Tapping into unmet workplace consumption needs, a US company has produced low-carb vending machines, which will only stock foods suitable for the Atkins and South Beach diets. These increasingly popular regimes are more difficult for consumers to follow at work than at home – a convenient and simple solution like this offers real value.

Consumers want to be healthy, but evidence over the years suggests that few people are prepared to disrupt their lives to achieve it. Unlike the manufacturers of exercise equipment (who make the same profit from a sale regardless of whether consumers use their new purchase or not), healthy food manufacturers have to ensure that it is easy for their target market to find, buy and consume their products on a regular basis.

This need for health and convenience has prompted one US company to introduce low-carb vending machines to workplaces and hotels around the country. Targeted at the growing numbers of Atkins and South Beach diet followers, as well as those who believe that low-carb is a healthy choice but are not on a specific diet, the vending machines offer an easy way for consumers to stick to their diet regime when out of the home.

Workplace food consumption can cause difficulties for dieters. Canteens do not necessarily provide suitable meals and local shops probably do not either. There are a wide range of needs that determine what kind of foods consumers can eat at work, including availability, quality, speed, mess, convenience and health. For dieters, most of these needs are difficult to satisfy. By providing the right food in the right location, Pure Foods is tapping in to a significant unmet need.

Manufacturers and retailers can address the same unmet need by developing convenient products that are suitable for the growing number of regime dieters. Certified lunch-kits designed for desktop dining would take much of the effort out of following a diet during working hours. Retailers offering a pre-boxed Atkins diet lunch would be providing a valuable product to a growing number of consumers.

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