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Recently AFS was recognized by the Boston Business Journal for its commitment to Healthier Vending.1

Healthy returns

Vending services firm cashes in on demand for nutritious snacks
Boston Business Journal - January 20, 2006
by Sean McFadden , Journal Staff

It may appear an unusual aspiration in an industry dominated by potato chips and candy bars, but it's a key component of the growth strategy that Anzalone's East Boston-based vending services firm, Automated Food Service Inc., has been pushing for the past five years. In addition to the more traditional fare that has been a staple of his business since its inception in 1990, Anzalone has been stocking more items that fall into the "healthier alternative" category, such as protein bars and sports drinks.

While some of his colleagues called him crazy for shaking up a widely held business model, Anzalone says it's enabled him to create a profitable niche, with 12 percent of his 200 accounts in Massachusetts -- organizations as small as 80 people and as large as 1,200 -- now opting for healthier selections.

The success of this formula is reflected in the 11-person firm's bottom line: About 23 percent of its gross revenue, which was $1.5 million last year, is derived from healthier (i.e., low fat or no fat) items. That's up about 400 percent from two years ago, says Anzalone.

For him, the product expansion, which he has dubbed "Mission Nutrition," has let Anzalone marry a long-held personal interest in fitness and nutrition with his business. It also gives Automated a critical point of differentiation in an industry where smaller vending firms struggle to compete against supermarkets and convenience stores wielding more buying power with manufacturers.

"Competition is fierce right now," says Anzalone. "There's a lot of mom-and-pop companies out there. Some are doing it out of their cars. It's a part-time thing for them. There's little barrier to entry into the business. You need enough money to buy a machine, and you're in business."

Automated Food Service Inc. is a full service Vending & Coffee Company that services upwards of 200 accounts, of all sizes, in the Greater Boston/Eastern MA area. AFS was established in 1990 and today the company has grown to include a large fleet of vehicles and a full time staff of customer service personnel and technicians, offering service 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Founder and President Patrick Anzalone is committed to providing AFS’s customers with unparalleled customer service, state-of-the art equipment and the largest selection of products available in the industry. Unlike many other vending companies AFS owns all it’s own equipment, which in turns allows AFS to customize each machine to each customers specific needs and tastes.

Automated Food Service also sets itself apart from other vending companies in that, along with the entire standard vending fare, AFS also offers an expanded selection of “healthier solutions”, products specifically geared to the more health conscious. These healthier products feature low fat, no fat, low carb, no carb and other more nutritious foods, snacks, power/energy bars and beverages.

AFS continually shops the marketplace, outside its normal channels of procurement, in order to offer its clients access to the largest and healthiest offering of products available in the industry. Customer service is AFS’s #1 priority. And the success of AFS lies in the fact that President Patrick Anzalone has personal dealings with each and every customer insuring that if something goes wrong or an order needs to be placed he’s just a phone call away.

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Automated Food Services offers customized vending Machines in Boston , Burlington, Cambridge, Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Framingham, Natick, Waltham, in MA.        Call us today at +1 617-567-1400.
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