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Selling Fresh Fruit and Vegetables in Vending Machines

The Wall Street Journal Online shows a video about a newly designed vending machine. With cushions, angled walls, and better control of temperature, these machines can sell fresh banana and ready-to-eat vegetables. It is a great idea of promoting healthy diet. The tradeoff is consumers are expected to pay “much more” than those selling in a grocery store. How do you expect the future of these vending machines? Do you see vending machine a complement or a threat to restaurant business? How so?

Comments

  1. To be honest, I do not think this selling healthy foods in vending machine business will work out very well. First of all, it is very difficult to keep fruits and vegetables fresh even in grocery stores and this is only a more advanced vending machine. On top of that, many issue has already surfaced and this idea have not even been launched that long ago. I also highly doubt that consumers will pay more for a product from a vending machine than from a store, which most likely have much more frequent shipments of fresh produce.

    As for restaurant business, I do not believe that this would be a threat at all. People would pay more for a freshly made salad for instance, over a pre-made one anytime. It would simply be a complement because it is a good pick me up for students or people on the go. I do not think it will work out in the long run though due to freshness issues.

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  2. Vending machines provide a much higher convenience factor to purchasing food than most if not all of the parts of the Food and Beverage industry. On this note, a healthy food vending machine would be very successful in certain areas, such as high volume, fast paced areas like business offices or airport lobbies where someone may be looking for a quick snack while staying "healthy."

    However, as Sharon mentioned this will not be a threat to the restaurant business, or grocery stores for that matter. Certain factors such as freshness, price, and pure consumer demand will prevent this idea from going very far into the market. When looking at a vending machine a consumer may not have that much of a desire for what may not be very "fresh food." Also, the quality control on these items (restocking vending machines multiple times per week) will be very inconvenient for the company and especially the driver/stocker working for the company.

    To end on a positive note however, as I mentioned there is an extreme convenience factor in this idea and that combined with the promotion of healthy eating which has been dominating the F&B industry will provide for some success for this idea.

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  3. While other businesses are shrinking, Fresh Healthy Vending is expanding and currently has career opportunities nationwide. Help us change the way America is eating by joining the team.

    Fresh Healthy Vending

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  4. As a highly active as well as health conscious college student, I would personally really enjoy having vending machines like this on my campus. I always find it a struggle to find time to eat and often have to turn to vending machines to hold me over until I can find time for a meal. It is particularly difficult to find something in a vending machine that I feel good about consuming as well as something that will provide me with the appropriate energy that I need. The “best” foods in the vending machines on my campus now are trail mix and granola bars which, depending on the type you buy could be just as unhealthy as consuming a candy bar. I agree that keeping the food fresh would be difficult however; my campus fills the vending machines here on a daily basis so I do not this that would be a major issue for this venue. Also, anywhere that you buy food on campus is going to be more costly that buying the same food at a grocery store so I do not think that this would deter any potential customers. Lastly, I can only speak for myself but I feel others would agree that having fruit and vegetables in vending machines would not cause me to not want to eat at restaurants. If I have time, I much prefer to go to a restaurant for a salad but if I only have 10 minutes between classes, I would use the vending machine to supplement a “regular” meal.

    Marissa Donovan

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