Snacking has become a significant eating trend, and many consumers are looking for guilt-free options. Healthy snacks cater to this trend by offering convenient, satisfying, and nutritious choices. By definition, a snack is a small, usually quick, and light portion of food consumed between regular meals. Snacks are often chosen for their convenience, ease of consumption, and ability to provide a temporary energy boost. They can come in various forms and can be sweet, savory, or a combination of flavors. Snacks are typically not meant to replace full meals but rather to tide over hunger between them. Having healthy snacks in vending machines is important for businesses and locations for several reasons. Offering healthier snack options not only aligns with the growing health-consciousness of consumers but also contributes to various positive outcomes for both individuals and businesses themselves.
Here are some examples of items that can be categorized as snacks to ensure your vending machines offer your guests.
Healthy Snack Options for Your Vending Machine
Snacks can vary widely based on cultural preferences, dietary restrictions, and individual tastes. The key characteristic of a snack is its smaller portion size and its role in providing a quick and satisfying bite to satisfy hunger temporarily.
Crunchy & Salty
Who doesn’t love perusing the vending machines for that salty desire to snack? Most class brands have adapted to include a healthier version of fan-favorite snacks, featuring baked or thin-type iterations of the classics. This includes potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, and other crunchy snacks like cheese puffs or combination snack packs. Nuts, the superfood of snacking, means almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios (in the shell or unshelled!), sunflower seeds, cashews, and chocolate or flavor-dipped snacks are highly desirable vending items. These nuts can be roasted and lightly salted to appeal to health-conscious label readers and can include elevated flavors or new styles. Various types of crackers, such as whole grain, cheese, and rice or nut crackers, those gluten-free made from rice clean ingredients, are often available in various flavors and styles. Plain or flavored popcorn is often a lighter and lower-calorie option for those seeking a salty treat. Pita chips or pita bread with hummus as a side dip or alongside a pre-mixed salad create complete meals.
Yogurt cups, cheese sticks, and mini blended fruit and yogurt drinks that can be consumed on the go are the darlings of healthy snacks that promote higher protein counts. Hard-boiled eggs make snacking on-the-go easy and nearly hands-free. A trail mix of nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and sometimes chocolate or other sweet add-ins have countless varieties and are often the most popular snack item for their versatility. Single-serving packs of peanut butter, almond butter, or other nut butters are easy to pair with fresh fruit or squeezed into a smoothie or on top of yogurt. Beef jerky, turkey jerky, and other dried meat snacks paired with cheese or almonds can work as a meal in a pinch.
Fruit (& Veggie) Forward
Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, berries, and other portable fruits. Dried fruits like Raisins, dried mango, dried apricots, dried cranberries, and freeze-dried fruits like strawberries and blueberries are all trendy items that appeal to a wide demographic. Fresh veggies like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, celery, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower served with dips like hummus or ranch are also great go-to snacks.
Snack-sized cookies, muffins, and other baked treats are vending machine staples. Snack or meal replacement bars made from granola, oats, nuts, and dried fruits satisfy those seeking a salty/sweet combination snack. Energy or sustenance bars designed to provide a quick energy boost, often containing nuts, seeds, and grains appeal to those looking for a more substantial snack. Snack bars made from cereal grains, often with added nuts, fruits, or chocolate chips are good any time of day. Even frozen treats can represent a healthy snack—like lower/no added sugar Ice cream bars, frozen yogurt pops, and other frozen confections, like an acai bowl or smoothie cup.
Why Does It Matter To Cater To Health-Conscious Consumers With Your Vending Machine?
Because it matters to the people who are standing in front of your machines, money in hand. That’s where you should focus when determining what snacks to offer! Many consumers are actively seeking healthier food options to support their well-being. Providing healthy snacks shows that businesses value their customers' health and preferences. Having healthier options readily available encourages customers to make more nutritious choices, even when snacking. It can contribute to a culture of wellness and better eating habits. Healthy snacks accommodate individuals with dietary restrictions, allergies, or specific health goals. Gluten-free, vegan, and low-sugar options can cater to diverse dietary needs.
From a business standpoint, supporting the health and well-being of their employees can be achieved by offering nutritious snacks in accessible vending machines. Healthy snacks can improve energy levels and productivity during the workday, and by prioritizing health and wellness, businesses earn a positive reputation among employees and guests, in turn enhancing customer loyalty and attracting health-conscious individuals. Are you in an industry with compliance regulations informing what you can and cannot serve to your consumers, like schools, hospitals, or public buildings? Then you likely understand the regulations that require you to feature healthier food options in your vending machines. By offering a variety of snacks, including healthier options, can increase vending machine sales, and catering to a wider range of preferences attracts more customers.
Bernicks Can Provide You with All the Healthy Vending Machine Snacks
Businesses that promote healthier eating can indirectly contribute to lower healthcare costs for employees. Encouraging better eating habits can lead to improved overall health outcomes. In various settings, such as offices, schools, hospitals, gyms, and public spaces, having healthy snacks in vending machines reflects a commitment to health, well-being, and customer satisfaction. Some healthy snacks have environmentally friendly packaging and sourcing practices, which can align with businesses' sustainability goals. Bonus! It's an opportunity for businesses to contribute positively to individuals' lives while also reaping the benefits of improved customer relationships and potential revenue growth.
Bernick’s is an expert in vending machines that can provide customers with the best healthy vending machine snacks based on customers’ needs.