Convenience drives many of the choices consumers make these days, and none more so than when it comes to grabbing a snack. But that desire for a quick bite is evolving, as more and more Americans seek out on-the-go options that are healthier, more natural and better for them. The need for healthier options has led to a tremendous opportunity within the vending industry.

Vending machines used to be focused solely on chips, sodas and sugary snacks, but today the options have expanded to include a range of healthier alternatives, as well as non-food items. As Americans’ concern with obesity continues, this demand for better-for-you vending snack choices will only increase.

What also makes vending machines an attractive business opportunity is the low start-up cost, low working capital requirements and low overhead associated with the machines. There are few ways that entrepreneurs can make money at any time of day, without a person having to be present, and vending machines deliver that advantage while allowing the owner to grow their business at their own pace.

Owning vending machines can also serve as a side business, allowing one to keep their current job until their vending business is healthy enough to be a sole source income.

If investing in a business with a high level of flexibility and low cost sounds appealing, here are three vending companies to explore.

Healthier4U Vending

About 72 percent of American adults say that healthy eating habits are very important for increasing their odds of living a long and healthy life. Vending machines have been notorious purveyors of less-than-healthy snack options for years, something that Healthier4U Vending is striving to change. Healthier4U Vending is the premier delivery system for healthier eating choices for people on the go.

Del and Brian Swain, the father and son duo that founded Healthier4U Vending, have put together a robust and comprehensive training program. Their combined 40 years of creating business startups gives affiliates confidence in their vending machine investment and piece-of-mind in setting up and operating their business.

Healthier4U’s in-house experts work to find the best locations to fit each affiliate’s needs, from geographic positions to types of locations. Affiliates review the locations before Healthier4U sets up the machine install. With no territory limitations, coaching and training provided, and the ability to customize locations to fit individual requirements, Healthier4U works for a variety of investment levels and experience.

Healthy You Vending

With no franchise fees, royalties, marketing fees or required purchases after the initial sale, Healthy You Vending is not your typical franchise, because it isn’t one. These vending machines sell the same type of products sold at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods—from healthy snacks to beverage offerings—in single serve sizes. There is also the option to add the SmartMart Side Vendor, which sells products specific to different locations, such as razors for hotels or headphones at gyms.

Trends like the recent increase in the consumption of flavored or enhanced waters by more than 30 percent are indicative of Americans quest for healthier snack options. Healthy You Vending meets that demand in a way that is easy for operators to capitalize on.

The multiple payment options used by the machines—cash, credit, debit and pay-by-smartphone/smart watches—and the ability to monitor performance and inventory levels remotely through a cloud system, make Healthy You Vending a minimal time investment that provides maximum return.

U-Turn Vending

For more than 30 years, U-Turn Vending has helped people grow their vending machine business at their own pace, whether that means as a part-time business for extra cash, or a full-time franchise to replace their job. U-Turn Vending doesn’t charge royalties, and it doesn’t require franchise contracts, but they are invested in helping operators succeed with their business.

The demand for healthier snack options is sure to grow. Recent studies have shown that not only are millennials fueling an increase in healthier snack options for themselves, but 55 percent of them are also more likely to choose a better-for-you snack for their kids, creating a future generation who wants tasty, yet nutritious snacks.

Meeting this growing need is behind U-Turn Vending’s Healthy Cravings machines. Featuring four, eight and 12 selections, these vending machines display items from just about every angle to create an attractive and colorful display.

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Eric Bell
Eric Bell has 15 years of franchise industry experience and currently serves as General Manager of Franchise Gator. He began his career in 2002 as a Hollywood Tans franchisee in Atlanta where he also served as area manager and helped develop the Atlanta territory. In October 2005, Eric joined Franchise Gator as a sales representative and went on to hold several positions including sales representative, sales manager, and director of sales and service. Eric is a member of the Southeast Franchise Forum and is a Certified Franchise Executive. He resides in Georgia with his wife and their two children. Follow @franchisegator on Twitter and Facebook.

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