Healthy Foods at the Push of a Button

PXL 20221208 162949159 scaled e1677121496199 Healthy Foods at the Push of a Button

Healthy Foods at the Push of a Button

Montreal company Portions provides healthy and sustainable food options in vending machines across the city.

PXL 20221208 162949159 scaled Healthy Foods at the Push of a Button
Portions is a food company providing healthy and sustainable options through a vending machine. Image: Jamie D’Souza

We live in a time where we are so busy that we often find it challenging to sit down for a healthy meal. The quick bites around us are usually fried food, and the vending machines tend to be filled with chocolate and chips. A Montreal company, Portions, has come up with a solution to provide healthy food at the touch of a button.

Portions provides 100% Montreal-based foods from healthy salads, sandwiches, bowls, breakfast, snacks, proteins and beverages. The menu offers vegan options, including their vegan and gluten-free salads, which contain Nappa and red cabbage, snow peas, tempeh, carrots, bell peppers, and roasted almonds and includes a tamari-honey dressing. They also offer vegan snacks, including trail mix bark and energy bites.

The ingredients used are dependent on local suppliers within the area. In 2021, Portions partnered with La Boîte Maraîchère, a Quebecois business specialising in hydroponic farming. The company produces fresh lettuce in controlled environments that contain no GMOs or pesticides. All of Portions’ romaine and curly lettuce come from La Boîte Maraîchère.

This company is unique because its food is offered directly through a vending machine which can be placed in any school, office or commercial building. Portion’s “Le Frigo” kiosks offer hand-crafted chef-inspired meals with fresh ingredients. The kiosks are equipped with a cloud-based management system allowing live monitoring. This allows the kiosks to be restocked in a timely and efficient manner. Their meals and snacks typically stay in their Kiosks from 24 to 48 hours, depending on the shelf life of the specific menu item and its ingredients. Any food that hasn’t been purchased is donated to local food banks.

All of Portions’ packaging is recyclable and can be reused. The food items are packaged in jars, and the utensils are BPA-free and recyclable. All the kiosks will charge customers a depository for used jars. There is also a recycling bin near each kiosk for customers to return the used jars. Portions’ drivers will collect the jars and return them to the facility, where they are washed, dried, and repackaged with fresh food.

Compared to many healthy food options, which can be pricey, Portions help people eat healthily and save money by offering food choices between $3 and $10. Businesses interested in obtaining a Portions kiosk can order one with a custom menu. The company currently has 14 kiosks across the city, including one at the Botanical Gardens. The company hopes to expand their efforts to different cities in Quebec and even to other provinces in Canada.

Providing these food options in a vending machine is an innovative and unique way to support a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for the people of Montreal.

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