A LOCAL businessman is crying foul over Sheffield International Venues’ decision to axe his healthy eating vending machines from sports centres – and award the contract to a big multinational firm instead.
Samuel Jefferys-Allen, aged 30, from Gleadless, a former diver for the Army who used to train at Ponds Forge, had his machines installed at Ponds Forge, the English Institute of Sport and Hillsborough Leisure Centre, three years ago, after coming up with the idea himself.
He said sales from his machines – which stock healthier options such as cereals and flapjacks, have risen by 25 per cent year-on-year.
But Samuel, who runs his company Wellgood Healthier Vending from his home, has now received an email giving him one month’s notice to remove the machines after losing out on the new contract.
Sheffield International Venues, which runs the sports centres on Sheffield Council’s behalf, has instead agreed a deal with international firm MyProtein to provide vending machines stocking sports supplements and protein shakes.
Samuel, who was a physical training instructor in the Army and also now works as a personal trainer, said: “The new machines which are being installed are stocking items which are all right for building muscle mass but not suitable for most users of the three centres.
“I know about sports nutrition from my role in the Army, and I was providing items which, I believed, filled a gap in the market.
“My machines stocked items with healthy ingredients including smaller sizes for children and food for people with allergies. Why is SIV not supporting a local business providing good, healthy food?”
SIV said it had decided to change the type of vending machines ‘following feedback’, after users said they wanted more protein shakes and sports supplements, which Samuel did not offer.