Could healthy vending be the next big thing in the industry? Is a healthy snacking revolution on the horizon? Over a third of Americans are obese and another third are classified as overweight. This excess weight costs us nearly an extra $200 billion per year in medical bills and this amount will continue to grow unless we change the way we eat. Snacking is where many people, even if they try to eat healthy meals, really go for the junk food, and vending machines are one of the main culprits in shaping the way we eat snacks. But, all this is beginning to change.
Healthy vending is a way to make nutritious food as convenient as junk food. People at work, at the gym, in a customer service lobby, or just on the go, look to vending machines for that quick bite to eat between meals. If all they find are potato chips, sodas, crackers, and candy, then they either go hungry or consume something they really don’t want to eat. However, if there is a bright, new, modern-looking piece of vending equipment waiting to dispense healthy alternatives to traditional snacks, then those individuals looking for more nutritious food, will have a viable option.
What are Healthy Vending Snacks?
There are a variety of items to select from when seeking healthier options for vending equipment. One of the best ways for entrepreneurs to find out more about healthy snacks is to visit the Natural Products Expo. The Natural Products Expo East is held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Natural Products West is held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. At these Expos, savvy business people can learn how to boost profits while also selling more nutritious and healthy snacks.
One of the healthy options to consider would be to substitute juices, low-calorie drinks, or natural drinks for sodas. Water and flavored water are also great options, as are natural sodas sweetened with stevia, an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener. Nutrition bars and protein bars serve as good substitutes for chips, candy, and crackers. Natural, baked chips with zero trans fat can replace those tasty, yet very heart-unhealthy and diet-busting potato chips. Other products that can be used are carrots and dip, carrots and hummus, yogurt, string cheese, nuts, smoothies in a bottle, and apple slices.
According to a Fitness magazine article, their top pick for healthy snacks are sunflower kernels, with baked chips, whole-grain chips, and pretzels the next best choices. The worst snacks were an apple fruit pie, followed by crackers with cheddar cheese, strawberry pop tarts, and Doritos. Switching these worst four for the best four will instantly make your machine a center of healthy snacking. The worst junk food offenders are loaded with sugar, fat, and calories. Reading the labels and replacing those with high numbers in these categories with snacks that have considerably lower unhealthy numbers is a great way to join the healthy vending revolution.