Business

What Sells Best in Vending Machines?

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Vending machines are one of the most convenient ways for employees and customers to grab a quick snack on-the-go. While convenience is often at the core of purchasing decisions for consumers, there’s also a growing demand for healthier options. It’s up to vending machine owners to choose popular items that will both satisfy hunger and turn a profit—it’s a business, after all. Take a look at some of the healthier, bestsellers found in vending machines across the nation.

Chips and Chip Alternatives

Just because you’re craving something crunchy doesn’t mean you have to reach for the Doritos. Whole grain tortilla chips, Sun Chips and even apple, banana, coconut and kale offer a whole world of delicious chip alternatives. Many of the snack alternatives found in healthy vending machines are made from whole fruits, vegetables or nuts, baked to perfection with just a hint of heart-healthy oils and a sprinkling of salt for flavor. Compare this to preservative- and chemical-laden junk food and it’s a best-selling no-brainer.

Nuts

Good for your heart and for your taste buds, nuts are a delicious and filling healthy snack option when eaten in moderation. Almonds, walnuts and pistachios, to name just a few, contain fiber and vitamin E, which help lower bad cholesterol. Best of all, the single-serve packages offered in healthy vending machines are a great way to practice portion control so consumers don’t overindulge—just one more reason nuts are a top, healthy vending machine snack.

Granola and Energy Bars

Sure, a Snickers bar is a best seller. But CLIF bars and granola bars are equally popular with consumers—and a far more nutritious option. According to an IRI Snacking Survey, 60 percent of consumers want their snacks to give them an energy boost. The key to what sells best in vending machines is selecting granola and energy bars that are lower in sugar, fat and calories, and avoiding bars that contain additives and preservatives. In other words, less is more when it comes to top sellers like Lärabar or KIND Bars, which typically contain only fruit, nuts, chocolate and sea salt.

Fruit

Fruit in a vending machine? You bet. Dried and dehydrated fruits are a convenient and portable option to fresh fruit and they’re easy to find in healthy vending machines. Packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and delicious flavor, these whole food treats are sure to satisfy a craving for something sweet. From dried apricots to squeezable applesauce and exotic options like dehydrated Goji berries, fruit is a best-selling and healthy vending machine snack that customers love.

Dark Chocolate

Sometimes there’s a craving only chocolate can satisfy. You’re in luck—dark chocolate is not only delicious, it also has numerous health benefits. Daily consumption of a small amount of dark chocolate containing 60–70% cocoa may have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and reducing inflammation. So next time a craving for something sweet hits, antioxidant-rich, dark chocolate over sugar-laden candy is a healthier, top-selling alternative.

Jerky

Once considered a high-sodium snack for meat lovers, today’s jerky satisfies a variety of taste buds and diets. From paleo to keto to Whole30 diet trends, there’s an abundance of healthier, packaged jerkies including beef, chicken, turkey, bison and even seafood. Now available in lean meats with low sodium and little added sugars, jerky can be an excellent source of protein, making it a top-selling, vending machine snack.

What’s in Your Healthy Vending Machine?

As vending consumers continue to choose healthy snacks over junk food, smart employers will want to be sure provide healthy vending options are available at their workplace. And employees should “make themselves heard” if unable to find good, healthy vending options while on the job each day.

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