Workplace Vending Machines: Swap Sugary Candies for Nutritious Treats

Providing vending machines for your employees isn’t a new concept. However, with the urge to provide employees with healthier foods, many business owners wonder what they should fill those machines with. It’s important to offer low-cost, easy-to-eat and healthy foods in these machines, but at the same time, balance employee satisfaction.

Promote Workplace Wellness Efforts

The use of healthy vending systems — teeming with all-natural foods, low-sugar treats and drinks (besides sodas) — may be an essential move for businesses. Employers with workplace wellness programs should consider replacing standard machines with those that offer nutritious items. By changing up the offerings, it’s possible for your employees to make better food choices while on the job.

Keep Employees Happy

According to Penn State University, there are many ways employers can better reach their workers. Communicate and educate employees on the benefits of making changes to their food choices, using strategies such as:

  • Giving employees a say – Allow employees to choose from a number of healthy products that you’ll include.
  • Offering a taste-testing day – This provides employees the chance to sample healthy products.
  • Teaching a class – Encourage employees to participate in a lunchtime seminar on healthy foods so they make these items fit into meal planning.
  • Making prices low – Ensure healthy foods are still affordably priced. Many vending companies offer discounts on healthy items as an incentive for employees.
  • Tasting foods yourself – If you wouldn’t purchase the food for yourself, your employees may not, either.

Vary Your Choices

Offer a wide selection of products and incorporate fresh fruit or salads, if your vending machines allow for it. Invest in newer versions that provide pre-made foods from local delis, for example. Skip the high-sugar candy bars and opt for low-calorie, low-sugar bars and treats with familiar ingredients. For example, dark chocolate is far better for health than milk chocolate products.

When providing healthy meals in a cafeteria isn’t possible, business owners can affordably invest in vending options so employees have access to healthy food throughout the workday. This may help them get the boost of energy they need in the middle of the afternoon or allow workers to stay on-site for lunch, improving overall productivity in the workplace.

Sandy Baker is a full-time freelance writer specializing in health, personal finance and internet marketing. Her long-term history online has included publications with companies including Marriott Hotels, The New York Times and dozens of other small and medium-sized businesses. She is also published in print with award-winning books such as The Complete Guide to Estate Planning, Complete Guide to Early Retirement, The Complete Bankruptcy Guide for Consumers and Small Businesses and The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care.