Despite America's newly-found desire for healthier food, there is one facet of food retail that remains almost entirely stocked by high-sugar products and unhealthy choices: vending machines. But the tides are changing for the long-established industry as a number of start-ups are dropping the candy in favor of healthy options that meet rising consumer demand.
Dynamic Healthy Vending boasts of state-of-the-art machines that are intended to provide customers with a higher level of service and currently operates 19 machines in the Spartansburg, South Carolina area. They have controlled refrigeration, 24-hour inventory monitoring and credit/debit card accessibility in addition to their fresh offerings. The company also utilizes social media integration to ensure product favorites are always available.
Farmer's Fridge, a vending company that touts freshly-made salads, organic meals and vegetarian options, is looking to install 100 more machines in the Chicago area in the next 12 months. The company, which currently operates 13 kiosks, has also found the perfect fit for the first three machines in its upcoming expansion: Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Many of the startups would fare well in Hollywood, Florida, as the city recently passed legislation that requires healthy choices in vending machines. According to Inquisitr, 30% of all products in vending machines will meet American Heart Association standards for beverages and food. Another 20% will meet set standards from a list of potential regulations, one of them requiring non-GMO products.
Although there does not yet seem to be a major player in the healthy vending machine field, startups are beginning to meet demand in their own local markets. As American consumer demand continues to rise, the need for healthier options at convenient locations like vending machines will only increase. So, the real question is: would you drop the candy bar in favor of a freshly-juiced kale smoothie for a late afternoon energy boost? It appears many customers are ready to make the switch.