If you are thinking about starting a vending machine operation company, but don’t like that most of the snacks and beverages are sugary, then maybe a fruit vending machine is for you.
Obviously, to have a successful business you need to sell what your customers want, and when they’re on the go and don’t have much time to eat, they usually just want something tasty and filling, so whether or not it’s heathy for them is not even a consideration.
Tastes Are Changing
At least, that’s how it used to be. More and more, people are aware of all the sugar they eat on a daily basis, and many are looking for healthier options.
With a fruit vending machine, you can provide them with that healthy and tasty option. Yes, fruits still have a lot of sugar, but it is natural sugar and it comes with a lot of fiber, which reduces the glucosamine index of the sugar intake. For example, dates are very sweet, but also super high in fiber, so they barely nudge your blood sugar levels because the fiber slows the absorption of the sugar.
Dates are a great fruit to sell from a vending machine. They are typically sold at least partially dried and they keep for a fairly long time, and they are really tasty.
If your first thought when you read fruit vending machine was fresh fruit, you may also want to consider what packaged fruits are available. Of course, there are dried fruits and canned fruits, but also fruits packs of fruits in water or syrup, and things like apple sauce or other purees. Those fruit and vegetable purees that are given to 1 year old’s are quite delicious for adults and there are even some packets that targets adults too. They’ll make your customers feel a lot better than a bag of chips.
Healthy Vending Machines
Fruit vending machines fall under the much broader category of healthy vending machines, and though there are some branded machines like Naturals2Go that provide vending operators with both the machine and the snacks, there’s no reason why an independent vending machine operator couldn’t stock their machine with healthy snacks. And it doesn’t even mean that you need to get rid of all the chips and candy, but maybe do a mix and take out some of the slower selling unhealthy snacks and replace them with a few healthy snacks.
The other healthy snacks that come to mind are humus and guac dips, but I’m just a huge fan of those in general, though they could be kind of pricey. Baby carrots and apple slices are also always a favorite, and you know what, you could just sell whole apples. They last a good long time in cool conditions ad if you have a foam piece at the bottom of the dispensing tray, they might not even get bruised when they fall (obviously, if you do sell apples, they should be on the lowest section, so they don’t have far to fall.)
The Future of Fruit and Vegetable Vending
I am a futurist and sci-fi enthusiast, but I think it is safe to say that vertical/indoor farming will one day be merged with vending machines. I clearly do not know what form the merger will take, but I hope that a vending machine can be made that grows the fruit or vegetable inside the machine and a robotic arm is able to pick and vend the fruit/veggie when it is ripe.
I suspect that shipping container farms will also start to sell fruits and vegetables from their spaces with vending machines, so that fresh produce is still available to their customers on non-working hours. Corn vending machines will be super cool, and maybe there could be a whole shipping container farm to robotic kitchen to vending machine pipeline for prepared foods. Imagine a fully automated factory where the food is grown on one end and a meal is output on the other. Automation has been and will continue to be the driving force behind improvements in the quality of human life and as mundane as it may seem, I believe indoor farming and vending machines will be a large part of that.