Across the UK the obesity crisis is on the rise. Statistics rose from 14.9% of UK adults in 1993 to 26.9% of adults in 2015. Fears are that, by 2050, these statistics could be as high as 50% of all adults. As a result, the obesity crisis costs the NHS about 5.1bn every year. In acknowledgement of these findings, pressure has been heaped onto the NHS to ensure that healthy vending machines are available in hospitals 24/7. It is not just vending that has to change. Healthy products are now expected across the hospital sites.
But, Vending machines, in particular, have received wide criticism for offering popular high sugar snacks over and above healthy products. Many vending companies simply accept that these products will sell better, without attempting to change to healthy. However, our Doozy case study at Salisbury Hospital proves this is not the case. The profits here doubled when Doozy took over the vending in 2015.
To ensure all food and drink providers across NHS hospitals offer healthy products CQUIN was designed.
If you work for a hospital you may already be aware of CQUIN guidelines. A framework first introduced in 2009 to ensure hospitals meet set standards. CQUIN stands for commissioning for quality and innovation. 13 indicators make up CQUIN with ‘Healthy food for NHS staff, visitors and patients’ one of the priorities. We focus on this point, looking at providing the best healthy products available.
✔ A ban on price promotions and advertising of sugary drinks and foods high in fat, sugar or salt.
✔ Provide healthy options 24/7.
✔ 80% of drinks stocked must have less than 5 grams of added sugar per 100ml. (including energy drinks, milk-based drinks and fruit juices).
✔ 80% of confectionary and sweets do not exceed 250 kcal.
We created Doozy with healthy vending at the centre of what we do. Because of this, we naturally follow the CQUIN guidelines. 80% of our snacks sit proudly under 250 calories. The range also includes gluten-free, vegan-friendly, protein options. Some even contain a portion of fruit. 100% of our cold drinks are classified healthy. The drinks are also unaffected by the nationwide sugar tax as none of them contains added sugar. Read our ultimate product checklist for the perfect healthy vending machine.
We go over and above the CQUIN guidelines. Not only falling in line with it, but also providing a range of nutritious and healthy snacks and drinks.
It is a known fact that vending brings in extra income for a hospital. Not only do they need less staff, but they can provide food around the clock. The contents do not need to be high in sugar or fat to sell well though. We have seen this at Salisbury Hospital, sales doubled after we introduced Doozy. A big trial which took place at another NHS hospital also found that sales went up when they changed the products to a healthier range.
The majority of us spend 60% of waking hours at work which where we will consume various snacks and drinks. For hospital staff, busy shifts and long hours means they are often on the hunt for grab and go snacks and drinks. Hospitals are in a position to positively encourage healthy eating by providing healthy products around the clock.
As well as staff, hospitals also have to cater for patients with a wide number of requirements. Whether gluten-free of vegan, we have options to suit everyone’s needs. Last but not least is the visitors to the hospital. Some of which, spend a large amount of time with their loved ones.
Vending companies across the country stand guilty of pushing healthy vending to the fringes of their product choices. Opting for a select few, usually big brand over actual healthy products. This means that the average machine in the UK offers 14% healthy snacks and 30% healthy cold drinks. When we extended from just providing traditional vending to offering our Doozy choice in 2014, this was not an option for us.
Improving the food and drink environment in hospitals will make it easier for staff to choose the healthy option.
We always offer a free trial for a hospital so you can see for yourself how we work. We cover machine costs too, so the hospital doesn’t pay an upfront fee. On top of this, the hospital will make commission on products sold which can be put back into the NHS.
It can be a tough task for anyone to fit in with guidelines. Our vending will take some of this stress away as we will manage everything. From install to taking care of the machines and reporting any possible faults. The machines always take card payment as well as contactless and mobile. They really can be enjoyed by everyone.
“It is of utmost importance that we, as a healthy vending supplier, provide hospitals with completely CQUIN compliant vending. Because we are selective about what goes into all our machines, meeting this need is natural to us. Every year we see the range of healthy products increasing and we are very excited about what the future will look like. One thing is for sure, healthy vending is not a trend. It is here to stay and will continue to transform vending machines across the UK.”
Dan Varney, Managing Director at Doozy.