Cape Town – The lastest food offering on everyone’s lips isn’t a hot new restaurant with a celebrity chef in the kitchen… it’s a vending machine! The Green Machine is the brainchild of two young entrepreneurs who saw a need for ‘healthy food that will leave you feeling great’. And with the world-wide shift to a more mindful and healthy way of eating, this only makes sense
Gideon Greaves and Chad Knezovich were fed up with the unhealthy food that traditional vending machines are stocked with and so they took action!
The first ‘Green Machine’ vending machine was recently launched at Media24 in Cape Town and is already doing a roaring trade. We chatted to the pair to find out more about their new venture and how the healthy vending machine operates.
What are your health backgrounds - do you live a healthy balanced lifestyle yourself?
We both grew up extremely active. We were involved in all sports at school. You would often find us kicking a ball into our neighbours garden thinking we were Percy Montgomery or breaking a window attempting to be the next Graeme Smith. In saying that we both had pretty stereotypical diets growing up, eating sugary cereals for breakfast etc.
As we got older and started cooking for ourselves it lead us to start questioning what exactly we were putting into our bodies. With more research and time we started to realise how important it was to eat a balanced healthy diet. We started to focus on eating less processed food. We started consuming natural and organic foods and snacks and realised that it was affecting our lives in a positive way. It was helping us stay productive, feel energised and increase our overall happiness. Then we knew we needed to spread this type of lifestyle. We think it’s a trend that is only going to increase and with the help of Green Machine we'd like to speed that process up.
How do you go about choosing your suppliers and items sold?
We choose our products with two main goals in mind. Is the product healthy ? And does the product taste good? There are a lot of products in the market that claim to be healthy but are really bad for you. We make sure that everything our consumers purchases from Green Machine leaves them feeling great and nurtures their body the way nature intended.
How do you manage to sell healthy food at a reasonable price – and keeping a balance between production costs and making a profit?
We want to try and break the dogma that healthy food is expensive. We find healthy snack options that will not break the bank. We aim to keep our production costs as low as possible without comprising on our standards. Some of the products we even package ourselves. We are not profit driven. Our goal is to educate people to consume the right foods and to make healthy food more convenient than junk food.
Are you considering to expand the brand more than just having a vending machine? (e.g. perhaps open a store)
We do have plans to not only be a vending machine company but to build a brand within the market. We will be expanding into other areas within the 'green industry'. We are launching a new service into the market on May 23rd. We are extremely excited about it. You can find out more when we release it to the public via our online platforms (see below).
Have there been any changes made – in terms of added products - to the vending machine since its first launch. If so, what?
Since this is our first 'Health Fridge' we are adapting the products in the machine to our customers. We are using this pilot period to test various products and to see what our consumers enjoy.
Are you going to keep the products consistent or change them on a weekly basis?
We will aim at keeping products consistent, however we engage with our customers to see what products they would like to see in the machine via surveys and suggestion boxes.
What is the most popular item?
Our most popular product so far has been coconut chips and our range of nuts. There has been an interest in all the items which is encouraging.
What is the most expensive item and how much is it?
One-Juice (Freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juice) which costs R28. We have a special on the juice at the moment. We have teamed up with the guys at One-juice where you can order a juice cleanse with our coupon code (greenmachine) and you'll get 10% off. You can see the detox packages at www.one-juice.com.
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Question: If your office had a healthy vending machine, what would you like it to stock? Let us know in the comment section beow.