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Healthy vending?


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I keep getting the same question... 

 " Why don't you put some healthy choices in there?" I then begin to point out my healthy choices. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, veggie straws, granola bars... Then they look at me like thats new, or not healthy enough for them.

 What healthy choices are you all putting in the machines, and at what price? 

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I'm putting in what you mentioned.  Unless it's a good account, I tell them I don't carry anything else. If they are persistent, I tell them they need to be specific in what they want and I need to be guaranteed sales on special items. When I offer that they can reimburse me, they stop.

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Freeze dried fruit pouches - they have like a 2 year shelf life, love those things - nobody buys them put them in a couple of selections as a nod to "healthy" and ignore them for months.  Kars trail mix, Cliff bars, Granola bars, fiber one bars, pistacios, almonds, veggie straws, sugar free gum are about it for my machines - am open to healthy suggestions from the customers but not if the product has a short shelf life.

Vending machines are the perfect example of the Pareto Principle:  80% of the sales come from 20% of the items - as long as Doritos, Fritos, cheetos, Lays Potato chips, Peanut M&M's, Snickers, Famous Amous and a couple other snacks/candy are allowed to stay, I'll cram the rest of the selections with "healthy" crap and walk away happy. 

 

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Skinny Pop, Clif bars, Kettle brand Chips, Veggie Straws, trail mix, BuzzStrong cookies, GoGo Squeez applesauce, granola bars, Snack Factory pretzel crisps. All sell in my 'healthy' machines and have long shelf life. A crazy thing that has taken off in my best selling YMCA machine is Oh Snap! Pickle bites, but they must be refrigerated.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Seems to me that lots of the 'healthy' stuff is nothing but chocolate chips, peanuts and a sprinking of oats, all coated with honey. Next up will be cat litter mixed with peanut shells. But hey, if you can sell what they want and make money on it, then it's great product.

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I know someone that was putting regular stuff like famous amous cookies in a healthy vending machine. It's really hard to find truly healthy vending products. I just put in Member'sMark freeze dried fruit. The package contains only .35 oz and I put them at $1.50

I will bet I didn't sell a lot.

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I got a chuckle out of this... the customers are the world's greatest experts on what will make you money. "You put this in and people will buy a million of them!" "Put in an ice cream machine and all six of us will buy one every day!" 

I hope you sell a bunch of those and make good $$$ on them - I guess there's one way to find out. Just a few granola nibblers who don't care about cost might make it worthwhile, otherwise you'll be feeding some rabbits with the stales. 

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All this healthy stuff reminds me of the TV ads they used to run for some sort of whipping appliance where they turned skim milk into a 'rich delicious dessert topping'. Basically it was 98% water whipped full of air. They always emphasized that you needed 'freezing cold temperatures' to make this air-foam. And all the ads for 'granola' full of chocolate chips and honey and brown sugar and raisins, with some oats sprinkled on top. Real healthy!

Edited by Russ
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5 minutes ago, AZVendor said:

Healthy eating is eating anything in moderation.  The moronic government can't seem to grasp that concept.

I know someone that was putting regular stuff like famous amous cookies in a healthy vending machine. It's really hard to find truly healthy vending products. I just put in Member'sMark freeze dried fruit. The package contains only .35 oz and I put them at $1.50

I will bet I didn't sell a lot.

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9 hours ago, AZVendor said:

Healthy eating is eating anything in moderation.  The moronic government can't seem to grasp that concept.

Exactly. And it's almost impossible to fix people's poor lifestyles just by changing their diet. It really gripes me as a parent to see what has happened in so many schools, kids being given a 250 calorie 'lunch' that is not even recognizable as to what it is supposed to be in many cases. The kids either don't eat it or don't get enough, and go hungry. This helps them learn and grow how? And as of this fall San Fran is removing chocolate milk from the school cafeterias. I am sure that will make a big difference... lots of kids who used to at least drink the low fat choc milk will stop drinking milk altogether because some just do not care for unflavored milk. Real smart.

When I was in vending we had a large IBM site and everyone there of course was an expert on what we should sell. We actually did find and stock unsalted potato chips  for a while at least in a few banks of equipment there, but I don't recall if they sold at all.

For a while as an added inducement to get people to work weekends they gave away beverages from the coffee and cup soda machines. I would have one of our route persons go through most of the banks turning them on 'free vend'. (We did this from Friday evening til late Sunday and of course took meter readings so we could bill IBM.) Well there were some complaints that there were no healthy choices. They wanted free milk, and we couldn't put the milk vendors on free vend so we set them to a nickel and the managers were given nickels to hand out so people could get free milk. IBM actually caught a manager buying up milk with the free nickels and emptying it into a gallon jug to take home. Imagine making such a fool of yourself in a major company like that which is paying you VERY well.

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35 minutes ago, Russ said:

kids being given a 250 calorie 'lunch' that is not even recognizable as to what it is supposed to be in many cases. The kids either don't eat it or don't get enough, and go hungry.

I teach High school and used to eat the school lunch everyday...  there isn't enough salt in the world to make the current meals edible.  I now see students walk in with a 2 liter of mountain dew and a party size bag of Cheetos.  The school can't say anything to them because that's what they brought for lunch.

Call one of the local public schools to see if you can buy a lunch sometime.  Good luck to ya if they say yes.

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Meanwhile, the 'politician's wife' who drove this nonsense sends her kids to a very expensive school with a chef on staff, and you should see what is on their menu. I don't know if it meets the 'standards' for calories etc. but it looks far different than what I've seen on regular school lunch menus. And in contrast to Mt. Dew and Cheetos, I have also read stories of a child who brought a lunch to school and had it THROWN AWAY by the staff because it didn't meet their standards. The day that happens to my son is the day he gets pulled out of that school.

Too much of this stuff, whether school lunches or vending snacks, is about making 'me' feel good about myself because I asked for something healthy for me or someone else, even if it doesn't get eaten.

If I was still in vending I would proceed very slowly with the healthy stuff to be sure I wasn't buying product that I would have to throw away. The vendor does have to try and please the customer, but sometimes what they want is not practical. If sales of other snacks covers the losses then you live with it, but you can't throw away profits chasing a 'feel good'.

Edited by Russ
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