16 Things You Need to Know About the Vend Natural (Healthy Vending Machine) Business Opportunity
My two previous blog posts on healthy vending machines (Fresh Healthy Vending and h.u.m.a.n. Healthy Vending) have been so popular that I’ve decided to feature another healthy vending business opportunity. Only Fresh Healthy Vending can be considered a franchise (they actually have a Franchise Disclosure Document). h.u.m.a.n and Vend Natural offer distributorship programs, and they fall clearly under the category of business opportunities.
Vend Natural Product Assortment
1. Vend Natural bills itself as America’s leading healthy vending company offering a market-customized assortment of natural and organic snacks and beverages.
2. Through their state-of-the-art vending machines, Vend Natural sells healthy snacks such as Clif bars and multi-grain bars, nuts, fruits, organic juices, kettle corn, Pirate’s Booty baked snacks, and Hippie Chips, among others.
3. Vend Natural also offers an assortment of Del Monte’s fresh-cut fruits and vegetables in its machines. The fresh-cut Del Monte products, portioned between four to six ounces, offer a varied mix of pineapple chunks, grapes, apple slices, baby carrots, celery, and tomato — some paired with healthy dips. Some locations also feature specially wrapped Del Monte single serve bananas. These ready-to-eat items are all natural and are less than 120 calories per package.
4. The average price for a Vend Natural snack is roughly $1.50, depending on the location and region.
Vend Natural History and Growth
5. Vend Natural was formed to address the declining health of Americans by providing healthier snacking alternatives to on-the-go individuals at schools, hospitals, and businesses. The company’s mission is to support improved eating practices by offering healthy products that are easily accessible and affordable to everyone.
6. In June 2007, Vend Natural got its start when CEO Gil Sanchez began testing the waters, stocking healthy food in his traditional vending machines. Since launching, Sanchez said they’ve seen total revenues upwards of $6 million, and sizable growth — between 35 percent and 38 percent annually.
7. In June 2010, Vend Natural, based in Ventura, CA, merged with Vend Natural Middle Atlantic, one of its distributors in Annapolis, Maryland. The merged company will operate out of hubs in both Annapolis and Ventura. With the merger, Vend Natural will offer new, dedicated technical service and general support telephone lines for immediate response trouble-shooting on machine operations.
8. At the time of the merger, Vend Natural had 381 machines in use throughout 20 states, with more of them being assembled every day in a Midwest factory. The biggest demand for Vend Natural’s machines is on the East Coast, where 85% of their business is coming from. Vend Natural has contracts with some high profile organizations like the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Naval Academy, and the University of Massachusetts.
8. School cafeterias, hospital waiting rooms, and office lunch lounges are the company’s targets for establishing new contracts.
Vend Natural Distributorship Programs
9. Under the Vend Natural distributorship program, distibutors receive: 5+ new vending machines with graphics, professional delivery and installation of machines, comprehensive training on equipment, 24 hour software reporting system installed in each machine, web-based software training, location assistance program, continuous phone support, general vending business and product training, and marketing support for future growth.
10. Distributors who purchase 10 or more vending machines enjoy the additional benefit of having exclusive territory agreements with counties and cities within their territory.
11. Vend Natural is committed to environmental sustainability by ensuring its machines operate at the highest level of energy efficiency as they are made largely from recycled metals; operate with energy efficient LED lighting; and are constructed with triple-pane glass and extraordinary insulation for the highest level of refrigeration integrity.
12. Vend Natural contracts exclusively with Cantaloupe Systems to offer distributors the latest in data reporting software, providing the operators with the most complete and up-to-date sales and operational information at their fingertips.
13. Vend Natural machines come with Seed, a wireless device that enables distributors to monitor their machines from home or office, allowing them to view real-time inventory, receive instant alerts, monitor machine status, track cash, and create sales reports.
14. Distibutors can choose from 6 different sizes of vending machines. The largest can accommodate up to 41 different items, while the smallest can supply up to 10 different items.
Vend Natural Press Coverage (AKA Sources for this Post)
15. Vending Over Backward for Health by Elisha Sauers for HometownAnnapolis.com
16. Vending Menu Revised by Stephanie Hoops for Ventura County Star