This summer, travellers moving through YVR have more options for a fresh and delicious meal thanks to the installation of UpMeals‘ SmartVending machines.
The seed-funded Vancouver startup recently deployed five of its machines throughout the airport, offering individually-packaged and ready-to-eat salads, bowls, juices, healthy snacks, wraps and more.
UpMeals’ SmartVending machines are part of YVR’s journey to transform its food and beverage program, offering more fresh, local and authentic options to better reflect British Columbia’s incredible culinary scene.
The UpMeals concept is the brainchild of Drew Munro, a professional caterer, and Ryan Angel, a Red Seal Chef and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
“Passengers from all over the world are entering Vancouver, sometimes at hours when most fresh food options are closed. We’re very happy to be able to solve this problem using our SmartVending machines while showcasing local and seasonal ingredients, as well as recipes curated by some of our most renowned chefs from our chef-collaboration series,” said Munro, CEO and co-founder of UpMeals.
“We also know the food options we’re providing make for an easy, ready-to-eat meal and that they’re going to be a healthy, nutrient-dense option for folks hopping on a plane.”
All five of the machines are located after security at YVR: three are located in domestic departures, one in U.S. departures and one in international departures. Each machine is stocked with up to 30 different options for fresh meals, healthy snacks and beverages, such as cold-pressed juices.
The machines also include a meal exclusive to the airport – the YVR Signature Bowl features iconic Vancouver flavours and ingredients, like B.C. smoked salmon, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, nori and pickled ginger on a bed of steamed sushi rice with UpMeals’ miso tamari dressing.
The meals in each machine are replenished daily and customers will experience new menu items weekly based on popularity and ingredient seasonality. Each meal is dispensed in a sustainable, self-contained unit, and can be composted or recycled after use. The meals are made in a HACCP compliant food production facility, the global standard for food production safety and sanitation.