Once upon a time healthy vending machine choices were a losing proposition. The selection was poor, the food was hard on the taste buds and most items expired before selling. Consumers professed they wanted more healthy choices but they rarely purchased such items.
Many vending machine operators are still smarting from these events. And while it is true that years ago, healthy vending machines were only a fad, today the number of people committed to a healthy lifestyle is skyrocketing. As a result, healthy choices in vending machines are becoming more and more popular. This is in part due to the fact that obesity and related conditions such as diabetes are on the rise.
It is easy to see why vending machine operators are still spooked by the notion of stocking healthy vending snacks but if they don’t, they are missing out on a huge opportunity. In order to conquer their fear of healthy vending options, it may help to dispel some of the common myths associated with healthy vending machines.
Myth #1: There aren’t enough healthy options. In the past, it was difficult to stock vending machines with healthy items because, frankly, there weren’t many. A granola bar was about all you could find and it wasn’t a very tasty one. Today, there is a huge variety of healthy snacks to choose from. Remember, healthy food options are exploding in supermarket aisles so it makes sense that vending machines would be able to offer the same tasty options.
Myth #2: No one recognizes healthy food brands. Everyone knows the names of all of the big name snack and soft drink companies. In the past, however, the companies who made healthy snacks and drinks were unrecognizable. That is no longer true. In fact, many healthy snacks are manufactured by the big name snack and drink companies. Further, people recognize items in the vending machines because they have seen them in their local grocery stores.
Myth #3: Healthy snacks don’t sell. That may have been the case years ago but it is no longer true. Health-focused supermarkets, restaurants and even food-trucks are seeing a rise in sales and market share. Further, even convenience stores and gas stations that are traditionally known for only selling salty snacks, sugary sodas and cigarettes are stocking more healthy foods because they see it as a money-making proposition.
Myth #4: Healthy food choices don’t taste good. While in the past, food manufacturers didn’t pour a lot of resources into developing healthy snacks that tasted good, all that has changed. As more consumers are clamoring for healthy snacks, more resources are going into improving the taste of the snacks being stocked in snack vending machines.
Stocking healthy choices in vending machines can be a scary proposition. However, the trend is growing and today’s savvy marketers know there is money to be made by expanding their offerings to include the healthy choices that consumers crave.