Vegetables are the number one restaurant food trend of 2013, according to foodservice consulting firm Technomic. So it's no surprise that veggie vending is on the rise, too. Consumers who want healthy food options want them within easy reach.
Vending technology continues to improve, with companies in the US and Europe developing state-of-the-art equipment to dispense fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods in schools and universities, office parks and government centers, stores and bodegas, airports, hospitals and health clubs. Veggie vending is growing in Japan and China, too.
Food companies like Del Monte are creating a range of whole and cut produce for distribution and sale through vending machines. Companies that install and manage vending machines are jumping on board as well, both to satisfy demand and to protect their image from charges that they only dispense empty, unhealthy calories.
Of course, the real driver for this trend is consumer demand. Vending companies are struggling already from a large drop-off in sales during the global recession. Consumer interest in health will get support from employers who are looking to reduce rising health insurance premiums by getting employees to live healthier lifestyles. Adding veggie vending to the company break room is one way that employers can shift the context of choice to do so.
Veggie vending is a rapidly emerging shift in retailing that fits with a broader social and economic need to recalibrate consumer perceptions about healthy eating, specifically, that it is not a challenge or an inconvenience but something within easy reach in a vending machine, just like anything else.
Read more: FutureProof - the Health issue or check out some of the other 2013 Planning Horizons from The Futures Company below.
Source : Kantar Futures