Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan will this month introduce several thousand more vending machines featuring dynamic pricing, in which the prices of items change according to demand, company officials have said.

The company began installing vending machines with digital price displays that can be controlled remotely, on a trial basis in May.

It will consider whether to fully roll out such vending machines in 2024 or later, based on consumer response and the extent to which they improve profitability.

Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan operates around 700,000 vending machines in the country.

The dynamic pricing scheme allows the prices of vending machine items to be raised when demand is high and to be lowered at nighttime, when sales are low.

"There are various possibilities" over the price setting, a Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan public relations official said Thursday.

The number of soft drink vending machines in operation in the country fell to 2.15 million in 2022 from some 2.47 million in 2014 due to competition with convenience stores and the country's declining population, according to research firm Inryosoken.

"In recent years, labor shortages have become an issue, and the vending machine business is reaching its limit," said Kazuhiro Miyashita of the research firm.

Beverage companies are trying to increase profitability in their vending machine business, including by raising prices and cooperating with rivals in supply and repair operations. Dynamic pricing is expected to become a key option for them.