What comes to mind when you are needing a quick, cheap, snack on the run? Perhaps a candy bar and soda from the vending machine down the hall? Sure, it satisfies your immediate needs: your belly is full, you’re only out a few coins, and you have not wasted any precious work time. No harm done. Think again. Government agencies have become increasingly wary of these calorie-packed vending snacks and are pushing to outlaw, restrict, or replace them in many public places. Schools, hospitals and government buildings have already seen USDA governed restrictions through the urging of President Obama, and the changes are not likely to end there. Where will the hungry, time-challenged masses turn?

Meet Healthy Convenience

The latest trend in vending food is fresh, calorie-conscious and affordable. One company trailblazing nutritious vending is U-Vend, Inc.(OTCQB:UVND). U-Vend is based out of two major U.S. locales, Chicago and Southern California and in Canada, as well. With 108 machines currently operating throughout California, Nevada and Canada and contracts with big corporations such as Delmonte and Arthur’s, U-Vend is quickly becoming a stronghold in the healthful vending arena.

Goodbye Junk Food

The Global Research Company Hartman Group recently released a snacking report that said 57% of Americans rated having healthy snacking options as “important”or “very important.” Another 2012 research report conducted by Symphony IRI Group shows 87% of consumers are trying to eat healthier. Vending is a consumer-driven industry. Making popular snacks easily accessible around the clock is essential. Consumers are making their desires known and U-Vend, Inc. is listening.

Who Cares?

Both the United States and Canada are dealing with an obesity epidemic. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), 1 in 4 Canadian adults are obese. The United States fares worse with 1/3 of its adult population being obese. These statistics are staggering and worrisome to government officials. Health care costs have ballooned thanks heavily to obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis. An intervention has been staged on many governmental fronts to reverse, educate and prevent obesity in the future. A major obstacle, and new-found priority for policy-makers is ensuring that healthy food is affordable and accessible to all people.

Goods to Consumer

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation estimates that more than 29 million Americans lack access to healthy, affordable foods. In Canada, CTV News Winnipeg reports 1 in 8 Canadian households couldn’t access sufficient food in 2011. Healthy vending kiosks are one solution to this problem. U-Vend kiosks are compact, portable and can be fully-managed remotely. Customers are able to purchase healthy snacks regardless of the time of day or day of the week. U-Vend also boasts some of the most technologically advanced vending kiosks available today. Digital screens, cashless payment, ads, product descriptions, push marketing and registered customer incentives are all features you can expect at U-Vend kiosks. Leslie Sarasin, President and CEO of Food Marketing Institute said, “Today’s sophisticated consumer wants more information about their food than ever before.” U-Vend is on the cutting edge of providing their customers with direct product information including detailed descriptions and nutritional values, truly changing the consumer vending experience.

Looking Ahead

2014 was a very busy year for U-Vend Inc. Led by a powerhouse of experienced leaders: Paul Neelin, (Founder, COO, Director), Raymond Meyers (CEO, Director) and Kathleen A. Browne (CFO) U-Vend completed the acquisition of an operating company in Canada where they recruited Paul Neelin. In Q1, 2014, operations began in Chicago, with Southern California and parts of Canada following later that year. U-Vend, Inc. entered into licensing agreements with a variety of large, well-known companies and was given an exclusive distribution agreement with vending machine provider, FastCorp. With the groundwork for success laid out, 2015 stands to be a productive year. CEO Raymond Meyers and COO Paul Neelin are focused on further licensing of products and services, expanding the reach of their operating areas, and securing deals with several large companies in order to offer a wider variety of products.

National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), President and CEO, Carla Balakgie, recently stated, “As an industry, we have to take a very proactive role in showing that we are part of the solution, instead of a ‘devil’ that only offers unhealthy options.” U-Vend, Inc. is showing the desire and willingness to be a leader in an industry on the brink of change. Welcome to the future of vending.

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About U-Vend, Inc.

U-Vend, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, with additional locations in: Stoney Creek, Ontario Canada, Chicago, IL., Los Angeles, CA. and Las Vegas, NV. U-Vend develops, distributes and markets various “next-generation” self-serve electronic kiosks in a variety of retail locations in North America. The Company owns and operates kiosks with a particular focus on “Healthy Vending” and has partnered with numerous national consumer product companies to deliver new and unique customer retail experiences in an automated setting. For more information on U-Vend, visit www.u-vend.com.

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