April 13, 2004

Vending Machines

And the low-carb craze continues: To vending machines we go.

rom the April 9, 2004 print edition of the Washington Business Journal
From the print edition
Retail & Restaurants
Bethesda firm pulls low-carb lever in vending market
Eleni Kretikos

And the low-carb craze continues: To vending machines we go.

A Bethesda company is taking products to the work place. Low Carb Vending either will sell you a new branded machine packed with low-carb items or adapt the ones you already have to be able to handle the items. If you don't want to buy a new machine but still want workers to know the machine has healthier options, Low Carb Vending also sells decals to promote well-known brands.

"There are 6 million vending machines in the U.S., and there's so many older machines -- and some vending operators who don't want to buy new equipment," says Joe Preston, co-founder of Low Carb Vending.

Its first three Low Carb Vending-branded machines have been placed at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, NBC News' Washington bureau on Nebraska Avenue NW and the Marriott Corp. headquarters in Bethesda.

"The whole purpose is to test prime locations," Preston says. "Our market research indicates that branded or dedicated Low Carb Vending machines are the most effective method to cater to the 30 to 50 million Americans that are either carb conscious or on low-carb diets."

Low Carb Vending (www.lowcarbvending.com) is partnering with Beltsville's Monumental Vending (www.monumentalvending.com), one of the largest independent vending operators in the region.

Within the next month, the company will roll out 50 to 100 machines in New York, California and Arizona. Preston says the goal is to have low-carb products in 6,000 machines by year-end.

An initial strategy: Buh-bye Snickers and barbecue-flavored potato chips.

The machines are stocked with the shakes, chips, bars and vitamins of the moment: Atkins, Slimfast, EAS, Carb Solutions, CarbWise and others. The machines will sell up to 30 products.

Low Carb Vending is targeting the machines in office buildings, hospitals, hotels, health clubs, golf courses, resorts and vacation spots and amusement parks.

Industries & Communities - bizjournals.com

Posted by Craig at April 13, 2004 05:31 PM