Think micro markets are just for offices and corporations? Think again. According to Food Management, Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has four micro markets, three of which are in employee break rooms where they operate similar to those in offices. One of them is inside a 2,000-bed residential complex, packing some 300 SKUs into a tiny 15-by-15-foot space that generates an average of 200 transactions a day and a profit four times that of a bank of traditional vending machines.
The micro market, located within Heritage Halls, is called Heritage Creamery Express, and has been flourishing since it first opened in October 2015. According to student surveys over those two years, over 90 percent of Heritage Hall residents know about the micro market and about 90 percent of them have patronized it at least once.
The most popular item? A gallon of milk. Fresh packaged grab-and-go items have also become very popular, which are made in BYU's central kitchen and delivered fresh daily. Access to the micro market is restricted to residents of Heritage Halls by a card swipe, and cameras provide additional security. Payment is exclusively through the students' declining balance accounts on their university card.