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Hooray For Healthy Vending Machines

Down with candy bars, long live the carrot sticks! Healthy vending is being introduced as an alternative to the usual fat, sugar and salt-laden junk foods.

vending machines in the dark

Photo: tinisanto (Flickr)

New healthier options might be coming to a vending machine near you.

You’ve seen baby carrots offered in vending machines. What about an entirely healthy vending machine?

Just Say No To Junk Food

Companies like Fresh Healthy Vending, h.u.m.a.n. Healthy Vending and Vend Natural are serving up single-portion snack options for the health-conscious consumer.

Baby carrots are now joined by cheese, yogurt and fruit. Soda is replaced with soy milk.

Demand is rising according to vending machine operators — Fresh Healthy Vending reported selling 80 franchises this year alone.

Walking the line between nudging consumers into a healthier habit and confronting them with it is tough. Spokesperson for the National Automatic Merchandising Association Jackie Clark says aggressive marketing can cause a backlash. “Then people just bring their favorites from home, or buy them from a store,” she says.

Health advocates are still skeptical of how actually “healthy” the products the vending machines are selling, but admit it’s “a step in the right direction.”

Healthy vending machines do better in certain areas, like gyms versus construction sites.

Chicago City Parks Get Healthy Snacks

Chicago has decided to introduce only healthy vending in its city parks.

Humboldt Park was the first to unveil the new vending options Tuesday. So far 20 vending machines have been installed; that number is expected to nearly triple by the end of the year.

Read More:

  • Healthy vending machines dispense with junk food (Miami Herald)
  • Healthy snacks coming to Chicago park district vending machines (Chicago Tribune)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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  • fresh healthy vending scam

    Fresh Healthry Vending Workplace Wellness Programs.The epidemic of obesity among children and adults is placing the need for more accessible healthy choices. Linking this surge in weight gain to vending machines has prompted a market for health vending choices.
    fresh healthy vending scam

  • Ridley Fitzgerald

    I think it’s great that vending machines are starting to offer healthy options. You are right, some people will just go to the store and buy their favorite snack. However, I think a lot of people are grateful to have a healthy, easy to access, snack!

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