While vending machines have traditionally had a bad reputation for stocking unhealthy snacks, sodas, and candies the wellness world is busy revamping them. Last week, this one was installed at Brandeis University with healthcare products like condoms and Plan B. And at the beginning of May, meal prep company 6AM Health is installing one at South Station with a ton of healthy food.
The Waltham-based meal delivery service has been delivering healthy fare to the Boston area since 2017. Their process works much like any other meal prep service. You choose from a menu of pre-made meals and snacks like fresh salads, overnight oats, grain bowls, and juices. Then, they’ll have them delivered to your door-step before you even rise in the morning. Hence the name, 6AM Health.
Owner and founder, Brad Callow tells me the initial idea for the company was that if they can change people’s environment, by providing easy access to affordable and healthy food, they can help them make better nutrition choices. But they quickly realized just how much running around the city they were doing. And they saw a need for something just a little more convenient. Enter: the healthy food vending machine.
On May 6, whether you’re traveling out of town or commuting through South Station, you’ll be able to easily purchase meals or snacks from 6AM Health in a vending machine. They’re calling it a Fresh Fridge and each item is packaged in mason jars, making it easy to eat on the go. And they’re not just stopping with one fridge. Callow says they hope to have 30 all around the Boston area by the end of June. Right now, there is currently one at Dartmouth in New Hampshire. And later this week a few more will be installed at places like the North Shore Mall.
Inside the vending machine you’ll find everything you see on their online menu. Callow explains that since things like salads have a shorter shelf life, there is some more maintenance involved in re-stocking and keeping the food fresh. They do plan to re-stock it every day. “Grab-and-go food doesn’t need to be fast food or something that’s crappy for you,” he says. “Food is super impulsive. If we place these Fresh Fridges in convenient locations we can change the way people eat on the go.”
Eventually, the whole operation will be even more convenient with a mobile app, currently in the works. Through the app, customers will not only be able to find the nearest Fresh Fridge to them but they will also be able to search and reserve certain menu items at a specific location. So, if you’re really craving a buffalo chicken bowl you can be sure that when you get to the fridge there’s one waiting for you.
And the best part? Bowls and salads will cost you around $7-$8 and a 10 ounce juice will only put you back $5. Compare that to a $10+ Sweet Green salad and a $6.50 small juice from Jugos. You can also request to have a Fresh Fridge at your office, park, or building if you want.
This new concept checks all the boxes on convenience, accessibility, and affordability. And we’re totally here for it—just as long as the juices remain cold and the salads stay crunchy.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/2019/04/24/6am-health-south-station/
Copyright ©2019 Boston Magazine unless otherwise noted.