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Annual Vending Census Supports Healthy Vending Machines

Annual Vending Census Supports Healthy Vending Machines

We admit that selling clients on healthy vending machines is sometimes a tough ask. Unfortunately, we have this cultural understanding of vending as being mostly unhealthy foods like chocolate bars, crisps, and sugary drinks that we all know are not good for us. It can be tough to associate the typical vending machine with healthy foods.

In light of that, we are thrilled to read the results of the annual UK Vending Industry Census from the Automatic Vending Association (AVA). Each year, the AVA produces this report to help its members get a better understanding of where the industry is headed for the coming year. This year's census includes plenty of data in support of healthy vending machines as one of the hottest trends in vending right now.

2016 Vending by the Numbers

Census data clearly demonstrates that 2016 was a very good year for the vending business. According to the data, total vending turnover for the year was up by 2% to £1.53 billion. That's an incredible number when you consider how inexpensive vending machine items are individually. For vending to be producing more than £1 billion in annual turnover says a lot about customer demand.

In terms of healthy vending machines, the data shows that 39% of the cold drinks sold last year were either low sugar drinks, diet drinks, or plain water. That's a sign of two things. First, consumers appear to be looking for healthier alternatives to soft drinks. Second, they are more willing to choose those alternatives when offered side-by-side with soft drinks.

Vending experts think there may be a silver lining to the soft drinks levy slated to take effect from April 2018 in that it may encourage consumers to start making healthier choices now rather than waiting until then. If that's the case, diet drinks and water should continue to perform well for vending – even if soft drinks decline.

Consumers Want Healthier Choices

From our perspective, the 2017 census confirms what we have known for several years: healthy vending machines are a viable business opportunity because consumers want healthier options. Yes, there is still a place within vending for less healthy snack foods and sugary drinks, but there is plenty of room for growth in the healthy vending market as well.

The most profitable candidates for healthy vending machines are gyms, leisure centres, and sports venues. These are the kinds of places you find people committed to healthy eating habits. Having said that, these kinds of venues by no means represent an exclusive list of candidates for healthy vending machines.

There is room for healthy vending in hotels, healthcare facilities, airports and bus stations, etc. Any place where large numbers of people tend to gather is a good candidate for healthy vending. In every large group, there are always those striving to eat healthier; there is that core group that wants to make better nutritional decisions when they visit the vending machine.


Vending Market Watch –

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