Although there are many factors to consider when starting any vending machine business, there are specific facets to think about before setting up a healthy vending company versus your run of the mill junk food and soda pop filled vending machines.
In the first installment of our three part blog on How to Start a Healthy Vending Machine Business, we are going to focus on what type of vending machine is best for a healthy vending business.
Healthy Vending Machines
One of the most important aspects to consider when starting your healthy vending business is what type of vending machine you will purchase and the technology available on the machine. Buying the wrong vending machine, using the wrong payment technology could determine what kind of sales to expect from your vending machine locations. Also, the type of vending machine you buy can affect the location procurement process, as many businesses and public locations have certain vending machine regulations in place.
What healthy vending machine to buy?
When considering what type of vending machines you want to invest in your healthy food and beverage company, keep in mind that fresh healthy vending products are very different from traditional bad junk food and beverage items in traditional vending machines. In addition, the technology behind your healthy vending machine is vital. Coin mechanism, the telemetry, your bill acceptor, to LED screen or to not? These are all very important factors when buying a healthy vending machine today.
Main things to consider when purchasing a vending machine for healthy foods and beverages:
Things like this matter in a healthy vending machine because you want to choose the right machine that will maintain the right temperature for organic snacks, perishable foods and healthy beverages so they remain fresh and safe to consume.
Product Placement and Safety
You also want to consider the packaging material as many healthy drinks only come in glass bottles. Make sure that the refrigerated part of the vending machine is always on the bottom. In addition, make sure that you’re receiving bin comes with foam padding at the bottom.
In 2012, new regulations came in for vending machines by the US Justice Department that requires all vending machines in schools, government buildings, parks and any public space to be in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. So if you are planning on opening a healthy vending business in let’s say Chicago, Illinois where healthy vending was encouraged by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, you most definitely will need to get a vending machine that is in ADA compliance.
To be in compliance with ADA regulations vending machines can not be higher than 48″, and can’t be lower than 15″, You can view the full regulations here.
Most people when they pass by your typical vending machine assume that it will be filled with sugary drinks and unhealthy snack options. To differentiate yourself from those machines, make sure that you visibly display on the outside of your healthy vending machine that you provide healthy snacks and drinks.
What Technology to use for healthy vending machines?
You also want to consider what technology to have in your vending machine for taking payment, tracking sales. For example, if you buy a used vending machine that is an older model it will most likely only take coins and small denomination dollar bills, that will decrease your sales as more consumers prefer using credit cards and other modern forms of payment. Also, many businesses require that vending machines be Energy Star certified.
Latest Vending Technology to Consider:
Cashless Payment System
With the ever increasing trend with credit cards and other smart payment systems such as smartphone payment, you want to make sure that your point of sale system caters to every form of payment possible.
Cash Bill Acceptor and Coin Acceptor
Having the latest bill acceptors is very important as print currency keeps updating. When you buy an older vending machine, you risk not being able to accept not only larger denominations, but also the newer cash bills. With coins you want to make sure that you have the latest options like accepting one dollar coins.
Always make sure that your payment system is in ADA compliance and that your cash box is easily accessible & safe. Your telemetry must also be PCI compliant, a security standard when accepting credit card or debit payments.
One thing to consider when purchasing your healthy vending machine is I-Vend technology to prevent your products from not properly dispensing. When you select a product on a vending machine with I-Vend technology, in the event your product doesn’t drop, the machine will actually rotate the coils just a little bit further to allow your product to get pushed over the side. It knows this because there are infrared beams down in the receiving bin that will tell the machine that the product you selected didn’t drop.
Healthy vending consumers tend to expect food from vending machines to be unhealthy sugary drinks and junk food. It is important to make people aware that your vending machine have healthy alternative snacks and drinks.
Having a backlit display is very important to help attract attention that it is a healthy vending machine unlike other ones that are assumed to be unhealthy vending. Make sure the display can be customized.
Having a customizable digital readout to display price and even the nutrition facts of your products can be a key selling point to your healthy vending patrons. Displaying these options will help increase your sales with healthy minded eaters and drinkers.
Make sure your vending machine is Energy Star rated and if possible get one with energy efficient led lights that will save the energy consumption your vending machine uses.
Don’t forget that many locations require the latest efficiency for their vending needs. Also, people that buy healthy food in vending machines also like to buy from a socially responsible company.
An important factor when choosing which healthy vending machine you purchase is how well it is able to deter theft. Make sure that your machine has triple paned glass instead of plastic for your main product display. Plastic makes it easier to break into your vending machine and steal your healthy snacks. Also, make sure that the receiving door on your machine is anti-theft to avoid your healthy food and beverages being stolen.
This part one blog series to help you start a healthy vending company is brought to you by InstaHealthy USA, a people-first healthy vending company based in Southern California. InstaHealthy offers state-of-the art technology, with machines featuring a cloud-based management system, a cashless payment acceptor, Energy Star-rated machines and a Sensit-guaranteed delivery program. The POS experience also offers the only cloud-based self-checkout kiosk with an app market – boasting more than 100 consumer and business- oriented programs – along with social media integration.
If you are interested in starting a healthy vending business, but don’t want to do it alone. Enquire about InstHealthy’s partner program and bring healthy snack, nutritious drinks and fresh healthy vending meals to your local community. Visit InstaHealthy business opportunity page.