It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and your stomach is gurgling.
Before long, you’re in vending-machine land eyeballing the choices, which for decades have consisted mostly of pop, chips, chocolate and those fluorescent orange crackers. But increasingly, workers and others with gurgling stomachs are finding a new ally to help slay the afternoon munchies: the healthy vending machine
Instead of the standard junk-food fortresses filled with the four food groups of the apocalypse — salt, sugar, carbs and fat — there are machines from companies such as Fresh Healthy Vending, h.u.m.a.n. Healthy Vending and Vend Natural, offering low-calorie and low-fat fare in schools, malls, office buildings and more.
This is 2:30 p.m. in a different universe. Suddenly, you’re peering through Plexiglas at carrot sticks, cheese, yogurt, fruit smoothies, veggie chips and Fuji apple crisps — even soy milk, organic lemonade and mango coconut water.
Healthy vending started several years ago with machines on both coasts and has moved to the Midwest within the last two years. It makes sense given the increased emphasis on better diets, said Jolly Backer, CEO of Fresh Health Vending of San Diego.
“Have you been in a Whole Foods lately?” he asked. “You can’t move in there. They’re all buying the stuff (we’re selling). People are becoming more aware of choices that will make a difference in their family’s health.”
For Fresh Healthy Vending, that means growth. The company has about 500 machines across the country, with 300 more coming in the next two months.
“We’ve sold 80 franchises just this year,” Backer said. “The growth is incredible.”
Read the complete story at kansascity.com