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Displaying items by tag: Michael J Blake
SARATOGA SPRINGS— As parents, local entrepreneurs Lauren Rose and Lynn Pohl can relate to the dilemma a mom or dad faces when walking or wheeling their children past brightly colored vending machines that have become a part of the landscape.
The siren call of bright colors, TV marketing campaigns and of course, high fructose corn syrup makes an attack of the “mommy, mommy I want’s” an inevitable result.
Somehow, to most kids, something that comes out of a vending machine just tastes better.
And thus, parental resistance has often been futile — until recently. Lauren and Lynn explored some options and decided there was a better way: a way to satisfy a child’s vending mania and still provide nutrition.
They founded Go2Snax, an affiliate of the international firm Grow Healthy Vending – a company whose mission is to offer “an alternative to the standard junk food and sugar-laden drinks that dominate the marketplace.”
Lynn and Lauren have begun to place their high-tech vending machines at various places in our market with many more likely to come this year. Currently, you can look them over at Cutting Edge Martial Arts (175 Ballston Ave, Saratoga Springs), Global Fitness (in the Shoppes of Malta at 19 Kendall Way) and at The School of The Arts at The National Museum of Dance (99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs).
“We view our company as a community-based social wellness partnership.” Lauren Rose said. “Our machines are customizable, but all the products are designed to meet or exceed nutritional guidelines, including the USDA’s “Smart Snacks in Schools” mandate.
There are hundreds of different items to choose from and with the growing popularity of healthy foods there are many names you will recognize: Stacey’s Pita’s, Kashi Foods, PopChips, Horizon Organic Milk and Clif Bars are some brands that have already carved out markets for themselves, and their taste will get a welcome reception from your discerning X-year-old.
The machines themselves utilize a touch-screen that is user-friendly, accepting cash, coin and debit/credit cards. Your kids might find it to be as fun to navigate as a Wii game, but for parents, an important feature is that when a product is touched, the nutritional information label is displayed to encourage a quality, thoughtful selection before purchase.
The shelves within each machine are customizable depending on the needs of your location. The basic configuration is with three rows of snacks and two rows of drinks. But they can be made up as “snack-heavy,” “drink heavy” or “snack-only” as needed.
Best of all, the machines are delivered, installed and do not cost the location anything. In fact, Go2Snax has a generous commission and profit-sharing partnership that any location can participate in.
“With the growing awareness of childhood obesity and healthy eating, from the White House on down, this is something we are very proud to be a part of,” Lauren said. “It’s a business that works in concert with a greater mission.”
Indeed, it would be a surprise if you don’t see Go2Snax machines in many local schools, large retail facilities and offices in the near future. The confluence of good taste and good nutrition can be an irresistible combination.