Healthier Hospital Vending Machines Becoming a Reality

Faced with an overwhelming obesity epidemic across the nation, the United States government is working to increase public access to healthy food at schools. Starting with a major overhaul of the school lunch program which increased access to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains both in the lunchroom and in vending machines, the government is now encouraging healthy eating habits in public places including the hospital setting.

Why Target a Hospital Setting?

Hospitals are where we go to get well, but all too often the food available to patients and visitors doesn’t meet the basic standards for nutrition. In addition, hospitals serve as major employers and influencers in the local communities. They can influence community norms by adopting policies that promote good health in their employees and patrons. In August 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity convened an expert panel to study ways to improve food choices, physical activity, breastfeeding, and tobacco-free environments in hospitals. The panel worked to identify strategies to improve these areas within hospitals and health organizations for both employees, visitors, and patrons and also made recommendations on how to incorporate these strategies into outreach efforts.

Food, Beverage, and Healthy Snack Vending Machine Recommendations for Hospitals

One important recommendation made by the panel was that the hospital’s food policy should cover all venues including cafeterias, vending machines, gift shops, and cafeterias. Offering healthy food in the cafeteria is a great start, but if it doesn’t extend throughout the building the policy declines rapidly ineffectiveness. This recommendation addresses a key finding that many hospital’s vending machines were dominated by high sugar drinks and high energy-dense foods. In other words, foods and drinks had many calories and very little nutritional value.

Another key aspect of the report was that health organizations have a part to play in the greater community, not simply in the lives of their patients. By encouraging patrons and employees alike to engage in healthier behaviors and make better food choices, these organizations are able to impact societal norms and make a difference in the nationwide fight against obesity.

UCapIt is a division of Intelligent Dispensing systems. We have developed automated solutions to the problems associated with dispensing and inventorying pharmaceuticals. To learn more about how UCapIt can work with your organization, visit our website.

Customized and Healthy Vending

Healthy vending machines have been steadily rising in popularity over the past few years. Machines that offer snack and beverage choices that have less than 200 calories and are either chock full of whole grains or primarily contain fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein are already required in schools and this trend is trickling into the vending industry in other locations.

For vending machine operators, this increased interest in healthy vending options presents a great opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition. While customers are still having a difficult time finding nutritious snacks on the go, they will be seeking out machines that can provide what they want.

From all of our experience, Intelligent Dispensing Solutions has also seen that machines that are technologically advanced and impressive attract more business than standard machines. Custom healthy vending machines are an ideal way to create an attractive and innovative machine to vend healthier snacks and beverages and increase your sales. Especially with fresh fruits and vegetables, vending these objects efficiently can be difficult due to irregular shapes, products that can be easily damaged, or specialized storage requirements.

Set the new trend at your vending locations and start with an exciting new vending machine!

Freshly Fried French Fry Machine

The sight or smell of french fries for most people starts their mouths salivating at the thought of the warm, salty, fried taste of these pieces of potato perfection. A custom vending machine manufacturer in Belgium has designed Belgium’s first frite, or French fry, vending machine that uses beef fat to fry the fries.

For €2.50, french fry fans can enjoy a hot, freshly fried cup of frites that are served with a fork, salt and your choice of ketchup or mayonnaise. While this isn’t the first machine to manufacture fries for customers on the go, this is the first one that uses beef tallow to create what many fry fanatics claim is ingredient that creates the most delicious french fries. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions, and most of you are probably thinking the same thing, wouldn’t mind one of these in our offices!

Belgium is the historical birthplace of this world-wide snack phenomenon and claims to produce the best fries anywhere in the world. A Belgian journalist claimed that a family manuscript from 1781 describes consuming deep-fried potatoes prior to 1680. Since then, fries have become a staple for fast food restaurants and the ideal pair for many traditional and favorite dishes of diners around the globe.

Even in the US, french fries have a lengthy history with records of Thomas Jefferson enjoying “potatoes served in the French manner” at the White House in 1802.

30-Year-Old Custom Vending Machine

To most of our readers, it is not a secret that Japan is home to many of the world’s greatest and oddest vending machines. With over 5 million machines currently operating in the country, there are bound to be interesting innovations and unique machines.

Custom vending machines usually incorporate cutting-edge new technology or new mechanisms that allow them to do things your average vending machine would not be able to. Sometimes though, the simplest solutions are the best and a great idea is all you need to make something average stand out.

A very popular Japanese dish is curry and rice. This isn’t something your average snack machine could vend, but a small, red machine in a vending machine establishment in Japan dispenses hot servings of ready-to-eat curry and rice. The interesting thing about it is that this great vending “innovation” has been operating for almost 30 years!

The Japanese curry and rice vending machine serves vacuum-sealed packages of curry and rice that are kept warm inside the machine and the machine is operated by the man that personally grows the rice used in the machine. To ensure its freshness, the operator replaces the rice in this Japanese dispenser several times per day. Intelligent Dispensing Solutions applauds this vending entrepreneur for his commitment to delivering a unique and quality product!

Healthy Resolutions With Intelligent Dispensing Solutions

Welcome to the year 2013, everyone. With each New Year comes the rash of resolutions to change something about outlook, acquire a new skill, build better habits, or maybe just finally to lose those ten pounds. Whatever the goal, the hoped-for result is usually to be happier and healthier. And we at Intelligent Dispensing Solutions are here to help you do just that.

This is particularly important in a school setting. Studies released in 2012 are showing that curbing the sales of junk food and sweetened drinks at school may play a role in slowing childhood obesity. Our products allow you to give both your students and staff an unprecedented level of convenience and easily track your inventory. Since IDS also provides end-to-end fulfillment, you can afford to be selective about stocking your vending machines with healthy choices to kids and adults alike.

On top of that, our custom healthy vending machine solutions can complement the role of a real-life cafeteria staff. By using our industry leading iQ software, you can sync your machine with the requirements of the Federal Free and Reduced Meal program, making it easier than ever to provide a quality school food service. Approved by the USDA, our custom solutions can help administrators save payroll while saving valuable lunchroom space for crowded schools.

Retail Vending Solutions For Surly Cashiers

Who needs this?

The cashier was once seen as a bustling eager young sprite, hoping to help you find anything you need. “Thanks for stopping in today (sir or ma’am),” they would chirp. “Did you find everything you needed?”

Of course the cultural depiction of this once charming occupation has since changed. Today’s perception is more along the lines of gruff people who seem to be angered to have a job haphazardly throwing whatever you bought in bags with the enthusiasm of a zombie.

It is enough to suck any joy you might have had out of any retail experience. Most of us are not rich and if the sheer presence of a cashier is going to increase the price of a product we are buying, then they had better offer some sort of service. At the very least, offer a smile. It makes the inevitable ascent of shopping on the web make so much more sense.

Another thing that makes sense for immediate needs like snacks and beverages is the ascent of vending machines everywhere and anywhere. Convenient food vending is on the rise and the reason is likely the demise of the service industry. Not that there aren’t some stores that specialize in customer service and do a great job. Just that those stores are generally not retailing candy bars and cans of soda.