The vending machine business began in the 1st century A.D. The mathematician, Hero, created a machine to dispense holy water. Two thousand years later, vending machines are still around. They dispense anything from cola to caviar.
The vending machine business has recently changed from selling sodas and chips to healthier fare. Several factors are driving this change.
USDA Nutrition Standards
Over 30% of all vending machine sales come from schools.
In 2014, the USDA passed new nutrition standards for school vending machines. These guidelines require snacks sold in machines to meet specific fat, calorie, sugar, and sodium levels.
Schools have also increased their focus on nutrition. Many teachers now coach kids about nutrition, including how to reading food labels and make better food and drink choices.
Growth in the U.S. Weight Loss Market
In 2016, the U.S. weight loss market grew 2.2% YOY to $66.3M. The total market forecast is expected to increase by another 2.8% in 2017.
Americans are becoming more and more knowledgeable and aware of diet, nutrition, and fitness. They are swamped with healthy living messages on popular TV shows, fitness-focused magazines, and wellness websites.
With over 45 million people in the U.S. on a diet at any one time, the trend continues to grow. These dieters are seeking healthier options not only in grocery stores and restaurants but in vending machines too.
Popularity of Plant-Based Diets
Recent reports by diet and nutrition experts feature the benefits of plant-based diets.
Clinical research studies show that following a low-fat, plant-derived diet can help with weight loss, reduce cholesterol and blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and reverse type 2 diabetes.
The market is beginning to see an influx of vegetarian and vegan choices. The popularity of both vegan frozen and prepared foods has increased.
A new San Francisco-based company offers an all-vegan line-up in their vending machines. People can choose from lentil salads, chia pudding breakfast jars, and zucchini noodles with vegan pesto.
Healthy Vending Machine Business
Healthy snacks are making a positive impact on the vending machine business. The sales of healthier snacks outpace less healthy options by almost 3:1.
The industry has expanded to include new vending machine businesses, beyond vegan and other options, that focus solely on healthy snacks.
HealthyYou Vending reviews provide great insight into the positive benefits franchise owners are experiencing by making the switch to the healthy vending machine business.
Impacts on the Vending Machine Business
There are over seven million vending machines across the U.S., bringing in revenues of over $73M each year. With this recent shift to healthy eating, what’s happening to the vending machine business?
A public health researcher at Yale University completed a study on healthy foods in vending machines with surprising results.
Lowering the price of healthy foods had no impact on sales. Promotional and restocking signs helped to increase sales more than price reductions.
By adding healthier items and discounting them, vending machine sales increased by 460 units than the same period a year earlier. This also led to an increased revenue of $1,039.
Based on industry trends, the healthy vending machine business will continue to grow exponentially as Americans continue to focus on diet and wellness.
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