DALLAS — The nearly 150 Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) micro-markets are rapidly growing as an option where service members can stock up on better-for-you meals and snacks while staying close to their place of work.
Fully automated and contactless, self-service markets are positioned near Department of Defense military, airmen, guards, and civilians working odd hours or in high-traffic or isolated areas. Micro Trading Markets can be found throughout the continental United States as well as a location at US Army Garrison Bavaria in Germany.
First introduced in 2014 at the Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, Micro-markets are a fast-growing segment with 46 new locations opening in 2021. About 45 additional micro-markets are expected to open in the continental United States in 2022, according to AAFES.
Offerings vary by location, with most offering fresh salads, fruit and other sustenance options that support a “GET IN SHAPE“ way of life. Some locations also carry over-the-counter medications, personal hygiene items, and other miscellaneous items.
“Contactless purchasing options are in demand, and the Exchange is excited to provide more self-service convenience to the military communities we are honored to serve,“ said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, Senior Exchange Enlisted Advisor. “Micromarkets strengthen the Stock Exchange‘long-standing commitment togo where you go‘ to support mission readiness and resilience.“
Micromarkets offer a wider assortment of products than traditional vending machines. With micro markets, items can be displayed in the same way as a traditional convenience store, only with a self-checkout system for contactless convenience. Fort Campbell, Fort Hood, and Scott Air Force Base Micro Markets now also accept MILITARY STAR card as the Exchange continues to expand this program.
As Convenience store news reported, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service first expanded its offering of take-out meals and other products, including better-for-you options that support a “BE FIT” in US micro-markets over two years ago.
the “GET IN SHAPE” program offers products that meet the following criteria:
- Less than 500 calories and less than 480 milligrams of sodium for entrees
- Two hundred calories or less and less than 230 milligrams of sodium for snacks
- Forty percent or less calories from fat for appetizers and snacks
- Less than 10% of calories from saturated fat for entrees and snacks
The Dallas-based AAFES operates 3,500 facilities consisting of department stores, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, theaters and specialty stores on military installations in all 50 states, five U.S. territories and 33 countries.
Since 1895, AAFES has helped Soldiers, Airmen, Wardens and their families improve the quality of their lives by providing valuable goods and services at exclusive military prices. The Exchange is the 54th largest retailer in the United States
One hundred percent of Exchange revenue supports military communities. Over the past 10 years, the Fellowship has generated $3.4 billion in revenue for military programs critical to quality of life. The Exchange is an unrestricted funds entity of the Department of Defense and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partner, planning and organizing events and activities that recognize the service, bravery and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the Commemoration of the Vietnam War in the United States of America.