Vending machines conveniently deliver food and drinks through low-cost methods. But as they turn into a more common source of food and beverages, vending machine companies are convinced that they will play a significant role in the world’s diet in the future.
With such a positive forecast, business owners could take advantage of on-site vending to improve employee productivity and promote healthier lifestyles.
Addressing the Obesity Epidemic
Despite the popularity of convenient snack machines, current trends have left the vending machine industry at a crossroads. Once considered a high-income country problem, a study from The Lancet confirms that obesity has now become a major concern in developing countries, too. Data from the World Health Organization support the claim, as it records an increase in global obesity rates from 2010 to 2014.
The rise in obesity rates has spurred a closer examination of where people get their food and drinks. More states and municipalities are, in fact, establishing policies that regulate vending machine products for sale under their jurisdiction. The City Council of Glendale, California, for instance, recently voted unanimously to swap in chips and soda for healthier offerings like fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Healthy Vending Machines and Proper Nutritional Education
Changing vending machine offerings may seem like a small step forward in stemming the tide of the obesity epidemic. As storage technology continues to improve, however, businesses are moving towards adopting vending machines that carry healthier food.
Other food sources, such as restaurants and grocery stores, have shown that providing health and nutritional education can help individuals choose healthier food options. In 2015, New York passed a salt warning law that requires restaurant chains to place high-sodium label warnings on items on their menu. That way, the public can become more conscious of the amounts of salt in the food they consume.
As the role of on-site vending in the workplace continues to grow, current trends suggest that healthy vending machines are the future of snack food. In turn, it presents the industry with the challenge of creating new business opportunities to uphold health and wellness values.