School vending machines. We’ve all used one when we were at school. They provide students and staff with quick, easy and sufficient food options, especially during break and lunchtime periods. They come in all shapes and sizes and offer a variety of our favourite snacks. However they haven’t always offered the healthiest of options; especially to school students. With that being said, this article will explore:
- Key knowledge about vending machines
- Why implementing healthy foods in vending machines is beneficial
- Final considerations about school vending machines
Having the right balance of food options is essential in school vending machines when it comes to the health of the students. Healthy foods and snacks are promoted for good nutrition to staff and students. If students are eating healthier foods and the correct foods, it can improve their learning. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, healthier eating supports brain development. Clearly, when school students are in a learning environment, supporting brain development can be greatly beneficial for their future lives.
As schools are looking to shift towards healthier lifestyles, here at Exact Vending, we can provide you with the best healthy vending machines for school use.
Key Knowledge About Vending Machines
- Vending machines have come a long way since the early 1900’s in terms of volume. Nowadays, there are currently hundreds of thousands of school vending machines. In addition, figures from the Automatic Vending Machine Association reveal that every year, UK consumers spend around £1.5 billion on more than 420,000 refreshment vending machines. Every day, 8 million cups of coffee and 2 million cups of tea are vended.
- School vending machine snacks need to be attractive and well priced if they want to stand any chance of selling in school environments. Sometimes schools purchase vending machines outright so they can regulate what snacks are being dispensed to the students or offer a price low enough to support students living in a lower income household.
- Today’s vending machines don’t need to be strictly for food options. They can be stacked with more or less anything (within reason) and can even make payments toward an after-school program, purchase computers, sign up for athletics, and purchase supportive equipment like tape and bandages.
- People may not know that some vending machines can have a cashless system. Read our blog about the benefits of cashless vending machines.
- According to the School Food Regulations 2014, the current school food standards are to ensure that food provided to pupils is nutritious and of high quality. This is no different when supplying food in school vending machines which is why healthier foods are being pushed – it is simply the law.
Why Implement Healthy School Vending Machines Is Beneficial:
Below we have come up with the a short summary of the main reason why healthy school vending machines should be installed in schools:
- Can encourage healthier eating habits as stated before in this article
- Increases the variety of food and drinks available
- Offers a ‘grab and go’ opportunity to busy pupils and staff
- Reduces queues at peak periods, e.g. lunch time service – this is because schools are constantly trying to cram lunch breaks within 30-45mins. If queues are too long some students have the potential to be left without food to fuel their body. With school vending machines, this eliminates this possibility.
- Helps keep pupils on site during the day – particularly sixth form pupils who in some schools are able to leave the premises during break periods, this of course adds a school safety product whereas if reasonably priced and healthy snacks are available in a vending machine, pupils will have no reason to leave the premises.
- Opportunity to generate income for the school as pupils will not be spending their food elsewhere.
A final consideration about school vending machines is the rise of veganism and vegetarianism practice in schools. While kids learn about different types of food consumption, their parents may also introduce the idea of being vegetarian or vegan and its only gaining in popularity. Vending machines are now adapting to the changing lifestyles of school kids without compromising flavour of the products they stock. Similarly, eco-conscious consumers are monitoring the whole process from path to purchase from healthy snacks. As a result, environmental considerations are of growing importance in the vending space, for suppliers, catering managers and consumers alike.
For the reasons stated earlier in this article, it could be time for you to consider a school vending machine which we can happily supply for you here at Exact Vending. Give us a call or alternatively, you can fill out our contact form and we will get back to you.