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Fitness Vending 101: Convenience Trumps Good Health

Picture of a Healthy Ready Meal

The vending industry worldwide has been stuck in a rut for decades. Somewhere along the line, it became generally accepted that the vast majority of vending machines had to be filled with high sugar, high-fat snacks and beverages that offered very little nutritional value. So when companies like ours try to push fitness vending, we find ourselves having to justify our business model.

That's okay, we get the reality of the vending industry. But we also know that one of the fundamentals of vending is convenience. That is what makes vending machines so wildly successful. They offer snacks and beverages at locations that are super convenient for consumers, encouraging the impulse sales that drive our industry.

Unfortunately, convenience trumps good health far too often. A smart American entrepreneur discovered that in San Francisco, leading her to establish a unique line of vending machines that are doing very well.

Healthy, Ready-To-Eat Meals

Lamiaa Bounahmidi's leCupboard machines dispense healthy, personalised, ready-to-eat meals at 15 locations across San Francisco’s city centre. Each one is located in a semi-private space. Some are in schools, others in hospitals, and still others in co-working areas.

Bounahmidi's idea for leCupboard was born of research studies that show the majority of US office workers eat lunch at their desks. In an article published by Business Insider, Bounahmidi explained how people obsess over what they eat on the weekends without paying attention to their diets the other five days of the week.

It is those other five days that are the problem, according to Bounahmidi. Her solution is to provide healthy alternatives strategically located in convenient places in order to encourage people to make healthy choices. And guess what? It works. Her machines are already doing well enough that she has expansion plans on the immediate horizon.

Convenience in Fitness Vending

What we do in terms of fitness vending is a far cry from leCupboard. Our machines do not offer ready-to-eat meals consisting of an appetiser, entrée, and desert. Instead, we serve up healthy snacks and beverages. Yet the convenience factor is still the same.

If you were working out at your local leisure centre and had the choice of purchasing a cold fizzy drink from the vending machine out in the hall or walking down the way to buy an energy drink, which would you choose? The average consumer would settle for the fizzy drink. It's too much trouble to stop your workout to go down the street. So you either remember to bring a sports drink with you or you purchase something out of the vending machine.

The secret to successful vending is to pair the right products with the right locations. That's what we do. We conveniently locate machines offering healthy snacks and beverages just where our target audience expects to find them. And in so doing, our fitness vending strategy is taking advantage of the convenience factor. Our customers don't have to choose convenience over good health because we offer both.

Sources:

Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/vending-machine-meal-healthy-fast-food-2017-10?r=UK&IR=T