Meet MEEET's souvenir vending machines—A creative shopping experience in Macao

08 2018 | Issue 28

Text/Jasper Hou

Recently, a number of colourful vending machines have popped up at some tourist attractions and shopping destinations in Macao. From these vending machines, tourists and Macao residents can purchase delicate local souvenirs. These unique vending machines are brought to the public by MEEET. MEEET sells souvenirs fused with design themes of world heritage and festival, as well as cultural innovation and colour aesthetics, showcasing Macao’s unique culture. After launch, it took these souvenir vending machines less than one year to penetrate several areas of Macao. At present, consumers can find souvenir vending machines in many locations. 

Products are what really matter for the brand

MEEET was founded by Miquelina Hoi and Ken Ho, who are professional talents with years of working experience and expertise. “I am good at design, but good design works with adequate marketing. We need Miquelina’s marketing experience to make our business feasible,” Ken said, who is in charge of the brand’s design. As the MEEET’s marketing director, Miquelina manages every aspect of the business management in addition to marketing, including site selection for the vending machines, business plan, market exploration, etc. Ken and Miquelina’s different expertise allow MEEET to thrive in Macao. 

Souvenirs from MEEET are designed with themes of world heritage and festival, aiming to display Macao’s unique cultural heritage. “Macao serves 32 million visitors every year, which naturally brews a large market for souvenirs. Right now there are quite a few shops that target this area of the market, but very few brands actually provide customers with unique products. The core reason for this is that only a few businesses would invest resources in product design and marketing. This is where MEEET found a breakthrough,” Miquelina said. 

Lowering operation cost is the key

Souvenir vending machines’ main purpose is to save money for businesses. This allows Ken and Miquelina to invest more resources in the products. “Lowering operation cost is the main concern for us. To secure sustainable development we would need to ensure that we have enough capital to invest in the right area. This is especially important when we only have a limited amount of capital. Renting a business space and interior design cost a lot of money. Then we would have a significantly lesser amount of capital to invest in product design and marketing,” Ken stated. 

“At present, all of our vending machines are from other suppliers. We can modify the machines according to the products we want to sell,” Miquelina said. Launched in November 2017, MEEET has rented spaces from other major businesses to set up the vending machines, and there have been over 20 machines in Macao so far. Those machines can now be found in world heritage sites, shopping centres, and hotels, etc. 

Souvenirs vary from selling sites

There are over one hundred different souvenirs that are being sold on vending machines. MEEET will select souvenirs for vending machines in different sites based on the visitor profiling, such as consumers’ preference and consumption power, etc. “The Macao Tower has a lot of visitors from different visitor groups. So we have set up several vending machines there, providing visitors with a more comprehensive selection of souvenirs,” Ken said. “At the Fisherman's Wharf on the other hand we have only one vending machine there. We selected souvenirs of Our Lady of Penha Chapel for the vending machine, which resonate with the romantic environment in that area.” 

Since MEEET has lowered the business space rental cost and labour cost, its products are priced within an attractive range. For instance, a postcard is only priced around MOP10 while the most expensive item costs around MOP75. “The computer will automatically record the sales of the vending machines. Statistics show that from November last year to date our vending machines sell 3,000 to 5,000 products on average per month,” Miquelina said. 

New products draw attention to Macao’s natural environment

MEEET hasn’t achieved profitability yet, but according to Miquelina’s estimates, the brand will be able to achieve balance in cost and revenue in October this year. “We have a seven-digit initial investment for the project,” Miquelina said. “A lot of cultural products on the market now only focus on several specific forms, lacking a vision for their brand. MEEET does not just sell products. We also tell cultural stories through our products. For example, our souvenirs for Drunken Dragon Festival all have introduction of the festival’s history, rituals, and some other related cultural information.” 

At present, MEEET has two series of souvenirs under the themes of world heritage and festival. The brand is also planning to roll out souvenirs under the theme of entertainment and natural environment. Ken is hoping to raise the public’s awareness of protecting Macao’s natural environment through this series of products. 


Macau International Airport

City of Dreams

Studio City

Broadway Macau

The Venetian Macao─Boutique Di Gondola & Emporio Di Gondola

Asia Boutique Inn Macau

Macau Tower

Macau Fisherman's Wharf

Waldo Hotel Macao

Sun Star Plaza

Sun Star City

Towns Well Hotel

M Dimensions at Anim’Arte NAM VAN

Livraria Portuguesa (Portuguese Bookstore)