Healthier Hospital Vending Machines Becoming a Reality

Faced with an overwhelming obesity epidemic across the nation, the United States government is working to increase public access to healthy food at schools. Starting with a major overhaul of the school lunch program which increased access to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains both in the lunchroom and in vending machines, the government is now encouraging healthy eating habits in public places including the hospital setting.

Why Target a Hospital Setting?

Hospitals are where we go to get well, but all too often the food available to patients and visitors doesn’t meet the basic standards for nutrition. In addition, hospitals serve as major employers and influencers in the local communities. They can influence community norms by adopting policies that promote good health in their employees and patrons. In August 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity convened an expert panel to study ways to improve food choices, physical activity, breastfeeding, and tobacco-free environments in hospitals. The panel worked to identify strategies to improve these areas within hospitals and health organizations for both employees, visitors, and patrons and also made recommendations on how to incorporate these strategies into outreach efforts.

Food, Beverage, and Healthy Snack Vending Machine Recommendations for Hospitals

One important recommendation made by the panel was that the hospital’s food policy should cover all venues including cafeterias, vending machines, gift shops, and cafeterias. Offering healthy food in the cafeteria is a great start, but if it doesn’t extend throughout the building the policy declines rapidly ineffectiveness. This recommendation addresses a key finding that many hospital’s vending machines were dominated by high sugar drinks and high energy-dense foods. In other words, foods and drinks had many calories and very little nutritional value.

Another key aspect of the report was that health organizations have a part to play in the greater community, not simply in the lives of their patients. By encouraging patrons and employees alike to engage in healthier behaviors and make better food choices, these organizations are able to impact societal norms and make a difference in the nationwide fight against obesity.

UCapIt is a division of Intelligent Dispensing systems. We have developed automated solutions to the problems associated with dispensing and inventorying pharmaceuticals. To learn more about how UCapIt can work with your organization, visit our website.

Customized and Healthy Vending

Healthy vending machines have been steadily rising in popularity over the past few years. Machines that offer snack and beverage choices that have less than 200 calories and are either chock full of whole grains or primarily contain fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein are already required in schools and this trend is trickling into the vending industry in other locations.

For vending machine operators, this increased interest in healthy vending options presents a great opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition. While customers are still having a difficult time finding nutritious snacks on the go, they will be seeking out machines that can provide what they want.

From all of our experience, Intelligent Dispensing Solutions has also seen that machines that are technologically advanced and impressive attract more business than standard machines. Custom healthy vending machines are an ideal way to create an attractive and innovative machine to vend healthier snacks and beverages and increase your sales. Especially with fresh fruits and vegetables, vending these objects efficiently can be difficult due to irregular shapes, products that can be easily damaged, or specialized storage requirements.

Set the new trend at your vending locations and start with an exciting new vending machine!

Getting Creative with Retail This Summer

Intelligent Dispensing SolutionsIf you operate any type of retail business, you know by now that summer is one of the hottest sales seasons of the year, whether you sell clothing or technology. Whether you have a large stand-alone store or are part of a mall, chances are your establishment is going to get flooded as people gain more free time to hit the streets and shop. And while this is certainly a good problem to have, you might find yourself overwhelmed by a high volume of customers if you aren’t properly staffed or equipped.

Fortunately, using a automated retail vending machine this summer can solve many of your retail woes during busy season, as it automates a whole range of tasks that you probably thought only a human can do. Short-staffed? A retail machine can serve as an extra checkout center so that your employees can spend more time providing face-to-face service to your client base. If you want to shorten store hours and enjoy some much-needed summer relaxation, a custom vending machine can sell your goods long after you have locked up for the night. You’ll likely see your shrink decrease significantly once you go custom, as the products built by Intelligent Dispensing Solutions are built with maximum security in mind.

Social Vending Machines: The Trend is Here to Stay

We’ve previously highlighted vending machines that incorporate the world’s ever-popular social media options, and it seems like the trend is here to stay. While vending devices have been long standing favorites when it comes to refreshment, technology has evolved to allow them to become modern, computerized products that keep up with today’s fast paced world. As such, it’s only natural that more and more custom vending machines are going to pop up that bridge the gap between social media and classic convenience.

According to Vending Times, Gigigo Mobile Services plans on unveiling their new social media vending machine platform at the CTIA trade show next week. This new technology is meant to allow machines to interact with brands via social networks, much like a previous Pepsi promotion that allowed customers to send tweets in exchange for sodas.

Social vending is just one of the many exciting trends coming to the industry. While vending machines have always thrived on convenience, they can now be considered a consumer’s best friends. Our machines are getting to know us, and can tap into the things we care deeply about.

If you’re feeling inspired and want to provide this convenience to your own customers, visit Intelligent Dispensing Solutions today. Our custom vending machines are built specifically to your needs, no matter how futuristic.

French Man Robotically “Reaches” Into Vending Machines

Intelligent Dispensing SolutionsEver wish you had a slippery, slim extra arm that could slide inside a vending machine from the bottom and grab your favorite snack for you? A creative French inventor was likely thinking along those lines when he created a robot that can sneak inside of a vending product and grab whatever it likes.

According to the Huffington Post, the man is no thief, just someone who built a very expensive robotic concept that has the potential to infiltrate the office vending machines of the world. As shown in his video below, the robot can go inside of a vending machine, invert itself, and grab a drink before coming back down. We don’t think vending machine manufacturers have anything to fear when it comes to this robot going public, but it is a nifty innovation that could serve a more productive purpose someday, such as remote machine maintenance.

Even if robots do someday take over the vending machine business, you will never have to worry about theft when working with Intelligent Dispensing Solutions. Our state-of-the-art custom vending machines are specifically designed with loss prevention in mind, so even the craftiest of would-be vending thieves will be hard pressed to take away any of your product.

Solar Vending Machines on the Horizon

As much as vending machines evolve over the years, they all have one thing in common. Whether they dispense batteries or nachos, vending machines essentially all run on electricity.  However, according to Times Free Press, a humble Cattanooga company is looking to change the way vending machines operate entirely.

The article reports that a company called VendomMax has been working on a custom vending machine that runs entirely on solar power. VendoMax co-founders Rob Creswell and Mark Hixson officially unveiled the machine today, and the product will be available at a Las Vegas vending trade show next week. The vending machine manufacturers are hoping this machine can get some quality momentum among top beverage companies.

This unique custom solar vending machine will come in two models: A moveable version on wheels and a more traditional fixed product. Solar power is still a developing trend among a variety of different industries, and we are certainly interested on seeing how it develops over the next few years. Vending machines, especially ours, eat up a ton of energy, and a truly sustainable way to keep them running could change the business for the better. If you are looking to get a head start on the innovative side of the industry, our custom vending solutions are the perfect place to start!

The NAMA OneShow is Here

It has been a long time coming, but the wait is finally over! The NAMA OneShow, one of the vending industry’s biggest conventions, is finally upon us this week, allowing members of the vending world to convene, celebrate, and usher in another year of exciting vending innovations. There is plenty to see and do at this year’s NAMA, from keynote speeches from esteemed figures such as Newt Gingrich and Magic Johnson to appearances from some of the biggest vending machine manufacturers in the business.

If you can think of a major brand in the world of automatic dispensing, chances are they will be at the NAMA OneShow from April 24th to the 26th. From Hershey’s to PepsiCo, all of the major players in the snack, drink, and vending technology worlds will be on hand to show off their latest and greatest products. Not only is the OneShow a great opportunity for smaller vendors to get their name out to the world in a massive Vegas exhibition center, it is also a special change to witness some of the most exciting custom vending machines that will be hitting the market soon.

The folks behind Intelligent Dispensing Solutions will be at the OneShow this week, and will be looking forward to spreading the word about our own custom vending machines while seeing the very best our beloved industry has to offer!

Vending From a Taxi?

If taxis and vending machines have anything in common, is that they are both vehicles of convenience. Few things come in handy like having a guaranteed ride home after a late night out, just like finding a snack vending machine when you have the munchies is supremely satisfying. So what happens when these two services become one? That is exactly what New Orleans cab riders are currently enjoying, thanks to the city’s recently upgraded carriage cabs.

According to Vending Marketwatch, those riding New Orleans Carriage Cabs will be treated to a selection of five non-alcoholic beverages. These custom taxi vending machines have been installed in over 200 cabs throughout the city and can be purchased with a simple swipe of your debit card. The current options are Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, iced tea, and orange Fanta, which gives cab riders a solid selection of popular sodas.

“We decided to introduce the vending machines in New Orleans because it is the nation’s hub of innovation,” said New Orleans Carriage Cab owner Simon Garber, whose teenage son was the one to initially suggest the idea. The technology is available for purchase, meaning anyone in the country can install this exciting custom vending machine within your vehicle.

Never Shake a Vending Machine Again

Intelligent Dispensing SolutionsNorthern Illinois University campus publication The Northern Star recently published an article titled “Vending machines deserve your respect,” which humorously urged patrons to treat their local vending machine with care by providing the perspective of the machine itself.

“It’s not easy, but someone has to do it,” said Morty, the school’s vending machine. “I just wish they didn’t kick so hard.”

While the article provided a good chuckle to the vending machine manufacturers here at Intelligent Dispensing Solutions, it got us thinking of that age-old tradition of kicking and shoving vending machines until they vend that candy bar that simply will not budge. Neither you or your vending machine of choice deserve that type of abusive back-and-forth, and Intelligent Dispensing Solutions certainly has a fix to this eternal vending program.

In addition to providing an unparalleled level of customization for businesses ranging from retail to fitness, our smart vending machines solve that age-old problem of products getting stuck in their slots. By using cutting edge technologies and building our machines based on your exact needs, you will never have to worry about the vending woes of the past. With that being said, the next time you pass by your local “Morty,” please show him some respect. Our custom vending machines would not exist without him.

Healthy Resolutions With Intelligent Dispensing Solutions

Welcome to the year 2013, everyone. With each New Year comes the rash of resolutions to change something about outlook, acquire a new skill, build better habits, or maybe just finally to lose those ten pounds. Whatever the goal, the hoped-for result is usually to be happier and healthier. And we at Intelligent Dispensing Solutions are here to help you do just that.

This is particularly important in a school setting. Studies released in 2012 are showing that curbing the sales of junk food and sweetened drinks at school may play a role in slowing childhood obesity. Our products allow you to give both your students and staff an unprecedented level of convenience and easily track your inventory. Since IDS also provides end-to-end fulfillment, you can afford to be selective about stocking your vending machines with healthy choices to kids and adults alike.

On top of that, our custom healthy vending machine solutions can complement the role of a real-life cafeteria staff. By using our industry leading iQ software, you can sync your machine with the requirements of the Federal Free and Reduced Meal program, making it easier than ever to provide a quality school food service. Approved by the USDA, our custom solutions can help administrators save payroll while saving valuable lunchroom space for crowded schools.