FreshBowl is a vending machine with reusable glass jars that customers can return for credit upon the next purchase.
FreshBowl provides healthy breakfast, salads, and snacks from hi-tech vending machines. The machines are in five high footfall traffic locations in Manhattan. Currently, a kitchen in Tribeca makes the food, and this can serve up to 50 vending machines in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Consumers can return each reusable glass jar for $2 credit, and the company can reuse each jar 100 times before being recycled. Although the lids are plastic, the company is transitioning to metal so that the product is plastic-free.
Currently, FreshBowl is a stand-alone healthy food brand with 50 machines. The company is aiming to open 100 machines within 18 months.
Although many companies are capitalizing on the health food market, the zero-plastic aspect is a key differentiator. Approximately 90% of jars have been returned. The vending machine provides an opportunity for companies to produce goods with more sustainable packaging or even no packaging at all. Dasani’s Purefill vending machines require consumers to bring water bottles to dispense the product, eliminating the need for plastic bottles. The company is trialing 100 bottle-free vending machines across the US.
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