The entrepreneur who proved that vending machines can dispense more than candy and soda and still make a decent return has taken the H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending concept to the next level with the launch of a new breed of self-service ‘micro markets’.
The first healthy micro markets launched in LA with others to follow soon in Honolulu, Houston, and Northern California, says H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending founder Sean Kelly: “We’ve got about 2,000 machines in circulation now, and we’re aiming for 10,000 locations in the next few years, but over the next three years or so, we expect to have equal growth in micro healthy markets and vending machines.”
Removing the glass barrier between the customer and the product - but keeping the self-service concept and the franchisee business model, opens up new opportunities, particularly in office environments, he says.
“Women in particular are far more likely to use micro markets than vending machines. They are more accessible, as there is no physical barrier between you and the product, and you can pick up the items before you buy them, just like in a store.”
Like a"mini-Whole Foods Market” with a network of coolers, shelving and a touchscreen self-checkout enabling regular users to pay using their thumbs, micro markets are “the go-to option for corporations”, he adds.
“They are just more in line with the way people want to shop now, and you can also stock far more SKUs (stock keeping units). An average vending machine has 32 SKUs, whereas our micro markets have 100-200.
“We’re not a vending company; we’re a platform that’s bringing easy nutrition everywhere.”