Vending machines are centuries-old and continue to evolve to best serve consumers. One trend that is changing the vending machines industry is convenient health food. People who wish to eat healthier (and there are several) are now finding the healthy options they want from vending machines across the country. Here are some facts about healthy vending machines.
Schools have USDA regulations on vending machines and regulate the fat, salt, sugar, and caloric content.
Healthy vending refers to the policies that increase the number of healthy choices in vending locations. For beverages, this means increasing offerings of water, sparkling water, sugar-free or diet soft drinks, unsweetened coffee and teas, milk, dairy-free milk, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices. For food items, that’s offering snacks with less than 200 calories, low-sodium, and lowered saturated fat and sugars.
And it’s not just schools.
States and municipalities are more involved than ever in mandating what’s offered in vending machines. The Maryland Healthy Vending Act, for example, requires 75 percent of products must meet minimum standards for health.
Time is a Crunch
40 percent of millennials can’t bother with cereal for breakfast because of the clean-up required post consumption. People continue to rely on convenience over anything else when it comes to food and beverage, and the makers of those food and beverage items have taken note. Breakfast bars or on-the-go yogurt or smoothie drinks are trending upward because they are considered open, eat, trash-type items. If millennials can’t be bothered with a bowl and spoon, vending machine healthy breakfast items will be handy.
On-The-Go, Go, Go
People are busy, and they like to be busy. Two-thirds of today’s households are supported by two working parents which can mean less time to prepare food or to sit down at restaurants. More than half of Americans skip breakfast at least once a week. When hunger strikes, where are they? At school or work or in some other place like a mall, a healthcare facility, airport ... anywhere else. And those places all have vending machines.
People are Embracing Health
Long gone are the days of don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to what people are eating, what’s in their food, or where it comes from. There’s a trend nationwide of increased awareness of eating and drinking healthy and demand for accountability from the makers and suppliers of food. Food Technology magazine surveyed Americans and nine out of 10 adults said information about fruit and vegetable content was important when determining food’s “health” – the same survey also listed preservative-free, no artificial sweeteners, no antibiotics, and natural “clean and real” as appealing label characteristics.
Too Much of a Good Thing
A recent study revealed that people said they eat healthily but portion sizes might be an issue affecting overall health. A good way to manage portion sizes is through the healthy options, snacks, and meal items vending machines offer. And we can help.