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Consumer demand for healthy food options has skyrocketed in recent years; COVID-19 put health on many people’s minds and changed consumers’ standards as well as their priorities.
A recent study showed that 54% of all consumers care more about the healthfulness of their food in 2020 than they did in 2010. Healthfulness is now the biggest determining factor in purchasing food, even more than taste and price.
However, healthy food is not always accessible, especially for frontline workers or individuals who work overnight shifts. While McDonald’s and other fast-food chains of the world operate on a late-night or 24-hour model, you would be hard-pressed to find a health food store that is open late and can serve populations of workers like nurses, truck drivers , and more.
For these late-night workers, their only real option is often unhealthy fast-food, and even fast food has become less of an option in the post-pandemic world. COVID-19 and labor shortages have consumed fewer retailers with 24/7 service. Because of this, more and more previously 24/7 establishments like McDonald’s are closing early and leaving overnight shift workers without any options.
Blendid, a robotic and AI-enabled food automation solution company, is creating clever solutions to this problem. The company has seen first hand the success of a fully autonomous robotic kiosk for smoothies. Their kiosks operate in universities, travel centers, retail stores and hospitals across the country. The kiosks can operate 24/7, which gives consumers access to healthy and affordable food around the clock while the company is able to maintain low operational costs.
Blendid’s 24/7 kiosks provide healthy alternatives for workers when they need them the most. The company has kiosks at two Love’s Travel Stops in California and a location at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, among others. A truck driver who frequents one of the Love’s Travel Stops shared, “That juice-making robot is awesome. I loved watching it. Truck drivers need raw nutrition.”
The company’s robotic model enables fresh food to be offered where it hasn’t previously been and during all hours of the day, not just traditional daytime working hours. Not to mention, all Blendid locations offer the capability of ordering ahead and customizing ingredients to fit customers’ needs and nutritional wants.
The company has seen a 267% revenue increase year-over-year which is an element of pride given the consumer demand for healthy and sustainable food. Not only is the kiosk model contactless, but also being open 24/7 increases the accessibility of healthy food. For college students or late-night workers, who typically have limited access to healthier foods, Blendid is giving people options they didn’t previously have.
If projections are to be believed, the food robotics industry is only going to continue to grow. The global market for food robotics is estimated at $2.1 billion in 2022, and the market is projected to reach $4B by 2026. Companies like Blendid will be instrumental in the industry by providing unique experiences and options for consumers on the go. Technology is helping to bring healthy and affordable food where people need it the most.
Blendid is currently hosting a raise to further expand its ingenious concept. The company is currently working on expanding to 10 additional geographies in the near future and has 500+ kiosks in contract. Previously, it raised more than $26 million which translated into significant revenue growth. Blendid could be well-positioned as an industry leader and seems eager to meet the consumer demand for healthy food on-the-go 24/7.
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Featured Photo by Seb Creativo on Unsplash
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