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New Year, New You: Healthier Snacks in Office and School Vending Machines

It’s the beginning of the New Year and that means that everyone, or practically everyone, has resolved to be healthier and/or lose weight during 2013. As a result, there are a number of industries that are impacted by this sudden wave of health-conscious consumers, and that includes the vending machine companies as well.

According to a January blog post on Baltimoresun.com, working toward that goal by eating more healthily has gotten much easier as of lately due to an increase in healthy snacks offered by office and school vending machines. Last December an executive order was signed banning the sale of high-sugar drinks in Howard County buildings and at county-sponsored events. 

“Healthy vending is hot,” says L.A. Brickner, owner of the Baltimore franchise of Fresh Healthy Vending, a California company that stocks its climate-controlled vending machines with whole food snacks, including yogurt, juice and organic apple chips.

While many across the nation are hesitant in having the government dictate to them that they must eat more healthfully, there also seems to be a shift in more healthy vending options that many residents seem to appreciate. According to Baltimore principal, Kristina Kyles, students actually helped bring the healthy school vending machines to the halls of their local high school.

Kyles says that despite some initial complaints about the vending options, her students have come around. “I knew my kids would be frustrated at the beginning,” she says. “But now the machines are slammed and have to be refilled on a weekly basis. When the team comes to replenish the machines, the kids interact with them. They’re really engaged.”

Apparently some of the most popular healthy snacks at Kyles’ school include apple crisps, granola packs and Pirates Booty.

The owner of Fresh Healthy Vending says that while healthy snacks are more expensive than traditional vending machine snacks and beverages in a traditional pop machine, they are only slightly more expensive and worth it to consumers. Brickner relays that her #1 best seller is bottled water that costs $1 per bottle.

And while healthy snacks may be more expensive than traditional sugar-laden snacks, some believe that offering healthy snacks in vending machines is not only smart health move in office and school settings, but also a good economic move. Allegeant, an “accountable care solutions” company is helping organizations across the nation manage health care costs by encouraging employees to adopt healthier habits, including adopting healthier vending machine habits.

Allegeant is working with clients to bring in healthier vending options and overhaul cafeteria menus as well.

Creative Commons License Diego Torres Silvestre via Compfight

Sarah Wozniak

Staff Writer, Page1 Online Marketing

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