'Healthy' vending firm looking for franchisor
A United States-based snack vending machine company plans to take on an already saturated market by tapping into Kiwis' growing awareness of healthy eating.
Fresh Healthy Vending (FHV), which has 200 franchisees and 2300 machines in North America, is negotiating to secure a master franchisor in New Zealand willing to pay US$150,000 (NZ$176,963) for the business.
Business broker David Newport, who is heading the deal, said there was a gap in the vending machine market for healthy snacks.
"We've got fairly major problems with obesity."
Master franchise rights were expected to be secured soon and the first vending machines would be available by mid-year.
Newport said he hoped there would be 5-10 franchisees, or 50 machines in New Zealand by the end of 2014. The machines would stock locally-sourced products but the range would vary depending on their location.
Nutrition Foundation chief executive Sue Pollard said that at first glance FHV's products "do not appear to have excessive amounts of sugar, salt or saturated fats".
Some vending machines already provided healthy options such as fruit and sandwiches, she said.
Independent Vending Association president and director of Coleman Vending, Ian Coleman, said New Zealand was not a lucrative business and the Auckland market was saturated.
Schools had stopped using vending machines but there had not been a noticeable downturn in sales as people became more health conscious, Coleman said.