Healthy vending can be perfect for many organisations. For a healthcare giver, it is highly necessary, some would even say essential to provide healthy snacks and cold drinks for staff, patients and visitors. We present to you 10 statistics which demonstrate why you should be looking at healthy vending for hospitals.
Most importantly, obesity is a huge problem. Not only are 26% of all adults in the UK classified as obese, but this percentage has increased by 15% since 1993. The UK has one of the highest obesity rates in the world and the disease brings all kinds of issues for people and the NHS. Obesity-related illnesses cost the NHS around £6.1 billion per year.
As people have started to realise the impact that sugary drinks have on our health, companies have looked at ways to reduce their sugar content. While it is good that this has been acknowledged, sugar is often replaced with artificial sweeteners. And although they might not pile on the pounds, it is up for debate whether they are good for our bodies. In October this year, significant new research emerged challenging the health benefits of artificial sweeteners. Many people are led to believe that consuming these products is better for them than actual sugar. However, this study contends that just a small amount of artificial sweeteners can have negative effects on the gut. There are of course many yummy alternatives to the high sugar and artificial sweetener filled drinks. These guilt-free alternatives include Cawston Press, Juice Burst and Get More Vits, all available in our Doozy healthy vending machines.
This a shocking statistic when there is now such a huge variety of healthy vending products in the market. Larger brands such as Graze provide nuts and seeds, and delicious protein flapjacks. Smaller companies include Trek who offer a sell out protein bar. Exciting new products are introduced weekly which fulfil a list of consumer requests including gluten-free and vegan-friendly. We have a fantastic time looking for (and tasting!) the best products to fill our machines and now have 80% healthy products.
In August, the NHS Trust which runs Leeds two largest hospitals made £60,000 from its traditional vending machines. An investigation confirmed that the hospitals were making money through selling products like crips, chocolate and sugary drinks. It is true that for a cash-strapped hospital, vending machines can provide extra income. However, as one trial proved, the products do not need to be high in sugar to make people buy them.
One of the biggest NHS trusts held a trial where nearly all their machines were filled with healthier products instead of the standard. The trial concluded that sales went up. Public Health England who analysed the results believe that by simply changing the nutritional profile to healthier products in vending machines could help tackle obesity among NHS staff, visitors and patients. Katherine Button, coordinator for the campaign for better hospital food said, “We call for these findings to prompt a nationwide change in the way hospital vending machines are stocked from now on, as well as canteens and shops across the whole NHS estate. Calorie-dense and nutrient-poor junk foods have no place in our hospitals.” You can read more about this study here.
Back in 2015, we installed Doozy into a number of sites at Salisbury Hospital. Successful trials showed that machines not only looked great and offered healthy products but also brought in double the income of the previous standard vending. Since then, we have installed at further sites across the hospital. In comparison to the two Leeds hospitals selling traditional products, as mentioned above, Doozy is making considerably more per machine selling healthy products. Paul Freeman, general manager support services, had this to say, “The combination of efficient machines that are well stocked, clean and well maintained, together with products of a good quality, has led to high customer satisfaction and an income level higher than expected.”
People have started to embrace healthier products, now actively choosing to buy them. Because of this acceptance of healthy products, healthy vending can provide just as much income, often more, then traditional. Of course, it’s not just peoples opinions which have changed. Brands are investing in and creating delicious products. There is now such a wider selection to suit all tastes.
It is recommended that we eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. But, only a small percentage of people actually meet these guidelines. This is partly due to our busy on-the-go lifestyles. While we can have access to fruit and vegetables at home, it is harder when out and about. Getting these essential portions can be made easier by providing grab and go snacks/drinks which are one of your five a day. Read more about why it’s so important here.
Despite criticism, the government introduced the sugar tax in April 2018. There were two main positives which came out of it. Firstly, many big brands choose to lower the high levels of sugar in their drinks. Secondly, a study showed that as the price of the sugary drinks increased so did the sales of those drinks not affected by the tax.
We cannot go on as we are. Obesity is already a huge cause for concern and if we make no changes now, then the future will see increasing numbers of people consuming far to much sugar. The good news is that with all the information and products now available it is easier than ever for us to lead a healthy lifestyle. On the flip side, it is mainly our hectic lifestyles which are causing many to overeat as well as the overwhelming amount of temptation we are faced with. Providing healthy products makes it that much easier for people to snack healthy on the go.