Amsterdam will launch the nation’s first “Health Food Wall,” a concept designed to provide healthy vegetarian and vegan food options for those on-the-go.
The design includes many refrigerated chambers where various meals are stored. It operates like a vending machine, whereby customers pay with a card to retrieve the dishes they desire. The “food wall” concept is not new to the Netherlands, however, they commonly offer only junk food. In contrast, Amsterdam’s new Health Food Wall will feature nutritious, organic vegetarian and vegan food. Gluten-free options will also be available.
As well as plant-based meals, the dispensary will offer coffee, juices, smoothies, and snacks. The Health Food Wall is not just for those on-the-go; the company explained on its Instagram page that an on-site lunchroom will allow diners to work and socialize.
Vegetarian chef and dietician Anouk Snelders is behind the idea. Speaking to Amsterdam-based newspaper Het Parool, Snelders said she saw an opportunity for the project. “I was surprised that there was no concept a la Febo yet: fast, easy, affordable, but then healthy. I saw a gap in the market,” she explained, referring to FEBO, a “walk-up” fast food chain which uses the automatic food walls to serve snacks to diners.
She continued, “The wall is now being built especially for us. There will be room for six different meals: two salads and four large meals. I developed them all myself and tested them on friends and family.”
Snelders commented on the obstacle of keeping the food affordable. “Organic and fresh food is simply more expensive. But for seven to nine euros you have a complete meal with us,” she said.
As well as being modestly priced, Snelders was determined to maintain an environmentally-friendly operation. “We keep the ingredients in the meal trays as separate as possible – just in heaps, not with unnecessary plastic. And the plastic that we do use, for sauces and the like, are made of biodegradable material,” she said.
The food is served cold but Snelders noted that shoppers are free to heat the meals up at home if they prefer. But, “They were tested cold and everyone thought it was super tasty,” she assured.
The Health Food Wall will open on Kinkerstraat in August.