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Healthy Eating Series: Appetizers for Summer Cookouts

Preparing for the next summer cookout or holiday gathering? Appetizers are a key part of the puzzle. If you’d like to serve something beyond the typical pasta salads, potato salads, and fat-laden chips, you’ll need to discover some healthier options. Take a look at some ideas for great appetizers at your next cookout:

Goat Cheese Crostini

This goat cheese crostini is the perfect light summer recipe, and it punches way above its paygrade. Easy to assemble, it uses healthy hot-weather ingredients like watermelon, beet, soft goat cheese, and fresh chives to wow everyone at your summer cookout. And at less than 100 calories per serving, it’s the perfect option for a delicious appetizer that you can feel good about serving — and eating. 

Smoky Carrot Dip

This smoky carrot dip looks as good as it tastes. It’s sure to be a hit at your next summer cookout. And it’s packed with healthy ingredients like almonds, chickpeas, olive oil, and — of course — carrots. You could enjoy it with pita slices, crackers, other veggies, or all by itself. Check out the recipe here.

Green Chile Guacamole

Who doesn’t enjoy guacamole, especially in the summertime? Spice up your traditional guac with a little heat, and you have yourself a hit for your next summer cookout. This green chile guacamole recipe from Recipe Runner is a great example. All you need are avocados, some red onion, green chiles, garlic powder, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro to make the perfect batch. Serve with chips for the ultimate finger food sure to please every guest. 

Baked Zucchini Bites

Want a healthy, delicious appetizer that couldn’t be easier to make? These baked zucchini bites from Give it Some Thyme are just the thing. Simply mix veggies, seasoning, eggs, and cheese with Bisquick mix and bake. Then, cut into squares, triangles, or whatever shape fits the bill for your cookout. 

Pickled Shrimp

Spring is the ultimate cookout appetizer. And you can switch things up from the normal shrimp cocktail with this pickled shrimp recipe. What’s great about it is that you can prepare it the day before and have it pickle overnight, then whip it out when it’s time for the cookout. Click here to check out the recipe. 

 

Impress at Your Next Summer Gathering

Try the recipes above and see how it goes over at your next cookout. When you bring something both healthy and delicious, it’s sure to be a hit.

Naturals2Go Healthy Living Blog

Vending Inventory Ideas by Location: Offices

Offices have long been a great location for vending machines. There’s a lot of foot traffic with people coming and going, and most office workers only get a set time for a lunch break. Sometimes, going to the vending machine is the best option. But office workers don’t want to fill up on junk food — what kind of healthy snack options cater to this location? 

Protein Bars

Healthy protein bars are the perfect portable and convenient inventory item for an office location. They’re individually wrapped, they’re low-mess, and they’re nutritious. Plus, they’re delicious! Thanks to the high-fiber nuts and oats found in protein bars, they help keep your customers filled up for hours, making them the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a great choice for office workers looking for a delicious and nutritious item from the vending machine that they don’t have to feel guilty about. These sweet treats are more convenient than fresh fruit because they don’t leave a peel or core behind, and they can last in vending machines for far longer. Dried bananas, oranges, mangoes, apple slices, and other fruits are a great choice for your healthy vending inventory. 

Dark Chocolate

Sometimes, after a long day at the office or during that afternoon lull, we get a craving for something sweet. Dark chocolate is a good option in those moments. You might be surprised to learn that dark chocolate has been linked to various health benefits, including lower cholesterol, better heart health, improved cognition, and even a lower risk of cancer. Include a few dark chocolate options in your machine; the darker the better, because darker varieties have more antioxidants and less sugar.

Healthy Chips

Potato chips are a classic junk food. But there are plenty of healthy chip options that work great for office vending machines. Stock your machine with chips cooked in sunflower oil or coconut oil, and opt for chips without a lot of added flavorings or preservatives. It’s a great way for office workers to enjoy a snack right at their desks.

Jerky

Who doesn’t love a bite of jerky now and then? It’s not as unhealthy as you may think. And if you can find jerky made in a healthy way — one made using premium meat and without fillers, additives, and preservatives — it’s a fantastic and delicious choice for your office vending machine locations. 

Stock Your Machines With the Very Best

Partnering with Naturals2Go means you’ll be able to stock your machines with the best in healthy snacking and meal options that customers really want. And with our location procurement service, placing your machines properly in offices or elsewhere couldn’t be easier. Get in touch today to learn more. 

Learn More About a Naturals2Go Business

How To Start A Vending Machine Business: 2021 The Complete Guide

Considering Starting a Vending Machine Business?

Here is the 2021 guide on how to start a vending machine business…

 

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business but you don’t have specific industry expertise or training, if you aren’t quite ready to give up your day job, or you’re looking for a home-based business, consider vending. 

How to Get Into the Vending Machine Business

A vending machine business is a great way to enter into the world of the entrepreneur without quitting your job or emptying your life savings. It’s also a great way to get the whole family involved in a business because it’s easy to learn, great for teenagers and can be worked on at any time of the day or night.  

Vending Machine Business Opportunities

You may be asking yourself, “why would I start a vending machine business?” The fact is, the industry is booming and constantly expanding:

 

      • There are nearly 5 million vending machines in the US.
      • Vending machines take in over $7 billion a year in sales.
      • The snack vending niche alone generates $64 million a year in profit.
      • It is a cash-based business (though now, credit cards and e-wallets can be used). There’s no waiting around to get paid. 

 

Stop and think of all the places you’ve seen vending machines. As technology advances, companies are finding new ways to deliver products people want in one of the fastest and most convenient ways possible. Vending is a booming business and the opportunities for entrepreneurs are practically endless. 

Benefits of Starting a Vending Machine Business

There are many benefits to starting a vending machine business and it’s easy to start seeing those benefits relatively quickly.

 

Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, overhead is much lower so it typically does not take nearly as long to break even and start turning a profit.

 

And with new technology that allows customers to pay for vending machine items with credit cards, debit cards, and electronic wallets, the vending business shows no signs of slowing down. 

 

Some of the many benefits of a vending machine business include:

      • Cash Flow: There’s no credit or customer invoicing involved in vending machines. Customers put money in the machine or swipe their card, and you instantly collect your fees. There are no bad checks to worry about, no late payments and vending machines in the right locations can collect money 24/7.
      • Low Overhead Costs: The barrier to entry into the vending machine business is relatively low and there are few overhead costs. When you’re starting out, you can manage your route yourself which means no payroll, benefits or call-offs. Basing the business out of your home to start also eliminates the cost of renting an office space. 
      • Flexibility: If you’re not sure about diving into vending full-time, you can keep your current job and work your vending route on the side until you’re earning enough to flip to full time. However, if you do want to dive right in, that is also an option. Your vending business is what you make of it. It can be a nine-to-five business, an evening and weekend business, a retirement business, a business for stay-at-home-parents – the only limitations are those you set for yourself. 
      • Easy to Scale: Once you start earning a smooth, steady and predictable income (and profit) from your initial machines, it’s easy to scale up. With a proven track record, it’s easier to convince new customers to take you on, adding new machines isn’t that expensive and you can grow as slowly or as quickly as you can handle. 

 

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or you are taking your first foray into entrepreneurship, vending is an exciting opportunity to explore. 

Vending Machine Business Ideas

Today, you can sell nearly anything out of a vending machine – including cars. Here are some of the common options for vending: 

Bulk Vending Machines

Think the sticker and gumball machines you used to love as a kid. These machines usually dispense an item for a quarter – which won’t get you rich overnight.

 

However, bulk machines are very low-maintenance and typically don’t require electricity, the products inside the machines are inexpensive to purchase, and in the right market bulk vending machines can be a decent source of passive income. 

Custom Vending Machines (Non-Food)

Vending machines have come a long way from the gumball and soda machines of the past. In addition to food, you can also purchase specialty, non-food items in vending machines.

 

For example:

      • Laundry products in laundromats and shared laundry rooms
      • Apple vending machines that sell iPhones and accessories
      • Sephora vending machines that sell beauty products
      • Best Buy vending machines in airports that sell Beats headphones and other electronics
      • Uniqlo vends down jackets out of machines in airports around the world
      • Vending machines that sell sunglasses and hats at amusement parks and outdoor events
      • Guitar strings (Spotted in Portland, Oregon)
      • Bicycle parts in large cities
      • Legos
      • Socks (popular in bowling alleys and hotels)
      • Books
      • And literally hundreds of other items

Specialty Vending Machines (Food and Bev)

And of course, traditional food and beverage vending is always n option, though choices are nearly limitless. 

 

      • Cold beverages: Water, juice, soda, etc. 
      • Hot beverages: Coffee, tea, hot water, etc. 
      • Alcoholic beverages: These tend to be more popular in Europe where laws are somewhat less strict regarding alcohol consumption. 
      • Traditional snacks: Chips, pretzels, candy bars, etc. 
      • Healthy snacks: Trade in your chips and candy for trail mix, granola, dried fruit, etc. 
      • Full meals: Vending machines now offer full meal options, including healthy meals. 
      • Ice cream: Self-serve yourself some soft serve at amusement parks, outdoor events, etc. 
      • And more – you can buy nearly any kind of food – including live crabs in Singapore – from a vending machine.

 

How to Start Your Own Vending Machine Business

When you’re just starting out in the vending machine business, you can’t go wrong with food and beverages. According to Vending Market Watch’s 2019 annual report, food and beverage vending make up the majority of vending market share in the US. 

 

Because there are so many options for food and beverage vending, it’s often wise to start out with a single specialty and learn as much as you can about the business that way. Focusing on a single niche like healthy snacks ensures you are targeting your efforts and not taking on too much, too quickly. 

Selecting Your Vending Machine Options 

Choosing the right products for your vending machine business is crucial for your success. But with so many options, how do you select the products that will be the most successful?

 

There are several factors to consider: 

 

      • Affordability: Products that are too expensive simply will not sell. You need to choose products that you can purchase at a good rate and resell for a profit without gouging your customers. You can save money and increase your margins by buying directly from the manufacturer.
      • Product recognition: Vending machines aren’t the best places to try out items no one has ever heard of before. You want to choose a product line that is recognizable to people and offers products customers will feel comfortable purchasing. 
      • Nutritional Value: American consumers are much more cognizant of the nutritional value of their food than ever before. They don’t want a lot of high-fat, high-calorie, sugar-packed and overly processed foods. Healthy alternatives to chips and candy are a great choice for modern vending businesses. 
      • Taste: If a customer doesn’t like the way a product tastes, they won’t be back for more. If your vending machines are in office complexes, residential complexes, or locations where the same people pass by every day, you want them to make repeat purchases. Try to sample products before you decide what to sell. 

 

At the end of the day, you have to be comfortable with the products you are selling. Choose the vending options that make the most sense for your budget and that you can feel proud of. 

How to Own a Vending Machine – Vending Machine License

Vending machines are typically required to have a license to operate in their state and/or municipality. When planning on starting a vending machine business, it is important to read and understand those requirements. 

 

You’ll typically need to visit your municipality to secure an operator’s license. If you are required to collect and pay sales tax, you may also need a seller’s permit. Perishable items may also be subject to health and food permits, as well.

 

The cost of a business license and other permits varies according to your location and can range from as low as ten dollars and as high as several hundred dollars. Some states require that food vendors take and pass a food preparation and handling course before being granted a license.

 

Navigating the ins and outs of business licenses can be a challenge. It helps to work with an expert vending company that can help you understand the rules, regulations, and restrictions and will help you ensure compliance. 

How to Run a Vending Machine Company

As with any business, vending machine operators are subject to federal, state and local laws. There are specific regulations regarding food. The FDA has published detailed information on starting a food business that is an excellent starting point for entrepreneurs.  

 

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide, as well. Noncompliance can lead to significant fines. Make sure to research sales tax requirements in your state so you can properly price your items to cover taxes, report sales tax appropriately and pay sales tax on time. 

Finding the Right Vending Machine Location

Location, location, location. That’s the mantra of any new business and it holds true for a vending machine business, as well. The locations you choose for your machines can make or break your profit margins. There are never any guarantees, but strategic choices will stack the deck in your favor. 

 

      • Look for areas with high foot traffic like malls, entertainment complexes, residential complexes, – anywhere large numbers of people gather or pass by on a regular basis.
      • Office complexes or office parks, large manufacturing plants, schools, and colleges. 
      • Locations with few or no food options like parks, jails, hotels/motels, gas stations without attached convenience stores, roadside rest stops and service businesses. 
      • Places that require a significant wait time for customers like repair shops, hospitals, medical centers, salons, bus and train stations, airports, etc. 

 

When evaluating potential locations, always consider the target customer in addition to the location. Different products work well in different environments. 

 

Don’t get discouraged if you find places that already have vending machines installed. Competition can be great – especially if you’re filling a niche that is not covered by the current vending selection. By placing an attractive, well-stocked vending machine next to an older, outdated machine or a machine with a completely different product line, you can stand out and attract business. 

 

Here are some signs that you could beat your existing competitors on the location:

 

      • Poorly maintained machines 
      • Old or unattractive machines 
      • Machines with a poor selection 
      • Vending Machines with a very different selection from yours 
      • Machines that only accept cash 

 

When it comes to vending machine businesses, the sky is the limit. There are opportunities everywhere to either break into new locations or to compete at existing locations. Don’t limit yourself and be open to trying out new things and making new connections. You never know when you’ll find a profitable location.

Top Vending Machine Companies – How to Get Vending Machines

Aside from product location and selection, the actual machines are the most important part of starting a vending machine business.

 

A simple Google search will generate an overwhelming number of options for vending machines, all at different price points, different purchase and finance options, different sized suppliers, etc. 

 

To avoid overwhelm, you’ll want to start your search strategically:

 

      • Companies that offer cutting-edge machines: Outdated vending machines will not be successful. You want to choose a company that has a wide selection of machines, makes use of the most advanced vending technology and offers support for service and repairs. 
      • Companies with products people want: Remember, American attitudes are shifting. Parents aren’t as quick to snag a candy bar for their kids at the mall as they were a few years ago. People of all ages want healthier options, so choose a company that understands the shifting tides of consumer tastes. 
      • Companies that offer online management systems: If you’re trying to cover inventory, cash flow, and other critical issues using old-fashioned methods, you’ll be doing yourself and your business a disservice. Choose a company that offers cloud-based software that helps you manage your business at-a-glance via desktop and mobile applications. 
      • Companies that offer location assistance: Scouting and landing locations is the most difficult part of starting a vending machine business. It pays to work with a company that can provide you with leads, appointment-setting support, and other location services to get your business off the ground. 
      • Companies that offer training:  Some companies will sell you a machine, give you a number to call for product orders and send you on your way. If you’re new to the business, you need every advantage available to you to start your business off on the right foot. Look for companies that offer extensive training on the machines, products, the vending business and more. 
      • Machines that can be customized: Over time you’ll be changing your product selection. Not all drink containers or food containers are sized/shaped the same. If you can’t adjust your shelving in a machine, you won’t have the flexibility to add in new products.

Stocking Your Vending Machine

Once you’ve chosen a company to work with, you will need to think about inventory. We’ve talked about the importance of appealing to broad, national consumer tastes. However, that’s just the beginning. You can maximize sales by thinking about the types of products that would do well at specific sites. 

 

In the early days, try not to overstock items. It will take you a little while to get a feel for top sellers and understand what works and what doesn’t at specific locations. If you chose a vending company that offers extensive support services, they can typically provide you with some initial data to start out with so that you’re making smart choices.

How to Get Into the Vending Machine Business – Financing Options for Vending Machines

The startup capital required for a vending machine business is relatively low compared to other entrepreneurial ventures, but it still requires capital.

 

The total costs will depend on the type of vending business you wish to start, the company you choose to work with, the types of machines you want to use and other factors. 

 

There are several financing options for starting your vending machine business that include: 

 

      • An unsecured loan: This is a relatively simple process. Apply, receive funds, invest in your business. 
      • Short-term business loan: If you are already a business owner with good credit, a short-term loan can be a great way to access capital. 
      • SBA loan: If you’re a new business owner, the Small Business Administration offers special financing options.
      • Secured loan: This is where you offer the lending institution some guarantee in the form of collateral to secure funding.
      • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): You can leverage the equity on your home and take out a home equity line of credit. You only pay interest on the amount you end up using. 
      • 401(k) Rollover: Some vending companies offer special IRS-approved programs where you can access funds in your 401(k) without early withdrawal penalties or income taxes. 

 

The financing option you choose will depend on your unique circumstances. Whenever possible, work with a financing expert to help you make the best decisions for yourself, your family and your future business. 

Vending Machine Business Opportunities

You could try to start a vending business from scratch or purchase an existing route, but those are often uphill battles. Starting out with no connections can be difficult and you never know how well an existing route has been serviced over the years. 

 

With these options, you’d be responsible for your own training and education, scouting locations, generating your own leads, developing your own sales process and more. Without experience in the vending machine industry, it could take you years to gain a foothold. 

 

A franchise opportunity or vending business opportunity can be a great way to give yourself an edge in your new venture. In these situations, you partner with an established company with a proven process, brand and business model and a dedicated sales and support team to help you launch and grow your business. 

 

In most cases, equipment, training, and support are also provided for you throughout the startup phase of your business and in the case of a franchise model, support will be provided throughout the life of your vending business. 

 

A franchise also brings with it a community of fellow operators. You’ll have access to training, conferences and meetups, online communities and more where you can gather with other business owners across the country to share tips, advice, insights and best practices. 

 

In exchange, you do have to pay a significant buy-in and ongoing fees to the franchise. 

 

The final option is a business opportunity. It provides all of the benefits of a franchise, without the heavy fee structure.

 

Buy-in is typically more than what you’d pay to start your own business from scratch, but you receive the same high-level assistance and support of the franchise without back-end fees that eat into your profits. 

Ready to Start Your Own Vending Machine Business?

Now that you know the ins and outs of starting your own vending machine business, are you ready to take the leap? Then partner with Naturals2Go, one of the top healthy vending machine companies in the nation. 

 

Voted a Best Business Opportunity of the Year for the last seven years, Naturals2Go provides real business opportunities without franchise restrictions or fees.

 

Our system will help you get up and running with equipment, machines, qualified leads and appointments, training, support and more. Our system has helped thousands of independent operators create thriving vending businesses at their own pace. 

 

With Naturals2Go, you set your own goals and then decide how you will achieve them. You can work full-time, part-time, where you want and how you want. We are here to train you and provide ongoing support as you grow your business. 

 

Our team acts as mentors, not high-pressure franchise administrator who set impossible goals and make impossible demands of your time and money.

 

Naturals2Go:

      • Teaches you how to be successful
      • Helps you secure financing if you need it
      • Doesn’t require a specific business model or control practices
      • Has no restrictions on location or area
      • Doesn’t require any employees and has low overhead
      • Allows for semi-passive income
      • Doesn’t require royalties or fees for your business
      • Provides you with autonomous options for your business
      • Allows the operator total independent practices for their company

 

If you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to talk to you. Contact Naturals2Go today to see how you could benefit from starting your own vending machine business.

Healthy Eating On-the-Go: Parent-Approved, Kid-Friendly Snacks

Let’s face it: Kids get hungry sometimes. And usually, it happens when it’s least convenient. That’s why keeping some kid-friendly snacks on hand is such a good idea. But rather than feeding your child sugary junk food when they start to get the hunger pangs, you probably want to feed them something a little healthier. 

 

Here are a few suggestions on parent-approved, kid-friendly snacks:

Popcorn

We sometimes think of popcorn as junk food, but it’s healthier than you might think when you do it the right way. Popcorn is actually a nutritious whole grain; we just tend to slather it in butter and salt. If you keep the butter to a minimum and avoid other unhealthy toppings, popcorn serves as a convenient, portable, and healthy snack. 

Yogurt

Most kids enjoy yogurt, and it’s an easily portable snack that works well to attack those random hunger cravings. Yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein, and it contains probiotics to promote good gut health. Look for yogurt with low amounts of sugar and added flavorings to keep it healthy. 

Cheese Sticks

Full-fat dairy foods provide kids with vitamins A and D, protein, magnesium, calcium, and other important nutrients. That’s why a piece of cheese or something like a cheese stick makes for a good portable snack. It’s easy to eat and makes no mess. Plus, most kids are sure to gobble it up without a complaint. 

Trail Mix

If your child isn’t allergic to nuts or other ingredients in trail mix, it’s a delicious and convenient snack for kids that works perfectly for those on-the-go moments. Ingredients like healthy nuts, raisins, and seeds are good for your child. Just look for trail mixes without a lot of chocolate bits or other sugary items. Or, you can make your own at home using mixed nuts, dried fruit, and whole-grain cereal. 

Fruit

Not every child likes every type of fruit. But if you can find something your child does enjoy, you’ve got a portable, low-mess, healthy snack on your hands. Slice up some fruit before leaving home and put it in a plastic baggie, or grab a banana. You can even try adding a little peanut butter to entice your child if they’re a picky eater.

Healthy Snacking Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

When your kids get hungry on-the-go, having the right snack on hand makes you the super-parent. Try the options above and see how your kids like them!

A Career That Protects Your Future

How to Find and Keep the Best Vending Locations

One of the fundamentals of the healthy vending industry, and the vending industry in general, is the location of machines. Location is everything — an operator that has 10 well-placed machines can outperform an operator with 100 poorly placed ones. And machine placement is often one of the biggest concerns that operators have when they’re just starting out. With Naturals2Go, there’s nothing to worry about. We help you find and keep the best vending locations for your business. 

Location is essential. 

The real estate adage “location, location, location,” applies to the vending industry as well as any other. You can have the best equipment and offer the best service in the world, but without paying customers, it really doesn’t matter. Simply put, vending machines require foot traffic to become profitable and stay profitable. If people aren’t physically walking by your machines on a daily basis, there’s little hope of that machine being successful. That’s why the Naturals2Go team is here to help. 

Take advantage of OUR LIFETIME SERVICE

Rather than outsource our locating services to an outside agency, our staff performs this service themselves. We’ll join you for on-site locating; one of our Staff Locating Specialists will come to your town to help you in person. We’ll take you on appointments, close the locations, and teach you how to do the very same thing to help your business grow and achieve success in the future. And to make it even better, we don’t charge anything for this lifetime service. 

We’ll help you find THE BEST LOCATIONS

There’s no compromising when it comes to finding the best locations. That’s why we offer our Lifetime Locating Service to help you find the best placements for your machines and to keep those placements for as long as you’re running your business. Some of the types of locations we target include:

          • Gyms & Health Clubs
          • Hospitals & Medical Facilities
          • Schools
          • Hotels
          • Offices
          • Sports Arenas
          • Car Dealerships
          • Call Centers
          • Apartment Rec Rooms
          • And much more!

Achieve Your Entrepreneurial Goals With Us

Interested in learning more about the healthy vending machine industry and launching your entrepreneurial journey? Want help with placing your machines in the most profitable locations? Partner with Naturals2Go to get started — contact us today.

Learn More About a Naturals2Go Vending Business

Owner-Operator Stories: Eric Copeland Launches His Own Business After the Military

Eric Copeland’s New Sense of Adventure After the Military 

 

This post is a continuation of our Owner-Operator Stories series, where you’re able to get a firsthand look at life as a Naturals2Go business owner. Through these interviews, our Owner-Operators share their experiences with their healthy snack vending machine businesses.  

 

Today’s featured Owner-Operator is Eric Copeland, a former military officer seeking adventure.  

 

Eric Copeland was no stranger to risk at the beginning of his journey as a business owner.  

 

However, he placed his trust in Naturals2Go, a well-known and proven business opportunity in the healthy snack vending machine market, and found himself in a successful new career. 

 

 

The proven business expertise provided by Naturals2Go combined with Eric’s positive attitude was a recipe for an exciting partnership. 

 

In the expansion of his Naturals2Go business, Eric has found a rewarding adventure with opportunities to complete additional on-site work and market training. Since 2019 he and his wife have grown their venture by 25%! 

 

      • He appreciates he’s able to expand his role in his career field. 
      • He likes the ability to work in his metro-Atlanta hometown. 
      • He loves the fulfillment of being his own business owner. 

Ready to get started on your own vending business journey?  

Our consultants are here to help you take the first step today.  Watch our video tutorial on starting a vending business now.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating Series: Alternative 4th of July Meals

Hot dogs, burgers, barbecue, potato salad, deviled eggs… the classic Fourth of July foods are delicious, but they’re not very healthy. If you’re looking to celebrate America’s birthday with some healthier options, you’re in luck. Check out these healthy meal ideas that are just as delicious as all of the staples:

 

Watermelon Feta Blueberry Salad

Fresh fruit, fragrant mint, tangy feta cheese… this watermelon feta blueberry salad is the perfect side dish to your July Fourth feast. Or, enjoy it as the main course if you’d like! And the best part is that it’s red, white, and blue — perfect for Independence Day. It’s not loaded down with a lot of dressing or mayo like other summer salads, and it’s very easy to make. Find the recipe here.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Most fans of fish love a great fish taco. And when you grill the fish rather than deep fry it, it’s even better for you. And since tacos are easy to assemble and eat in the backyard, they’re the perfect choice for that family picnic or party. You can use whatever fish you like best. This recipe suggests halibut or mahi mahi. Either way, you’ll have a delicious and nutritious option for the Fourth!

Italian Vegetable Hoagies

You can’t go wrong with a delicious sandwich on a holiday like the Fourth of July. And with this Italian Veggie Hoagie recipe, you’ll be bringing a definite crowd-pleaser. This sandwich is loaded with fresh and unique veggies like pepperoncini, artichoke hearts, and red onion. And here’s the best part: it couldn’t be easier to assemble and transport. Take a look at the recipe and try it out this holiday.

Summer Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are a time-honored summer tradition in many households. And many are loaded with mayonnaise and other ingredients that aren’t the healthiest. But there are ways to make pasta salads healthy — this creamy summer pasta salad packed with fresh veggies like broccoli, cucumber, and onions is a great example.

 

Happy Independence Day!

While you’re celebrating the Fourth of July this year, consider some healthier alternatives to the typical Independence Day fare. You’ll feel good about it and enjoy your holiday meal at the same time.

Take Your Passion for Healthy Living to the Next Level

Understanding Why People Buy from Vending Machines

Why do people buy from vending machines? This might seem like an obvious question with an obvious answer, but it’s an important one to ask. As a business owner, it’s essential to understand your target audience. If you don’t, you can’t identify why someone would want to do business with you — and it’s not likely you’ll be in business very long.

 

Here are the main reasons why people buy from vending machines:

 

They need an energy boost.

Whether it’s the after-lunch drag or that mid-morning tired spell, many people choose to get a snack from the vending machine to get a little energy boost. A lot of vending machine snacks sell because they’re used to get a person through to their next meal! That’s why energy-boosting snacks like nuts and seeds, protein bars, and healthy energy drink options are always hot sellers.

It’s convenient and fast.

Another great benefit of grabbing a snack from a vending machine is that it’s convenient. If you work in an office, getting something from the machine in the lobby is a lot easier to fit into your lunch break than it is to run out to a fast food restaurant. If you’re looking for a snack on the way to work or school, the vending machine in your apartment complex’s lobby is on your way. Of course, you don’t want junk food every time — that’s why healthy vending snacks like dried fruit, low-salt popcorn, granola bars, and beef jerky are perfect choices for your healthy vending operation.

It’s inexpensive.

People turn to vending machines because they know they’ll be able to spend only a few dollars and get a filling snack in only a few moments. If vending machine prices were as high as the cost of restaurants, they wouldn’t be popular! Including low-cost, high-impact foods in your vending machines like pretzels, single-serving nut packets, and shelf-stable noodle dishes and soups. You’ll be pleased with how well they sell.

 

Take Advantage of This Great Business Opportunity

Interested in launching your journey in the healthy vending industry? Partnering with Naturals2Go is the best way to do that. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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Healthy Eating On-the-Go: Road Trip Snacks

Road trips have always been popular, but they’ve only become more common as the COVID-19 pandemic made travel by bus, airplane, and rail less doable over the past year. It’s safe to say that at some point on your road trip, you’re going to get hungry. And rather than stopping off at a fast-food joint, you’ll be better served by packing some healthy on-the-go snacks. Here are some great options:

 

Nuts

Nuts are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Not only are they nutritious, but they also help you to feel full thanks to the protein and fiber content. Try to find a lightly seasoned variety that isn’t loaded down with a lot of salt, and you have a great, portable, easy-to-eat snack on the road.

Jerky

Many jerky varieties are full of artificial preservatives and sodium but do some extra research, and you’ll find plenty of healthy, organic alternatives. Finding a healthy beef or chicken jerky strip is a fantastic way to satisfy those hunger cravings on the road! There are even jerkies out there that align with the gluten-free and Paleo diets, for example.

Dried Fruit

Fresh fruit is always an option for road trips, but you’re left with the banana peel or the apple core to dispose of. When you bring along a package of dried fruit, it’s a great low-mess way to get those nutrients in a more convenient package. Plus, it’s delicious! Try dried banana, apple slices, mango, or kiwi.

Protein Bars

Protein bars or nut bars are always a good option on the go, including for road trips. Try to find bars that are made with natural, organic ingredients with minimal preservatives and additives. Unfortunately, many protein bars aren’t that good for you thanks to artificial flavors and added sugar. If you can find a healthy version, though, it’s a great choice for your next adventure.

String Cheese

String cheese is conveniently packaged, easy to eat on the road, and more nutritious than you might think. They’re loaded with calcium and protein, and they don’t contain as much fat and calories as other types of snacks. Cheese wheels or chunks work well, too.

 

Ready for a New Adventure?

Whether it’s a road trip or a new and exciting career, now is the time to embark on your next great adventure. And Naturals2Go is here to help. Contact us today to learn more and enter the next phase of your journey.

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