Vending machines in hospitals/ schools
We believe that heavily regulating or banning vending will not change the public’s eating habits, it will simply move the point of purchase to the retail outlets that are still in operation.
Vending offers a 24/7, secure, unattended retail option for establishments that operate around the clock such as NHS hospitals – providing an essential service to employees, patients and visitors. A recent survey found that over a quarter of consumers regularly use a vending machine when in waiting room locations, citing convenience, proximity and time efficiency as key drivers for using the machines.
In the UK, vending machines sell over 13 million food and drink items every day, equating to 93 million a week, making it one of Europe’s most buoyant vending markets.
Vending machines are a highly versatile retail vehicle for a wide range of items, edible and otherwise, and this provision of such extensive consumer choice is absolutely key. As an industry, we’ve recognised the need for more choices and healthier alternatives, healthy vending has been on our agenda for many years.
As a result, there is an increasing number of companies which specialise in the manufacture and distribution of healthier vended products including Healthy Nibbles, Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn and Naked Foods.
In addition, for the last three years, the AVA has been working in partnership with University College Birmingham on a module for its Culinary Arts Management students called the Culinary Product Development Challenge. Working closely with these food product developers of the future, the module challenges them to create alternative, healthy snacks that are calorie controlled and are an essential addition to existing vending products.