Mecklenburg County Health Department
249 Billingsley Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
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Providing healthy options in vending machines will give your employees access to healthier nutrition. Working with your vending company to accomplish this can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some tips to working with your vending company and how to determine which foods are healthy options and which are not.
Check to See Which Healthy Items Are Available
Request a list of healthy options from your vending company including nutrition information, if available. Check to see if the healthy options are listed on our Acceptable Vending Products list. If the foods are not listed on our Acceptable Vending Products list, use our Healthy Snack Checker to compare your snack's nutrition facts to our healthy nutrition criteria.
Making Healthy Items More Affordable
The next step is to work with the vending company on pricing healthier items at a lower cost. Ask the vendor to price unhealthy items at .05 or .10 cents more than the healthy items. Most vendors will be glad to do this because it can increase their profits, people will still buy the unhealthy items but will have to pay more.
Identify the Healthy Options and Advertise Changes
Once the healthier items and pricing changes are in place identify the healthy options using a sticker next to the product or post a list of the healthy options on the machine. Place healthy items at eye level. Advertise to all employees that healthier options are newly available.
Post Nutrition Facts
Post the nutrition information for two snacks. One snack should be a healthy snack and the other should be an unhealthy snack. This will allow employees to see the difference in nutrition between the healthy and unhealthy snacks and help them make a more nutritious decision.
Healthy Beverage Machines
Limit front of machine advertising to healthy products (ie. Dasani or Aquafina instead of Coke or Pepsi). Reduce beverage size from 20oz/16oz size to 12oz, water being the only exception. Price water well below all other items. List calories of sugar sweetened beverages on front of machine.