Milk Powder for Vending Machines

Milk Powder for Vending Machines: All the Options Discussed

One of the biggest pros and cons of coffee vending machines is the fact that they use powdered milk. Using powdered milk instead of normal liquid milk has a number of advantages however it also has a number of disadvantages. In this post we will talk about all the options one has in terms of milk powder for their vending machine as well as the pros and cons of each.

Milk Powder Options and Costs:

There are essentially three options when it comes to milk powder and these are: creamer, combination and 100% milk powder.


Creamer is comprised of two primary ingredients namely glucose and palm oil. Milk creamer actually contains no milk whatsoever and is therefore termed a “milk substitute”. Because most creamers contain zero milk solids, they are suitable for lactose intolerant people. That is unfortunately where the pros end.

Glucose and palm oil are among the two worst ingredients, health wise, for humans. Glucose spikes ones sugar levels whereas palm oil is responsible for the buildup of Trans fats. The other negative of using creamer is the taste. Creamer is a milk substitute and not milk. It therefore doesn’t taste like real milk tastes.

The one saving grace that creamer does happen to be fairly cheap. Creamer usually sells for around 1/10th of the price of pure milk powder but you need to use about 7x as much of it so, although it works out cheaper, it is only slightly cheaper.

The most popular brand of creamer in South Africa is Cremora which sells for around R60/kg

100% Milk Powder:milk powder combo

100% milk powder is usually 100% skim milk powder but you do sometimes get the full cream version. Pure milk powder is comprised of, as the name suggests, nothing but milk which has been dehydrated. Milk powder does taste almost identical to normal liquid milk with the one exception that it is a little bit sweeter due to the extra lactose which it contains.

Pure milk powder is a healthy option, especially the skim version, and is the closest tasting to liquid milk.

The one con of pure milk powder is that it is slightly more expensive than creamer so if pure budget is what you are after, creamer might be a better choice for you.

Milk Powder sells for anywhere between R100-R200/kg depending on the brand and quality.


Combination milk powder is probably the most commonly used option. Combination consists of some dehydrated milk and some creamer usually in the ratio 50:50. It shares half the pros and half the cons of the both the above options being a mix of both.

Combination usually sells for around R80/kg

Milk Powder vs Liquid Milk:

Comparing all the above dehydrated milk options to liquid milk we came up with this list of pros and cons:

Milk Powder Pros:

  • Doesn’t go off (has a shelf life of 2 years)
  • Cheaper option than milk
  • Can be dispensed through a vending machine and therefore used to prevent abuse
  • Takes up less space

Milk Powder Cons:

  • Tastes different to liquid milk
  • Easiest to dispense through a vending machine
  • Not readily available at most retail outlets


Milk powder has a number of advantages and disadvantages and the decision whether to powder or liquid totally depends on ones circumstances and preferences. For help deciding which option is best for you, fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you in a jiffy!