Picture the vending machine, and a likely image pops to mind—the rectangular object that pops out fizzy drinks, crisps and/or chocolate bars. In other words, something parents and health campaigners try to ban.
But vending machines are changing. Why should they be the preserve of the unhealthy? There is no reason that a vending machine can’t drop a healthy snack into its take-out portal. Especially if it’s positioned in a place where there is demand for such products. A gym, for example, might do well with a vending machine dispensing protein bars and whey shakes. There are now vending machines you can buy milk from too.
Scientists in Chicago have taken it one step further, with a new system that forces the vendee to wait 25 seconds if they choose a junk food product. As a visible countdown begins, the buyer is asked if they want to opt for something healthy instead. The delay led to a 2-5 percent increase in healthy snack choices. It had no impact on sales.