As Americans become more and more health conscious, marketers are seeing shifts in everything from prevailing exercise habits to the popularity of particular grocery stores. And while there seems to be a gym on every corner and a Whole Foods at every intersection, one aspect of daily life appears to have remained unchanged for decades: the vending machine.
Despite the fact that some big tech companies have garnered national attention for offering their employees farm-to-table snacks and meals (we're looking at you, Google), many smaller companies can't afford anything other than traditional vending machines—purveyors of such classics as two-month old candy bars and the occasional bag of stale chips. Does this mean that employees at smaller companies don't desire the same healthy options as those at tech giants, however?
Byte Foods, a startup aimed at providing small companies with a new type of vending machine, thinks the answer to this question is a resounding “no.” In order to solve this problem, Byte and its founder Megan Mokri have developed vending machines that offer fresh, healthy, local food to companies that can’t afford to provide employees with free snacks and meals, reports Co.Exist.
In Mokri’s own words, "Ninety-nine percent of all offices don't have fresh food on site. There's this pretty significant disconnect between people now shopping at Whole Foods and other high-quality grocers and then going to work, and their food's stuck in 1982. If they're lucky, they've got a vending machine, or maybe there's a [food truck] or vendor with the same menu day in and day out."
Byte’s modern vending machines include everything from local salads to cold pressed juices, and monitor customers' dining preferences in order to ensure that everything stays fresh. The company currently serves around 150 Bay Area offices, but has plans to expand nationwide. According to Mokri, "Really any place that has a good prevalence of Whole Foods is a good place for Byte to be." As fresh food aficionados, we couldn't agree more.