It seems that the vending revolution continues apace. I wrote about the Sprinkles cupcake ATM way back in March 2012 and observed the progression a year later. So it seems about time to ponder the same topic again just as there is news of even more interesting products entering the vending arena.

Canadian fridge

I was reading about the Canadians at the Winter Olympics in Sochi who seem to have got around the whole issue of limited alcohol imposed at the event. Set up in the Canadian Olympic House is a beer machine from Molson Canadian. This bright red vending machine is a great marketing stunt which only serves beer to those holding a Canadian passport. You simply swipe your passport and the fridge door opens up. Many are hailing it as the greatest thing at this year’s Winter Olympics, which is a bit of a stretch for me, but certainly it is a fun stunt.

selfridges-raw-milk

The last drinks fridge that caught press attention that I remember was the raw milk dispenser set up by Hook & Son at Selfridges. Sadly with all the rules and regulations surrounding the sale of raw milk, this was stopped by the FSA shortly after its installation and thankfully the prosecution of both parties has now been dropped. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see a natural healthy product handled so well by such a great retailer as Selfridges. What a shame it wasn’t able to carry on for longer.

healthy-vending-machines

The demand for healthier options is growing and thus it is where the market is progressing, especially through innovative vending companies like HUMAN (Help Unite Mankind And Nutrition) healthy vending. Last year, they were listed as the 7th fastest growing company in Los Angeles by the LA Business Journal. Their machines use a conveyer belt dispenser, as opposed to the more traditional coil, which allows them to serve a wider variety of product and they focus on healthier choices such as protein bars, shakes, trail mix, teas and milk with many organic products amongst the mix. Many of their machines are equipped with LCD screens which are used to promote the health benefits or for advertising and they are all more efficient ensuring up to 50% energy savings. There are currently about 2000 machines in circulation across the USA with a huge expansion plan on the way across all sorts of sectors but the really interesting thing is how they have appealed to schools and will hopefully transform the way that our kids eat. Oh, and by the way, the company donates 10% of their profits to a charitable arm that supports the fight against the causes of obesity and malnutrition. No wonder both the CEO, Sean Kelly, and the company are receiving praise and getting recognised by Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine amongst others.

I hope the franchise comes to the UK soon. It is a great way of developing the vending concept to improve the food offer in many, many places.

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