Guilt-Free Snack Attack

Vending machines get a healthy makeover.


Guilt-Free Snack Attack

What is it?

When was the last time you used a vending machine, and what did you buy? Chocolate, peanuts, crisps, a fizzy drink maybe? If you think about it, what’s the healthiest thing you can get out of a vending machine (not counting the raisins in your peanuts)?

Human Healthy Vending, a US franchise offering healthy snack options, is turning things around by offering workplaces and schools fresher, better options.

 A healthy market

Human Healthy Vending is seeing rapid growth selling products like natural smoothies and dried fruit. Since launching it has expanded into 89 new markets in 18 US states with 1 500 machines and experienced a 2 378% revenue jump over the last three years. “Healthy vending is a $42 billion industry that few are paying attention to,” says CEO and company co-founder Sean Kelly. “People want access to healthy food and should have a whole foods experience everywhere they go.”

The competition

With every healthy market, competitors are sure to follow. Fresh Healthy Vending is another US company founded in 2010 and has over 4 000 vending machines carrying products like coconut milk and yoghurt.  “There’s so much opportunity since the concept has been so well accepted by the market,” says Fresh’s vice president Nick Yates. Fresh’s franchisees operate on average 12 vending machines, while Human’s operate around ten.

The right spots

Both brands place vending machines in schools, businesses, youth centres and anywhere people might be looking for a healthy snack. Plus, with the US’s healthy snacks in schools rules and regulations, these two companies are enjoying brand growth and increased revenue. In fact 60% of their vending machines can be found in schools. “Workplace managers are also increasingly realising that employees function better when they’re eating right instead of having five Cokes a day,” says Yates.

The Human Healthy model

  • Human Healthy Vending offers its franchisees vending machines for food and beverages as well as an expanded offering that includes micro-market opportunities like self-service kiosks and subscription service.
  • Franchises can be run from home with minimal employees.
  • Initial training is four days and at franchises locations, four months of virtual coaching and ongoing training.
  • The franchisor offers newsletters, meetings, grand openings, security/safety procedure training, field operations/evaluations, purchasing and marketing co-operatives, national media, regional advertising and online marketing support.

Investment Capital

  • Total investment: $71 500 to $109 000 (includes equipment and start-up costs).
  • Franchise fee: $20 000

Vital stats

Fresh Healthy Vending

Human Healthy Vending

Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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