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Exploring Today’s Healthy Living Trends

Healthy living isn’t just a fad — it’s a lifestyle that more and more individuals and families are implementing into their standard routine. For obvious reasons, health and wellness have become even more of a priority as 2020 rolls on. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and beneficial healthy living trends that are almost certainly here to stay.

Plant-Based Diet

The sale and consumption of plant-based foods are likely to continue rising as time goes on. Vegetarianism has been popular for years, but it’s becoming more and more mainstream and less and less fringe. And with more meatless and meat-substitute options out there than ever before, eating a largely plant-based diet is easier than it’s ever been. And a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle isn’t just healthy for you — it’s good for the environment, nature, and the world as a whole.

Natural Remedies

More and more individuals are looking for natural remedies versus prescription medications, especially as our healthcare structure continues to change, and as we learn more about the potentially harmful side effects of certain prescription drugs. Natural supplements and herbs, probiotics, and things like collagen are seeing increased sales as people turn to healthy and all-natural solutions, especially in a preventative context.

Plenty of Sleep

We know more now than we ever have about the importance of sleep. It’s vital to just about every bodily function! Coupled with a great diet and regular exercise, a solid sleep schedule is now seen as one of the most important factors for a healthy life. So make a point to get the sleep you need as 2020 rolls on — it’s good for you in every way.

CBD Products

CBD oil itself, as well as foods, beverages, and other products that contain it, has become extremely popular in recent years. Many consumers are seeing it as a valuable alternative to medication, or simply as a way to combat problems like anxiety in a natural way. And as legislation across the country continues to evolve, CBD products and even products that contain THC — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — are being sold in greater quantities in more places than ever.

Work/Life Balance

Both employees and employers are now seeing the essential benefits of a proper work/life balance. Overworking only results in burnout and poor efficiency — that’s not good for individuals or companies. This is one healthy living trend that’s good for everyone, so expect to see more and more of it as time goes on.

 

What healthy living trend are you planning on trying next?

Stick to it and see how it benefits the health and well-being of you and your family members.

 

Naturals2Go Healthy Living Blog

Couple Goals: Why They Should Include Starting a Vending Business

Have you ever considered making your life partner your business partner? Now is the perfect time to do it — after all, you’ve had a lot of time recently to discuss your personal and professional goals. For many couples, partnering up to run a successful vending machine operation is the perfect business venture. Here’s why:

Costs Are Low

All things considered, the costs involved in launching and maintaining a vending machine business are low. It’s a cheap process to maintain your machines, stock your inventory, and track your sales. And if you need tech support or help with placement, you’re completely covered (more on that later!). For a couple, launching a business venture, low startup costs are a good thing, especially in these difficult financial times.

Management is Easy

Another good thing about starting a vending business with your life partner is the relaxed management approach. Think about the life cycle of a vending machine and its inventory: a customer uses the machine, gets their product, and the machine collects payment. You and your life partner are just responsible for keeping the machines stocked and collecting the profits. That ease of management is a great thing for a couple and reduces the risk of conflict or disagreements related to the business.

Scaling Up or Down is Simple

Couples will also enjoy the ability to scale up or down as necessary once their vending machine business becomes profitable. If you want to scale up, simply find more locations, place and stock the machines, and watch the profits roll in. If you need to scale back, all you have to do is remove a few machines. It’s up to you to add as much or little to your workload as suits your lifestyle.

Support is Always Available

One difficult thing about running a business venture with your life partner is that you have to deal with any and all issues yourselves. If you launch a healthy vending machine business with Naturals2Go, you don’t have to worry about that. Our 24/7 operator support is here to assist with technical problems and product sourcing information; we also offer lifetime coaching to help you with whatever you may need. And our location professionals will come to your city to find the most ideal placements for your machine.

 

Achieve Your Goals

Launching a business venture with your life partner may not be something you’ve considered before, but make no mistake: the healthy vending business is the perfect vehicle for success. Contact Naturals2Go today to learn more and get started.

 

Learn More About a Naturals2Go Vending Business

Foods That Boost Your Immune System

If there’s one thing we’ve all been focused on this year, it’s our health. Now is a great time to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape. But even if we weren’t in the midst of a global pandemic, eating healthy and keeping your immune system firing on all cylinders is always a good idea! Here are five great food choices for boosting your immune function:

Spinach

Spinach is jam-packed with great nutrients like vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, iron, and fiber. These nutrients are essential for cell division, DNA repair, and immune functionality. To get the maximum nutritional benefit from spinach, eat it raw (perhaps in a salad or as a sandwich topper) or lightly cooked. And don’t forget that you can use spinach in dips, lasagna, soups, and a variety of other dishes.

Berries

Many types of berries — especially blueberries, acai berries, and elderberries — are considered “superfoods.” This is mostly due to these berries’ high concentration of antioxidants, which boost immunity and lower inflammation in the body by fighting off free radicals, or disease-causing agents. Some studies have even demonstrated that elderberries reduce the longevity of cold and flu symptoms!

Sweet Potatoes

If you’re going to eat potatoes, making it a sweet potato is a healthier option. That’s because sweet potatoes have an incredibly high vitamin A content, plus vitamin C and fiber. And sweet potatoes are fat- and cholesterol-free, so you don’t have to worry about the unhealthy parts of your meal while getting some great immune boosting.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables out there. It’s full of nutrients like vitamin C, various B vitamins, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium, and it contains a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. All of this combines to make one great food for immune function! And broccoli makes for a versatile, tasty vegetable that you can include in salads, soups, casseroles, or simply as a tasty side dish.

Oysters

There are other options out there besides fruits and vegetables when it comes to great foods for the immune system. Oysters, believe it or not, are fantastic immune boosters — they contain 190% of the necessary daily value of selenium, and also offer plenty of other nutrients like iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, and protein. So don’t feel guilty about that oyster appetizer, because it’s actually quite good for you!

 

Stay Healthy

These aren’t the only foods out there that are great for immune system health. Do your research to find out what kind of superfoods will work best for your lifestyle and family. And enjoy!

 

Naturals2Go Healthy Living Blog

How Vending Machines Help Feed Heroes of the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’ve all seen the news stories about nurses and frontline healthcare workers undertaking long shifts, barely getting a break before heading back to work to care for more ill patients. And they aren’t the only heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic that are working tirelessly to keep everyone else safe. Truck drivers, sanitation workers, grocery clerks, and many more are considered essential. Often, that means that these individuals need a quick, convenient way to eat that is an alternative to restaurant dining and even fast food.

Vending machines are the perfect solution. Here’s why:

Vending Machines Are Convenient

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, vending machines had one great advantage over other types of food delivery mechanisms: they’re convenient. All one has to do is go to a vending machine — conveniently located in your building’s lobby, or in a rest stop along the highway if you’re a truck driver, for instance — and select the preferred item. In a matter of moments, you have something on hand to eat that, at the very least, can tide you over until you’re able to get a full meal.

Vending Machines Are Contactless

Many restaurants and food delivery services have moved to a contactless-type of model. This way, the customer doesn’t have to interact with an actual employee when picking up food. But an employee still handles a food bag at some point along the line before a customer picks it up. With a vending machine, there’s no need to worry about this. The entire process is done without any face-to-face interaction. An essential worker can simply punch in the code to receive whatever snack or small meal they would like. Add in proper sanitation procedures like hand sanitation and wiping down of the machine’s keypad, and the entire process can be 100% contactless and sanitary.

Vending Machines Can Provide Sustaining Meals

Vending machine operators should consider adding in more sustainable, meal-like inventory items to their machines during this pandemic. When essential workers who barely have time to eat visit a vending machine, they would love to find noodle dishes, soups, beef jerky, or other sustaining items to hold them over until their next break. Ready-to-eat meals like these can truly be lifesavers to those who are risking it all for us! Adjusting your inventory is both a smart business decision and a way to help essential workers.

 

Start Your Essential Business!

Are you ready to get started in the world of healthy vending? It’s more important now than ever. Contact Naturals2Go today to learn more.

 

Learn More About a Naturals2Go Business

How Much Do Vending Machines Cost?

Owning a business is a dream for millions of Americans and the vending machine business offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs who are looking for freedom and flexibility while earning good money. One of the first questions most people ask when considering starting one of these businesses is, “How much do vending machines cost?”

What is the Average Cost of A Vending Machine? 

This is a straightforward question but the answer isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think. The vending machine business isn’t cookie-cutter. There are a lot of variables that go into the equation for figuring out the average cost of a vending machine. The fact is, you can buy a used, decades-old snack vending machine for a few hundred dollars on the secondary market, or you can spend over $10,000 for a new, high-end machine that dispenses hot food and beverages.

 

The average cost of a vending machine depends on the type of machine you want, the products you wish to sell, and the technology that the machine uses to accept payment, vend items and keep those items fresh.

 

We can say the average cost of a vending machine falls below $10,000 but above $1,500, but let’s dig deeper to help you calculate your costs.

What Are the Costs of Running a Vending Machine Business?

These are some of the costs associated with running a vending machine business.

Vending Machine Units 

You can’t start a vending machine business without the vending machines, and these will be the largest investment you make into your business. The price ranges for vending machine units can vary significantly based on the type of products you are selling. For example, a snack machine typically costs less than a machine that dispenses ready-to-eat meals. An older model machine that only accepts cash and leverages standard push-button operation will cost less than a modern machine that is more intuitive and accepts credit and debit swipes.

 

Because the costs can vary significantly, it’s best to estimate anywhere from $1,500 per machine on the low end to $10,000 on the high end, depending on the products and type of vending machine you are buying.

Restocking Vending Machines

Keeping a vending machine well-stocked is necessary. Without food or beverages, people have nothing to buy from you. Restocking vending machines requires an ongoing investment, and it can take a little while to find the right mix of products and inventory you keep on hand.

 

In the startup phase of your vending business, you will want to be careful about overstocking items. It will take a while to get a feel for your best-selling items and to identify patterns among your customers. Some items will sell well in one location but will be complete duds in others, and you don’t want to buy too much inventory that you cannot move.

 

If you choose to work with a vending machine 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 for your budget. A vending machine company that offers franchise benefits will also typically sell you products at wholesale or reduced cost, leaving you more room to mark up products and achieve healthy margins. Their advisors can work with you to determine the right pricing model for the machines and locations you secure.

Vending Machine License

Business licenses are required for vending machine operators, and those licenses cost money. Costs will vary based on the state and municipality where the vending machines will be located, so it’s important to read and understand all of the legal requirements ahead of time.

 

In most cases, you will need to visit your city or county office to secure a license. If you are required to collect and pay state sales tax, you may also need to secure 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 can range from as low as ten dollars and as high as several hundred dollars and you will need to renew your license every so often, depending on your local regulations.

Location Placement

When it comes to running a profitable vending machine business, one of the pillars of success is location, location, location. It would be nice if you could put a vending machine anywhere you wish, but you need permission from property owners who often want a portion of your profits (a commission).

 

Ideally, you would negotiate a contract that does not include a commission for the location owner, but it’s often a good idea to provide a commission if you want to build a great relationship and if you want to maintain priority space on their property. Commissions are just pennies on the dollar and if a location is generating 100-plus vends per day, those pennies won’t cut into your long-term profits in any significant way.

 

If you’re new to the vending business and you want help finding profitable vending machine locations, Naturals2Go is here to help. As a member of our team of entrepreneurs and an owner of our machines, you will have access to full training and location procurement assistance to help you build a profitable business.

Different Types of Vending Machines and How Much They Cost

As we have previously discussed, the cost of a vending machine will vary based on the type of machine you buy. If the machine must be refrigerated, it costs more than one that does not require refrigeration, for example. Here are some of the different types of vending machines and some cost considerations for each.

Soda Machines

Soda machines are a staple of the vending machine industry. They can produce a high volume of sales and a well-placed soda machine can generate significant profit. They do cost a little more to purchase because they require refrigeration. They can start at $3,600 for an older, bare-bones model and prices can skyrocket based on the technology and features you want your machine to have.

Snack Machines

Traditional snack machines vend grab-and-go items. They can be “junk food” snacks like chips, healthy food snacks like bags of nuts and trail mixes, or some mix of the two. These units can start around $3,000 on the low end and can go as high as $8,000 or more depending on the technology.

Candy Machines

Candy machines can either vend single-serve candy bars and snack-sized bags, or they can be bulk machines that vend just one item (like a gumball machine). Bulk machines cost far less than traditional vending machines, but the profit margin can be significantly lower. If you’re selling gumballs for a quarter, you aren’t likely to make as much as someone who sells full-size candy bars.

 

As with other vending machines, candy machines can also vary in price based on whether the unit is refrigerated and the technology it uses to vend items.  Prices can start as low as $1500 for a simple or used machine and run as high as $8,000 or more on the high end.

Coffee Machines

Coffee vending machines can be some of the most expensive to buy and to operate. In addition to standard electrical connections they require water connections, they have heating mechanisms and cup dispensers, they must be kept clean both inside and out and they typically require much more frequent maintenance than a machine that vends prepackaged beverages.  A new machine on the low end can cost nearly $6,000 just to purchase, then you must factor in the ongoing costs associated with running each machine.

Cost of Partnering with a Vending Machine Franchise

Starting a vending machine business when you have no connections in the industry can be a significant challenge. Even if you purchase an existing route, your location owners may be wary of working with a new person with little experience and you never know for sure how well an existing route has been serviced before you took over.

 

Running a solo business also requires you to do all of your own research into the business, to try and scout and secure locations on your own, create your own contracts, develop your own sales process, etc. This can make it much more difficult to start generating revenue and profits.

 

A vending machine franchise opportunity helps remove all of those roadblocks. Working with an established company with name recognition, a proven business model and dedicated training and support teams gives you a competitive advantage in the vending business.

 

When you work with a vending machine franchise, you pay them a fee to secure your equipment, startup inventory, training, location support and more. And that support doesn’t end once you are up and running. You have ongoing access to their resources as their network of entrepreneurs to grow your business over time. The costs of buying into a vending machine franchise can range from $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the company.

 

Be careful when choosing a franchise opportunity and always make sure to read the fine print. Some companies charge small startup fees and then charge exorbitant ongoing fees throughout the life of your vending business. They may also require you to work full-time on your business which can be a struggle for new business owners who want to make sure they have enough cash to remain solvent during startup phases.

 

At Naturals2Go, you get the benefits of a franchise without those ongoing costs and restrictions. Our startup costs are not excessive by industry standards and we allow our entrepreneurs to start and grow their business at their own pace. We understand that our team members have lives and families and that’s why we provide the freedom to choose full-time or part-time, and a growth rate that suits your budget and goals. We believe in providing support and guidance, rather than pressure.

 

Because we understand that starting a vending machine business can be both exciting and stressful, we offer vending machine business financing options, as well. We want to make sure that our entrepreneurs are comfortable with the investment they are making and we will help you determine the right source of financing for your needs.

Are Vending Machines Profitable?

There are around 5 million operational vending machines in the US right now, taking in over $7 billion in annual sales. The snack niche alone generates $64 million in annual profits for vending machine operators.

 

That doesn’t mean every vending machine is cranking out profits. Product mix and location play a huge role in the profitability of a vending machine. A machine in a busy airport probably generates significant revenue while a soda machine in an apartment complex laundry room will generate less.

 

To generate profits, products must be chosen strategically and priced just right. Price your items too low, and you won’t make money. Price them too high in a competitive area and potential customers will choose another option.

 

In the vending industry, the average revenue for a machine is well over $75 each week and over $300 per month. Some vending machines generate much less than this, while some vending machines generate much, much more. The more well-placed, well-stocked machines an owner operates, the greater their revenue and the more profitable their business.

Conclusion

A well-run vending machine business can be very profitable for entrepreneurs. The keys to success lie in planning, support and the amount of work put into building the business. Investing in a franchise or business opportunity that provides resources for owners can greatly increase your chances of running a vending machine business that generates real income.

 

Another key to success is to pay attention to shifting consumer priorities. We are all old enough to remember when every vending machine we saw carried junk food –food that tastes great and offers no nutritional benefits, but those types of machines are very slowly but surely being replaced with healthier snack options like water, juices, nuts, meal-replacement options and items people can feel good about consuming.

 

There is always a time and a place for a soda and a bag of chips, but there is a real opportunity to capitalize on Americans’ desires for healthier, more natural choices. And a bonus for vending machine operators is those healthier options can often be priced to offer healthy margins, as well.

 

If you are interested in starting your own vending machine business, partner with Naturals2Go, one of the top healthy vending machine companies in the United States.

 

The Naturals2Go system is designed to set you up for success and get your business running quickly with equipment, qualified leads, sales appointments, training, support, education and more – all without the strict limitations and fees imposed by other vending companies. With Naturals2Go you get the benefits of:

 

  • Setting your own goals without restriction
  • Access to support staff and mentors at every stage of growth
  • Help to secure financing
  • Training and ongoing education through the life of your business
  • No royalties or exorbitant ongoing fees

 

If you’re ready to get started, we are ready to talk to you. Contact Naturals2Go today to learn more about our proven track record for helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals.

Do You Stress Eat? Here are Some Guilt-Free Snacks You Can Feel Good About!

Let’s face it — we’re living in stressful times. And sometimes, our reaction to that is to eat. Stress-eating is a problem for many individuals, but it doesn’t have to make you unhealthy or add pounds to your waistline. There are guilt-free snacks out there that you can feel good about eating! Here are a few examples:

Healthy Granola Bars

Granola bars and protein bars are convenient and easy snack options. Unfortunately, many are loaded with sugar and processed ingredients. Look for granola or protein bars that have no added sugars and are made with organic, all-natural ingredients. That way, you’ll have a protein-packed, delicious snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about.

Dried Fruits

Dried fruits make for a nutritious, delicious, and easy-to-eat snack. Fresh fruit is perfectly fine too, but dried fruit is especially convenient if you’re on-the-go or just want something easy to grab out of a bag in a pinch. Look for dried apples, bananas, apricots, and more — it’s a great snack that is completely guilt-free.

Nuts

Thanks to the high fiber levels found in nuts like cashews, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios, they’re naturally filling. You don’t have to eat much in order to feel satisfied! And it’s incredibly easy to control your portion size when you’re snacking on nuts, and they’re good for you thanks to their healthy amounts of good fats and protein.

Avocado Toast

For an on-trend snack that is as good looking as it tastes, try making yourself avocado toast. It’s an extremely popular dish right now, and for good reason. Avocado toast is packed with heart-healthy fats and protein, not to mention good vitamins and minerals. It’s perfect for giving you a boost of energy and helping you to feel full.

Potato Chip Alternatives

Everyone enjoys a classic snack like potato chips every once in a while. Of course, standard potato chips aren’t very good for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of great chip alternatives out there. Look for kettle-cooked or small-batch potato chips, which have a far lower fat content than normal chips. Kale chips, or bean and rice chips, skip the use of potatoes entirely for a healthy, tasty snack you can feel great about.

 

Don’t let stress rule your diet. Give these healthy snacks a try the next time you have a craving. You won’t regret it!

Is it Time for a Career Change? Here’s How to Make the Switch

As the world deals with a frightening pandemic and the resulting economic hardship, the last thing on many people’s minds is a career change. But make no mistake: right now may be the perfect time to make a switch in your professional life, and it might be downright necessary. Let’s take a closer look at making a career change and how to see it through until things get a bit more stable.

Is It Time to Change?

First, decide whether right now is the time to make a career change or stick with what you have. Ask yourself: are you burnt out with what you’re doing? Have you lost your passion and drive? That’s usually a good indicator that it is time to make a change, regardless of the economic situation.

 

If the difficult economy itself is directly impacting your profession, it might be a good idea to get out ahead of things and make a switch to something that can weather the storm. If current prospects in your field aren’t looking good, it can pay big dividends in the future to make a change now.

Making the Switch

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to do your research before deciding to make a career change. Only make the switch if you’re absolutely certain it’s necessary and that it will be beneficial. Then, you can forge ahead with your new career and make the most of it, even during trying times.

 

When you do make the switch, there’s no sense in going halfway. Dive in headfirst and put yourself out there — learn your new craft, soak up all of the knowledge and tips you can from others in the field, and devote yourself fully to your new position.

See It Through

A final word of advice: be patient with your new career change, and don’t give up or get discouraged too quickly. Switching careers — especially during an economic downturn — can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, and it’s important that you don’t throw in the towel before giving it a chance. Be the resourceful professional that you are, and you’ll find success in whatever you choose to do.

 

Interested in the growing field of healthy vending machine sales? Get in touch with Naturals2Go to learn more.

Did You Know Healthy Living Habits Improve During a Recession?

It’s easy to assume the worst when a recession hits. And it goes without saying that an economic downturn can harm people — especially those who are already suffering or are in poor economic health. But you may be surprised to learn that the data isn’t all negative. Surprisingly, healthy living habits actually tend to improve during times of economic recession for many people!

 

Here are three reasons why:

More Time for Exercise

During booming economic times, most individuals spend most of their time working. That means that they tend to neglect healthy habits, such as exercise. Surprisingly, one thing that often improves during times of recession is the amount of exercise that people perform. And you can take a cue from that fact — neglecting your physical health during this time is not a good idea. Make time to exercise on a daily basis to keep up your health.

Eating Home-Cooked Meals

When the economy is good, people tend to spend more of their hard-earned money on eating take-out food or going to restaurants. While some of that food can be perfectly healthy, much of it is not. During recession times, on the other hand, people tend to make more food at home in order to save money. And that is often a good thing in terms of healthy living — using fresh, nutritious ingredients to make a home-cooked meal is one of the best things you can do for you and your family.

Less Work-Related Stress

There’s no question that things can be stressful during a recession. But compared to the high-stakes stress of the competitive job world, some individuals actually find that they’re less stressed when work isn’t the only thing they’re focused on. In many cases, recession times allow people to focus more on what really matters, like family, relationships, and good health.

 

To put it simply, people tend to focus more on preventative health and wellness care during a recession, largely because they’re spending more time at home and less time at work. So try to look on the bright side during these difficult times — there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Choose a Business Venture That’ll Survive an Economic Downturn

Thanks to the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, the economy has taken a massive hit. Experts say we’re already in a recession, and it looks as though things will only get worse before they get better. There are certain types of businesses in certain fields, however, that seem to be immune to the economic downturn (pun intended).

 

The healthy vending machine business is one of them. Let’s take a look at three reasons why your vending machine business venture will survive when the economy is in a slump.

The Costs Are Low

The costs associated with a vending machine business are low across the board, both for vending operators and the customers who buy snacks from them. On your end, the cost of maintaining machines, stocking your inventory, and tracking your sales is a very cheap process, which helps you stay financially viable in these trying times. For vending customers, the costs of the items in the machines are low, making it likely that consumers will still purchase vending products — especially when they’re short on time or don’t have the resources to prepare meals at home.

Placement Works Wonders

There’s no doubt that vending machine placement is of the utmost importance, and that couldn’t be more true during an economic downturn. When machines are placed strategically in areas where customers can reach them easily, your business sustains itself. Think of the key workers — doctors, nurses, public health officials, and many more — who are working tirelessly during these tough times. They need fed, and if your machines are placed in the areas where they are, it’s a win for everyone.

PEOPLE NEED HEALTHY FOOD

Studies show that healthy eating habits actually improve during difficult economic times, rather than decline. Now more than ever, people are seeking out healthy food. Your vending machines provide that. And in this climate of no-touch or contactless ordering, there couldn’t be a more appropriate vehicle to get food than a vending machine — customers don’t have to come in contact with another person at all in order to get the product, so health-conscious buyers will appreciate that.

 

There’s no question that we’re in unfamiliar waters as the year rolls on. But partnering with a healthy vending machine service is a great way to navigate things. Learn more by contacting Naturals2Go — there’s no time to waste.