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.
- Healthy vending machines dispense with junk food (Miami Herald)
- Healthy snacks coming to Chicago park district vending machines (Chicago Tribune)