Most people think of vending machines as the place to grab a chocolate bar, a bag of chips, or some soda. While these are often the most popular finds in a vending machine, consumers are looking for healthier options, even in their selection of vending machine snacks.
Here’s where vending machine snacks often get healthy options wrong. Just because someone wants to have a healthier option doesn’t mean they want a snack that tastes like cardboard. When it comes to healthier options, vending machine snacks often fail. A low-fat or low-sugar alternative mixed in between all the other tasty options in the vending machine will not be appealing. Sure, people want to eat healthier, but that doesn’t mean they want to eat snacks they don’t like.
The Best Healthy Snacks for Your Vending Machine
When a customer is looking for a healthier snack, they want a snack they are going to enjoy, not just one that’s better than a greasy bag of chips. So what are they?
Cereal and Granola Bars
Cereal and granola bars make a great snack choice for breakfast or in between meals. Most cereal and granola bars are under 200 calories. They are often made with whole grains and can be a good source of fiber and protein, depending on the brand.
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds contain healthy fats, protein, fiber, and are low in carbohydrates. These are a popular healthy option that everyone loves. They are under 200 calories per serving, provide you with energy, and make you feel more full and satisfied than other snacks.
Nutrition Bars and Protein Bars
Cliff bars, Luna Bars, Fiber One, and other brands perform well in vending machines. They provide a healthy alternative to candy bars, but also taste great. Some nutrition bars make a great meal replacement, and others are low in calories and perfect for a snack.
Baked Chips, Pretzels & Popcorn
Let’s not forget the baked chips, pretzels, and popcorn. While these snacks may not provide the nutrition that nuts, seeds, or nutrition bars contain, they are a low calorie snack that pairs well with a sandwich from home, or a healthy beverage. Most contain whole grains and fiber which help you feel full.
Fig newtons may be your best bet if you’re craving something sweet. They are one of the healthiest options for vending machine snacks. They contain real fruit and are a great source of fiber. Unlike other sugary snacks you might find in a vending machine that may cause your blood sugar to swing or crash, these provide a more natural source of energy.
If you have high blood pressure, this may be a snack to avoid because it’s high in sodium. However, it’s considered a healthy snack for most people because it’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates. While the sodium content can be a problem for some people, it may help refuel your electrolytes on a hot day.
Bottled Water, Juice, or Sports Drinks
Vending machines are filled with soda and other sugary beverages. Bottled water is one of the healthiest beverages you can find in a vending machine, and one that people love. Along with water, orange juice, apple juice, and V8 are sought after drinks because they are made from fruits and vegetables, and provide more nutrition than a soft drink. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are also popular, as the demand for sports nutrition snacks and beverages continues to grow.