SOFTWARE CAN HELP HEALTHY PRODUCT SALES
Paresh Patel, president of Courtesy Vending in Portland, Ore., believes any operator using software and data effectively can do healthy vending themselves.
“Monitoring item level data can help the operator objectively determine how well healthy products are selling relative to the items that were replaced,” said Patel.
He uses the NAMA Fit Pick program to help identify “better for you” products in his machines. Patel got into healthy vending early, becoming involved in drafting the state school food regulations. He joined wellness committees and even stood next to the governor when he signed wellness legislation into law. As a result, Patel enjoys the image of a health-conscious vending operator and receives unsolicited calls from school districts asking for healthy vending.
Most turnkey healthy vending programs attract new operators focused on healthy food and looking for a business to start. Veteran operators, however are skeptical. Some feel it’s worthwhile if the locations and products are found for them. Others think it’s easier to do the research and product selection themselves if they can effectively leverage the data from technology to see big sellers in the healthy food categories.
Turnkey programs may be a trend, but with legislation and nutritionists advocating more change in diets, healthy vending, in some ways, could be here to stay.