Smoothie Vending Machines - Right Reason and Great Approach
The latest craze in frozen beverages is smoothie vending machines, but Barfresh Food Group still has the most sensible and marketable idea in smoothies.
Hats off to all the inventors who saw this trend, saw an untapped niche possibility and then combined the two.
There is such a thing as taking it too far, however a smoothie vending machine may have crossed the line.
You read that right - smoothie vending machines are now the "in-thing."
A company called Nicevend, which makes vending machines called quinzees - which make frozen drinks, including smoothies, Frappuccino's and frozen yogurts - is expanding into the United States.
The quinzee from Nicevend is exactly what it sounds like... a self-service vending machine that allows smoothie drinkers to select their preferences and pour the concocted mix into a cup.
The vending machine owner operator is totally responsible for keeping the machines topped up,with all the ingredients necessary to offer all the smoothie machine's options.
And smoothie vending machines are being taken seriously with that the quinzee from Nicevend isn't just a one-off shot-in-the-dark that won't be relevant (or even around) a year from now.
It's not a completely crazy idea.
Already a $2.4 billion industry in the U.S., the nation is just now catching smoothie fever in earnest.
One of the key issues holding it back is just the logistics of smoothies.
They can be labor-intense, not to mention a bit messy.
Smoothie vending machines solve the first problem, and will likely solve the second one.
But, smoothie vending machines also create new problems for the smoothie business... such as sanitation concerns inherent with a machine that stores milk-based products, and the sheer fact that, unlike soda or snack vending machines that sell pre-packaged goods, mixed-drink machines require constant attention.
In other words, it's the right idea, but not necessarily a marketable way to tap into the fast-growing smoothie business.
There is, however, a company out there with a novel idea about how to simply serving smoothies without resorting to inherently-concerning smoothie vending machines.
That company is Barfresh Food Group Inc.
The idea is simple in premise, but is actually something of a refined science when a closer look is taken.
Barfresh Food Group, via its wholly-owned Smoothie Inc., has figured out how to pre-package all the ingredients that go into a smoothie, including the ice, so all a restaurant owner, server, chef, bartender, etc, needs to do is squeeze each package's contents into a blender, add a set amount of water, blend for a few seconds, and then pour.
In less than a minute a smoothie is a perfectly-sized, perfectly mixed smoothie is made.
Making them by hand the traditional way of adding water, crushed ice, fruit juice, chopped fruit (or vegetables), adding milk or yogurt, and any syrups could easily take twice as long and because each of several ingredient is weighed or measured by hand, it's easy to make more smoothie than will fit in the cup.
That excess goes right down the drain, literally and figuratively.
And make no mistake, the product is marketable... marketable enough for none other than PepsiCo, Inc. to get on board.
Last month, PepsiCo North American Beverages will now be selling Barfresh's novel and highly-marketable pre-packaged smoothies, presenting the product to current customers of PepsiCo that want to widen what they currently offer to their patrons.
This primarily, at least initially, means sales to restaurateurs.
The agreement also has a stipulation, however, that PepsiCo has the rights to put the product in U.S. and Canadian grocery stores.
It may not be as novel as a smoothie vending machine, but that may be a good thing.
Smoothie vending machines are still just a complicated way to sell one smoothie at a time.
Barfresh Food Group has developed a way to let someone else sell smoothies by the crate.
It's the wholesalers more so than the retailers that tend to reap the biggest rewards.