push the button. There is no risk of contamination because no one and nothing can come in contact with the ice other than the purchaser.