Under new USDA rules, only certain healthy foods are allowed to be sold in vending machines on public school properties. The rules go into effect July 1, 2014 to give vending machine owners time to make sure that all of their offerings are compliant.
Not sure whether the products in your drink and snack vending machines will make the cut? The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has a handy calculator that will help you find out. The online calculator is easy to use. Simply run through the dialog and answer questions about your product. For instance, if you are selling granola bars, you will first indicate that your product is a snack. (There are information icons that will describe products that fit each category next to the selection.) Next, you pick the first ingredient in your item. After that, you can enter nutrition information that include serving size, calories and the amounts of fat, sugar and sodium. The calculator will tell you whether your item is consistent with the new Smart Snack rules.
Vendors who have placed a soda vending machine in a school that no longer allows it have a number of options to get their machines compliant. Water, juice-based beverages and lower calorie options are available in standard sizes that fit drink vending machines. Requirements for high school vending machines are looser, allowing larger portions and caffeinated beverages.
Looking for new options for your routes? Uselectit offers a wide range of machines that can host products compliant with the USDA’s new health standards.