Health and convenience are two consumer mega-trends that are increasingly important in defining consumers’ food and drink needs. However most consumers find it difficult to buy healthy products they can trust while on the move. Canteen Vending Services’ new ‘healthy’ vending machines are well placed to tap this demand.

Canteen Vending Services, one of North America’s largest vending machine operators, is planning to install 7,500 vending machines over the next five years across the US that will stock only better-for-you food choices. The nutritious items to be sold include fresh melon and berry fruit cups, healthy salads and wraps, dried fruit and nuts, cereal bars, vitamin-enhanced water and vitamin packs.

The company’s move demonstrates that the industry is waking up to the massive untapped demand for convenient healthy foods. Currently there are few trusted players in this market.

Factoring health into food and drink choices has never been more significant than it is today. Consumers are learning more about health and, in particular, they are more actively self-managing their health. However, it will be important for companies such as Canteen Vending Services to offer consumers the right type of healthy products.

Diet products proliferate among the healthy options offered on the go. However, for many weight control is only the number two concern. Consumers are increasingly sceptical about the true healthiness of some products marketed as healthy. ‘Low and lite’ on the go products come in for particular criticism, with few consumers trusting their nutritional integrity. Products that support long term general health and fitness as opposed to short term weight loss are the number one requirement among time poor consumers.

Canteen Vending Services’ initial outlined range appears to have a good balance of wholesome and nutritious products, rather than simply dieting foods, which will help it to appeal to a broader consumer base beyond those solely motivated by weight loss.

Consumers mostly intend to eat and drink healthily when on the go but often fail to do so – largely due to a lack of good quality products distributed in a convenient format. Therefore healthy vending machines are ideally placed to help consumers overcome this problem.

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