Healthy snack options for vending machines are on the rise. In addition to natural foods companies increasing their product choices, more traditional companies like Frito-Lay and others are adding healthy snacks to their menu of choices for vending. Categories like Fruits, Seeds, Nuts and Jerky have always offered healthy snack choices. Within the last several years there has also been an increase in the healthy vending machine snack categories of Cookies, Crackers, Nutritional Bars and Cereal & Granola Bars. Most recently, there has even been an increase of healthy snack choices in the Chips & Pretzels and Candy Bars & Gum healthy snack categories. As vending consumers continue to choose healthy snacks over traditional, unhealthy snack products, manufacturers will continue to introduce new healthy snacks for the vending industry.
Healthy drinks have always led the way in healthy vending machine products. After all, what’s healthier than water? Water and Non-Carbonated Juice are the longest running healthy drink categories, and their choices continue to increase. In addition to traditional non-carbonated juices such as orange, pineapple, mango and coconut, more exotic fruits such as quince, goji berry and guanabana are appearing on the healthy vending drink market. These exotic fruit flavors are appearing in juices as well as in flavored waters – a continually growing category in healthy drinks. Zevia leads the carbonated soda category as far as popularity, but Blue Sky has a wider variety of flavors. The Non-Dairy Smoothies and Tea & Coffee categories have also seen substantial growth in the healthy drinks class. Healthy energy drinks currently make up the smallest section of the healthy vending drink category.
The number of healthy Entrée & Side Dishes is rapidly growing. Product manufacturers have realized that people eating healthy do not always have time to cook a healthy meal from scratch. They have also discovered that people at work who like to have a healthy snack may also want a convenient healthy entrée or side dish. The KW healthy Vending System is virtually the only vending machine that can vend healthy entrées & side dishes. Chinese dishes make up a large part of the growth in this area but Thai, Indian and other ethnic foods are being introduced as well. Additionally, several companies have introduced lines of healthy soups. Vending healthy entrées & side dishes adds a whole new dimension to healthy vending.