What are the Best Healthy Vending Machines for Offices

In recent years, the workforce demographic has changed. From retiring “baby boomers” to emerging millennial employees to changes in remote workspaces, many factors seem to be changing what today’s workplace culture looks like. What has not changed, however, is the impetus Americans are placing on their health. Data released prior to the New Year holds that nearly 60 percent of Americans place a large emphasis on their personal health. What does this mean for the workplace? It means that meeting those increasing needs can be as basic and attainable as reimagining what types of onsite food and beverage options are available to those spending their days in various workplace settings.

Where food and beverage are concerned, it seems as though trends and attitudes drive a lot of the decisions being made that affect what options are being offered within a vending machine setting. An increasing number of individuals today are more conscious of what they are consuming. With the rise in health awareness, comes the rise in consumption of natural products. More and more people think twice about what they are putting into their bodies. Those who care about the impact and importance of nutritional value want their snack food and beverages to be functional and appealing. They typically desire vitamins and minerals, as well as other nutrients (probiotics, protein, lower sugars, etc.) to be included in what they eat and drink. Health-focused individuals want their food to provide them with more than just the “full” feeling, but the satisfaction that they have added health benefits.

Are Healthy Vending Machines for Offices a Fad? What are the Benefits?

The original vending machine concept is over 140 years old, with the first iteration being introduced in London in the late 1800s. The design and intent began with an idea to provide postage, stationary, and other correspondence-related items within train stations and city hubs. That concept expanded to gumballs, and would eventually debut as a convenient and appealing way to offer food and beverages in a self-serve model that decreased manpower needs for the site’s provider. The idea of vending machines continues to evolve to best serve consumers, ending any notion that vending machines are outdated, or uninspired. For decades, the concept of a vending machine would conjure images of ice-cold soda and well-known brands of chocolate, candies, and chips. Today, the convenience and variety of vending machines still offer sweet treats and nostalgic favorites, while being cutting-edge with innovative offerings that meet the ever-changing needs of consumers everywhere.

One trend that is changing the vending machine industry is convenient health food. People who wish to eat healthier are now finding the healthy options they want from vending machines across the country. Over 125 million (or nearly half) American adults today identify as single and many of them live alone. This demographic could allude to a notion that many individuals are “flying solo”, meaning they’re apt to spend less time in the kitchen or meal prepping for one. Another factor in changing consumer preferences are the millennials and “Gen Z”. These generations are well into adulthood now, and they view health, nutrition, and branding differently than Gen X or baby boomers, and they’re a valuable target market for healthy food and beverages. That firmly dispels any myth that healthy vending machines are a fad.

Consumers today want to view their food choices as healthier, more natural (or organic), less processed, and better tasting than those in the past. “Fresh” is their most important food criteria. Younger individuals especially, tend to think of healthy food and beverages as an investment in their health, so they want several options that are also convenient to them.

Below is some insight into these healthy and emerging trends for vending machines.

Functional Foods & Beverages

According to data from The Food Industry Association, “functional and beverages” are those considered optimal choices that include ingredients and properties that elevate and promote health; 56 percent of U.S. individuals are influenced by the source of a product’s ingredients, and 51 percent are influenced by ingredients’ dietary claims. The report further substantiates the focus the younger generation has on today’s healthy vending machine landscape: consumers aged 13-39 are the heaviest users of functional food and beverages. Parents and these younger generations especially are concerned about avoiding artificial ingredients, dyes, and other ‘filler’ products that continue to make headlines as those to be vigilant against.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations for food and beverages? Yes, sustainability matters to consumers as another “trend” in healthy vending machine options. Fairtrade practices, local sourcing and ingredient features, humane farming practices, and sustainable packaging concepts are all important considerations for product features within a vending machine. There’s a nationwide trend of increased awareness of eating and drinking healthy and demand for accountability from the makers and suppliers of food. Consumers want preservative-free, no artificial sweeteners, no antibiotics, and natural “clean and real” as appealing label characteristics.



Another main reason for promoting healthy vending machine choices is that they are more natural. 32 million Americans have food allergies; six million are kids. Ninety percent of all food allergy reactions are caused by eight major foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Americans are recognizing their allergy restrictions, and because of this, more manufacturers are creating entirely free-from products so consumers can enjoy them without worry or impending consequences. This is true as well in healthy vending machine options.

An increased number of the population consumes whole or natural products due to food allergies and/or dietary restrictions. According to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. Oftentimes, when seeking out food to meet those needs, those with allergies or dietary restrictions turn to natural foods, as they have fewer filler ingredients. Just over half (52 percent) of consumers look for foods absent of artificial ingredients and 50 percent want products without artificial sweeteners used. Also high on the list of ingredients to avoid are high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or preservatives, MSG, artificial colors, and growth hormones.

Which Healthy Vending Machines Can You Get?

Recognizing that consumers are more in tune with dietary desires and needs than ever, it can be overwhelming to consider what type of healthy vending machine is best suited for businesses and those it will serve. Determining the type of machine is the first step in either adding or overhauling vending options that offer healthy choices.

  • Classic Cold Vending

    Classic low or no-sugar options include sodas, juices, water, and sparkling beverages

  • Classic Snack Vending

    Featuring guideline-friendly options with lower fat, sodium, calories, and sugar content

  • Micro-Market-Healthy-eatingMicro Market

    An elevated offering for more robust snack and meal options including healthy snack and meal items for on-the-go 

  • Pico Market

    The benefits of a micro market designed on a smaller scale that can be utilized in smaller spaces, with the bonus of featuring the same healthy items as its bigger cousin


Partner with Bernick’s to install a Healthy Vending Machine

As innovators in the vending machine space, we naturally want to offer our customers and consumers food and beverages that are healthy, on-trend, and convenient. Bernick’s has a proud tradition of supporting the communities in which we serve by supporting initiatives that bring healthy options for vending to our customers.

There are a multitude of healthy food and beverages on the market, and rightfully so as their demand continues to increase. To offer or expand your healthy options, talk to a Bernick’s Rep.

Talk to a Vending Specialist


Published on: Oct 3, 2023

Topics: Vending

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