UpMeals – Canada’s leading fresh food SmartVending provider – recently deployed five of its machines throughout the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), offering individually packaged and ready-to-eat salads, bowls, juices, healthy snacks, wraps and more.
UpMeals SmartVending machines are the first healthy vending machines available at an airport in Canada. The vending machines help meet increasing passenger demand for more grab-and-go options for early morning and late-night travelers. These new, first-of-its-kind, innovative SmartVending machines are part of YVR’s journey to transform its food and beverage program, offering more fresh, local and authentic options to better reflect British Columbia’s culinary scene.
All five of the machines are located post security at YVR: three are located in domestic departures, one in U.S. departures and one in international departures. Each machine is stocked with up to 30 different options for fresh meals, healthy snacks and beverages, such as cold-pressed juices. The machines also include a meal exclusive to the airport – the YVR Signature Bowl features iconic Vancouver flavors and ingredients, like B.C. smoked salmon, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, nori and pickled ginger on a bed of steamed sushi rice with UpMeals’ miso tamari dressing, for a true West Coast experience in every bite. The meals in each machine are replenished daily, and customers will experience new menu items weekly based on popularity and ingredient seasonality.
“We’re thrilled to be providing travelers 24/7 access to fresh, nourishing meals through this partnership with YVR,” Drew Munro, CEO and co-founder of UpMeals, said in the announcement. “Passengers from all over the world are entering Vancouver, sometimes at hours when most fresh food options are closed. We’re very happy to be able to solve this problem using our SmartVending machines while showcasing local and seasonal ingredients, as well as recipes curated by some of our most renowned chefs from our chef-collaboration series. We also know the food options we’re providing make for an easy, ready-to-eat meal and that they’re going to be a healthy, nutrient-dense option for folks hopping on a plane.”
The vending machines are just the latest way YVR is improving the travelers’ experience through innovative digital solutions. The YVR Order Now Program allows travelers to pre-order their meals from participating restaurants in advance through a web-based app. UpMeals’ SmartVending machines provide wholesome meals on the go, that are quick and readily available, 24/7.
Each meal is dispensed in a sustainable, self-contained unit, and can be composted or recycled after use. The meals are made in a HACCP compliant food production facility, the global standard for food production safety and sanitation.
Meal popularity is evaluated in the UpMeals proprietary app with menus updated based on the popularity of food items. All major cashless payment options are accepted including credit and debit cards, as well as ewallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.
“YVR aims to become a destination of food and shopping for travelers,” Robyn McVicker, vice president, passenger journey, at Vancouver Airport Authority, added in the announcement. “As passenger volumes get closer to pre-pandemic levels, we anticipate the demand for healthy, individually packaged meals to be high from travelers leaving and arriving to a health-conscious city like Vancouver. We know the partnership with UpMeals will allow more customers to stick to their dietary preferences and requirements as they travel and feel great about their selection.”