Exchange introduces new micro markets to expand base food options

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  • By Army & Air Force Exchange Service

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Airmen without easy access to the Exchange or Expresses can still fuel up with healthier meals and snacks at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s two new micro markets.

Micro markets are fully automated 24-hour self-serve stores located near Airmen and Department of Defense civilians working unusual hours or in high-traffic and out-of-the-way areas. 

New to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the installation welcomed two micro markets during grand opening events March 15 at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Building 642 and Air Force Research Laboratory’s Building. 653. An additional micro market is planned later this year for Building 16.

“We are very excited about having 24-hour food options for the students, faculty and staff – given the long hours required for our education programs,” said Col. Sarah Isbill, Air University Detachment 1 commander and AFIT director of staff. “We’re also thrilled to have a good selection of fresh items and healthy options.”

First introduced in 2014, micro markets are a fast-growing segment with about 80 new locations opened last year. About 80 more locations are planned throughout the continental United States in 2023.

“The Wright-Patterson Exchange is all in to offer more convenience for the military community,” said Adam Shaw, Wright-Patterson Exchange general manager. “Micro markets are another example of the Exchange’s longstanding commitment to provide for military members wherever they are called to serve.”

Micro markets offer a wider product assortment compared with traditional vending machines. Offerings vary by location, with most featuring fresh salads, fruit and other better-for-you items.

The healthy food offerings are part of the Exchange’s BE FIT 360 program that focuses on holistic wellness and a healthy lifestyle. Select micro market locations also offer over-the-counter medicines, personal hygiene items and other sundries.