Healthy Vending Machines and the Vending Business
Vending machines have been a part of the landscape for decades and they haven’t changed much in appearance. The average junk food vending machine is a brown-colored behemoth full of chocolate, chips, soda, and not much in the way of nutritional value. Thankfully, there are rogue vendors who have a new frame of thought for the vending business: Why not offer a vending machine that provides good, nutritional food to the masses instead of slowly trying to kill them? These companies are poised to revolutionize the vending business.
1. Cutting Fat, Not Contributing to It
The history of vending machines might be a varied one, but one thing that has been consistent is the health value of the product offered. Generally, a vending machine is full of high-calorie, low-nutrition foods and sodas. While renowned for their ability to provide a quick snack, vending machines are partially responsible for the growing obesity epidemic in America, especially due to the unhealthy nature of the vending machines that are placed in schools.
While the thought of our children getting pumped up with fat, sugar and calories while they’re away at school is a terrifying thought, there’s reason to breathe a sigh of relief. There are vending machine providers that care about the health of our children and are intent on providing healthy snacks and beverages with the same convenience the public has grown accustomed to. Not only do these machines provide food that end your hunger, they will give you energy, taste great and make you feel amazing-and not at the expense of your pant size, not to mention your heart. These healthy vending machines will aid in trimming off fat, and not contribute it.
2. Providing Value
My Dad has never been afraid to pay a little extra for something he perceived valuable in the long run. He said it was a better investment to pay more in the beginning for something that will last longer, and be more beneficial, even if there is a cheaper alternative. His reasoning is simple, having to buy several inexpensive items will inevitably be more costly than paying a bit more for something that will last longer and ultimately provide more satisfaction. This same attitude can be applied to the new era of healthy vending machines.
Americans love a bargain, there’s no doubt about that. But Americans also love a well-made, enduring product, and will pay more for it, especially when it combines a great product and great service. Healthy vending machines are offering these things to the public right now. They offer nutritional drinks and snacks that are satisfying immediately and healthy in the long run. Coupled with the right-here, right-now attitude of a vending machine, and it’s easy to see how these machines will revolutionize the industry. Sure, their products might cost a quarter more, but isn’t your health and well-being worth more than a couple of quarters?
3. Getting Organic
The organic foods market is one of the fastest growing sectors in agriculture, so it seems only natural that vending machines would find a way to distribute them. Sadly, there are only a few vending companies that are interested in providing customers access to this billion dollar industry. For the most part, vendors have turned a blind eye to health foods and organic foods in their vending machines. Instead they continue to fill them with junk foods that are quickly becoming known as health hazards to our youth and the population at large.
Organic food is beginning to catch on in America, especially with reports detailing the potentially-harmful side effects pesticides, preservatives and growth hormones provide. Still, most vendors ignore this, in likely an attempt to keep their profit margins up, and this is a shame-and short-sighted-because a higher-priced product doesn’t necessarily mean less profitability. For the vending machines that do provide these healthy, organic options, the future looks bright as many Americans begin to search for convenient, nutritional snacks to tide them over between meals.
4. Not Just Selling-Educating
In order for people to make educated decisions on what they consume, the information they need has to be easily accessible. A few companies market themselves as “healthy vendors,” and while it is true that they are selling a healthier product than traditional machines, they still are providing them the same old way-right next to the junk foods in a big, brown behemoth. Not only do these products not stand out as a healthy alternative, they provide no nutritional education as to why a person should choose this healthy item over their beloved candy bar. They seem to be after the healthy profit, instead of the healthy consumer.
A few companies with a healthy outlook exist, and these companies want to educate you, as well as satisfy your hunger. If they provide you with the reason why you should buy a clif bar instead of the candy bar, you are more likely to do it repeatedly. If they can prove to you that there are more outcomes than just a sugar rush to your decision, they can still make a profit and feel good about what they deliver to the general public. Forward-thinking companies supply their vending machines with LCD screens that educate their consumers with short videos and nutritional facts about what their products contain. You won’t see that on the traditional vending machine — Why? Because if you knew what was in their products you wouldn’t buy them! These LCD screens are educational, entertaining and a great way to teach the youth about health.
5. Going Green
Green is all the rage these days. From automotive manufacturers to dog walkers, everyone is trying to be more environmentally conscious. Everyone except traditional vending machine operators that is. Traditional vending machines not only distribute unhealthy snacks and beverages, they are also incredible energy hogs
While the DOE is intent on imposing new regulations on the energy consumption of vending machines, it seems that only the biggest names in the industry, such as Coke and Pepsi, are taking it seriously, even though the proposed bill would save $250 million over 30 years for vending machine operators. Perhaps it’s a bit too much to say that traditional vendors don’t care about your health or the environment, but with the means to aid both, it seems truer now than ever before.
6. A Soft Touch
We’ve all be there: we are thirsty, find a traditional vending machine, order our favorite soda, watch it free-fall three feet to the dispenser door, and open it only to have it explode all over our shirt. Annoying and wasteful. This is the traditional vending machine experience, but the good news is that certain vending machine companies are taking notice.
The old brown vending machine is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Now some vending companies are bringing high technology to their machines. They are employing soft-drop and conveyor technology that allows them to vend such things as fruit and glass bottles, therefore being more health and environmentally conscious. But not all healthy vending companies employ this technology-some are still using the same outdated machines that our parents bought from-and this could actually do the healthy-vending business a disservice as they continue to offer a damaged or inferior product.
7. A Feel Good Business
The days of the purely for-profit vending business are a thing of the past. With the arrival of healthy vending machines finally here, vending operators can take pride knowing that they are in a business that is growing and making a difference in how people perceive and enjoy vending machines. The vending business has been in decline for years, but is starting to see resurgence, and this is due in part to the introduction of healthier options.
Profitability is an important aspect of any successful business for obvious reasons. Sadly, this used to be the only driving point for a vending machine, and it was at the expense of the customer’s long-term health. Now vending machines are operated with the consumer and the environment in mind, and the owners of these machines can reap the benefits of a successful enterprise and not feel ashamed about what they are contributing to society.
8. Aiding in the Fight Against Fat
The vending machine business has been a faceless one for quite a long time. Healthy vending machines are bringing the owners out of the shadows and into the center of the ring in the fight against obesity by donating a portion of their profits to fight this and other health-related issues.
This is another reason for a healthy vending operator to feel good about himself and his business. Finally, good, nutritional food can be provided to the public, and on top of that, money is funneled to charity to aid in the fight against obesity and diabetes which are two of the greatest health scares affecting ourselves and our children. Not every vending company does this, but you can be assured the ones that do are providing an honest investment in their community’s health.
9. Investing in the Future
Healthy vending machines are set to change the way the general public looks at food. By having their products available for healthy, inexpensive sampling, they are in effect creating a domino effect. Parents will find these machines, purchase something and enjoy it. They will then purchase a larger amount of it at the local grocery store and encourage their children to eat it. The children will have their lives affected in a way that will change their perception of foods forever.
While this is a small step, it can positively influence people in a large way. Children will know that there are tasty, healthy alternatives to junk food that will not only keep them fit, but keep them full and happy, and that is something that they will pass on to their kids. Changing the mentality of food is the first step in truly making a difference in how it is consumed, and healthy vending machines could very well be an important part of a good foundation. Ushering in a healthy era of educated children is important, and healthy vending could be a cornerstone of this.
The new era of healthy vending is here, and it is poised to make a positive impact on generations to come. These healthy machines will revolutionize the vending business as a whole, and in effect, change the way we see snacking. No longer will our hunger be dominated by sweets and sodas, but will be squashed by products that are nutritional and beneficial. Not only will we look and feel better, we will take comfort in knowing we are doing the best for ourselves, and the generations to follow.