Tuesday, April 26, 2022
By the end of April 2022, the 27 JIMS clubs in Belgium and Luxembourg will be equipped with the healthiest vending machines on the market. The assortment will not consist of the typical sugary drinks and sweets, but of carefully selected healthy products that represent a balanced diet and where all necessary nutrients and food supplements have their place. JIMS coaches were trained to advise members according to their needs. With this offer, JIMS aims to help members adopt a healthy lifestyle by combining exercise and nutrition. The introduction of these smart vending machines is also the first visible achievement of synergy between the Colruyt Group brands since the acquisition of JIMS. Foodservice specialist Solucious will take care of the logistics side, while Colruyt Group's innovation hub Smart Technics has adapted the smart fridge technology of the machines to offer a unique shopping experience.
The healthiest vending machine on the market
The range consists of a balanced selection of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats), food supplements, vitamins, hydration and sports nutrition in the broadest sense of the word. It will include around 45 references from national brands such as Hipro, Evian, Alpro, Nature Valley, XXL Nutrition and Thrive.
"We actually identified three different issues," explains Pieterjan Nuitten, Business Unit Manager of JIMS. "On the one hand, typical vending machines in stations, schools and even in hospitals usually only offer sugary snacks and drinks, which means that you can't make many healthy choices as a consumer while on the road. Secondly, because of the Covid crisis, there is more focus on preventive healthcare and the importance of a balanced diet and sufficient physical activity. Finally, of course, we started from the demand of our members: a holistic approach combining sport and nutrition and a growing need for tailor-made advice and solutions."
The coaches at the JIMS fitness centres were trained to give useful recommendations to members. An explanation about each product is also available next to the vending machines. "But we want to go further. We want to have a wider reach to promote healthy eating and emphasise the link with exercise, for example, by organising webinars on nutrition, or by working with our partners to hold nutrition events in our clubs. Who knows, maybe we can even help the unhealthy vending machines in stations, schools and hospitals, among others, to become healthier," says Pieterjan Nuitten.
For JIMS, this is the first visible realisation of a synergy since its acquisition by Colruyt Group. Smart Technics, the innovation hub of the retail group, took on the task of offering the right smart refrigerator technology: in contrast to traditional vending machines, members can discover the product closer before completing the transaction. A feat of top innovation.
Specifically, the JIMS member pre-authorises with his bank card, can then open the fridge and serve himself. The technology recognises what is taken from or put back on the shelf and debits the correct final purchase amount from the member's account. This technology, which has already been tested in the OKay Direct shop in Ghent since last autumn, provides a unique shopping experience and also facilitates the logistics and the supply of the refrigerators. This in turn is the responsibility of Solucious, Colruyt Group's food service specialist.
Health, a priority
This launch fits in with Colruyt Group's ambition to meet the needs of consumers in the different phases of their lives and with the Group's continuous investment in health. Colruyt Group wants to take responsibility for the ever increasing role of retail in prevention and healthy living. Initiatives such as SmartWithFood, the Colruyt Group Academy workshops and the acquisitions of Newpharma and JIMS are part of this commitment. The ultimate goal is to develop an ecosystem that step by step promotes a holistic approach to health.
Annex: presentation offer JIMS fridges (in Dutch and French)