Vending Machine Franchise Full of Options and Opportunity– and All of Them Healthy!

Grabbing something from the vending machine in your office building is usually a last resort when your stomach is grumbling around 4:00 p.m. Each option is a dietician’s nightmare– full of trans fats, sugar, empty calories and processed ingredients. Unless you’re grabbing something from a Healthy U Snacks vending machine.

Before T. Hephner, the owner of the Healthy U Snacks franchise, was replacing candy bars with granola bars, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry in business development. A hectic work and travel schedule kept him away from his family, so he decided to try his hand at being an entrepreneur. It wasn’t long before he latched onto the healthy vending machine concept– and almost bought a healthy vending machine franchise from a competitor.


“Vending is a tough business and when you nickel and dime your franchisees they’re not going to make money.” Which is why, of course, Hephner decided to start his own healthy vending franchise as opposed to buying into another concept.


What separates Healthy U Snacks from it’s competitors — both other healthy vending machine concepts and the traditional kind — is the concept’s cost structure and its products.

The cost structure of a Healthy U Snacks vending franchise is different– and better– for the franchisee. Hephner is interested in making sure his franchisees’ vending machines are placed in the best high traffic areas possible.


“We’re looking for high volume locations. Daily transactions mean money,” says Hephner.


Healthy U Snacks franchisees are also able to stock their machines with over 5,000 different products– from well-known to obscure health brands– because the franchise isn’t contracted to stock only a particular purveyor’s goods. The only caveat? Everything must be all-natural. While this doesn’t always mean every item is low in calories it does mean those who buy snacks from Healthy U Snacks are eating real food.


While Healthy U Snacks’ concept is decidedly on-trend as major efforts are made to halt America’s rising obesity rates, the franchise does face opposition.


“The biggest obstacle we see are in areas that are more traditional; the concept of a healthy vending machine is scary,” explains Hephner. “Times have changed. Healthy food doesn’t taste like styrofoam.”


Surprisingly, the least amount of resistance comes from the younger generations.


“When I bring in vending machines into high schools they’re empty by the end of the day,” says Hephner.



To become involved with Healthy U Snacks as a franchisee Hephner and his team really look for those who are equally excited and passionate about healthy eating and encouraging awareness of healthy eating habits. There are also two main kinds of Healthy U Snacks franchisees: those who are supplementing current income and those who want to supply vending machines for an entire territory.


“It’s very easy to run this business as a second source of income,” explains Hephner.


There are also those who want Healthy U Snacks to become their primary source of revenue and choose to invest in 20 machines spread across an entire territory. These are the rarest franchisees that Hephner has; most use vending machines to supplement their current source of income.


For more information on Healthy U Franchising and how to become a franchisee visit



Interview with President of OsteoStrong

In severe cases, those with osteoporosis can break a bone with nothing more than a sneeze.


An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, eight million of which are women. The majority of those with porous bone disease are over age 50, but as we live and work longer the symptoms of this unfortunately prevalent disease can be extremely debilitating. Preventative measures like the consumption of vitamin D and calcium, regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises and abstaining from smoking and drinking too much can go a long way in thwarting osteoporosis later in life.


However, those preventative measures aren’t always enough. That’s where OsteoStrong comes in.


Kyle Zagrodsky, President of OsteoStrong, and his wife were considering opening yet another health and fitness club when they stumbled upon the biodensity isometric research of Dr. John Jaquish and  consequently watched their health and fitness paradigm completely shift. It’s worth mentioning that Mr. Zagrodsky possesses extensive experience in the health and fitness industry. He’s owned several health and fitness clubs, holds a black belt in seven different forms of martial art, and currently owns his own software company, iGo Figure, in addition to his presidential responsibilities at OsteoStrong.


As it turns out, “Only about 12 percent of the U.S. have health club memberships,” says Zagrodsky, “and only 20-30 percent use it.” That means only three percent of Americans are actually breaking a sweat at the gym.


“Gyms still have their place,”  Zagrodsky adds, but when it comes to making a marked difference in the lives of those who suffer from osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and osteopenia, there’s nothing quite like OsteoStrong. As a machine, OsteoStrong works on a neural level telling your brain to fire the same signals that cause you to build strength and bone density while lifting weights or engaging in cardiovascular activity. What takes an hour in the gym takes only five minutes with OsteoStrong– and you’re not breaking a sweat.


In addition to mitigating the symptoms of osteoporosis, osteopenia (bone loss less severe than that of osteoporosis) and fibromyalgia, OsteoStrong increases bone density, builds muscle strength, and improves agility, posture and balance. For some, it even completely cures chronic back pain.


For Kyle, “Making a huge difference in people’s lives, especially like the 43-year old who had such severe back pain he had pain relief injections and was suicidal,” is the best part of his job. The 43-year old OsteoStrong client that Kyle speaks of suffered from such severe chronic back pain that he had contemplated ending his own life

. At 43 years old, he had been in pain for approximately 15 years. Now pain-free, the former back pain sufferer wants to open his own OsteoStrong franchise.


Kyle remains amazed at the success of OsteoStrong and the positive effects it can have.

“It’s really freaky when you see an 80 year old read a 170 percent increase in strength in six months,”  laughs Zagrodsky. (In case you were wondering, that’s a remarkable change.)


Aside from its ability to help those of all ages, OsteoStrong brings with it the added benefit of not needing to go through a medical doctor for an appointment as well as the possibility of eliminating a patient’s need for prescription osteoporosis medications.


“In three to five years we’ll be a household name,” Kyle predicts. A big part of that notoriety will assuredly come from future OsteoStrong franchisees.


“We want people that are passionate about helping people,” says Kyle. Of course, good credit and working capital are also requirements. Oh, and those who possess a results-oriented attitude. OsteoStrong franchisees are sure to receive endless support and the encouragement to be individuals — a rarity in the franchise world.










The 10 Fastest Growing Industries In the U.S. and What That Means For Franchising

The Top 10 Fastest-Growing Industries in the United States:

1. Generic pharmaceuticals

2. Solar panel manufacturing

3. For-profit universities

4. Pilates and yoga studios

5. Self-tanning product manufacturing

6. 3-D printer manufacturing

7. Social network game development

8. Hot sauce production

9. Green and sustainable building construction

10. Online eyeglasses sales

If the above list, found on Wonkblog, is any indication, the way out of the recession is  hot sauce, green construction and whole lot of downward facing dogs. If that’s the case, then the franchise industry, which predicted a 5% growth margin for 2012, is poised for an even better end of year report.


Why Hot Sauce?

It seems as though not some, but most, like it hot. As a nation, our tastes are changing. The growing number of immigrants and morphing demographics of our melting pot country are causing a desire for spicy, ethnic foods.  For the past decade, the hot sauce manufacturing industry has grown at a rate of 9.3 percent per year.


While there aren’t any hot sauce franchises (to our knowledge) this taste for spicier food is sure to carry over in ways other than the bottle of Tobasco on your table. Mexican-inspired franchise restaurants are seeing an increase in their popularity across the country, too.

For those who like it hot, becoming a Mexican restaurant franchisee might be for you! Here are a few great options to consider.


Green, Mean Money Machines

Solar manufacturing and sustainable building construction, the two green industries on IBIS World’s list, can attribute part of their growth to various government subsidies. Though these subsidies are beginning to wind down, the growth rate for green industries is predicted to continue in 2012 with Solar Panel Manufacturing and Sustainable Green Building growing at a rate of 8.2 percent and 9.4 percent respectively.


For the environmentally conscientious interested in becoming a franchise owners there are quite a few options available:


Say Om

Pilates and yoga studios were highly resistant to the recession and have continued to grow as the U.S.’ economy strengthens. From 2002 to 2012, the industry grew an average of 12.1 percent per year. In 2012, yoga and Pilates studios are projected to experience a 5.1 percent growth rate.


A number of yoga and/or Pilates franchises are available to those interested in helping others improve their strength, flexibility and fitness levels. Though they’re not mentioned explicitly in IBIS’ report, I would imagine similar health and fitness concepts like gyms and massage franchises have experienced an uptick in their growth rates and are ripe for expansion as well.


  • IMX Pilates
  • Wundabar Pilates
  • Sunstone Yoga
  • Open Doors Yoga
  • Innergy Yoga
  • Bikram Yoga