The Healthy vs Sweet Debate-What should you supply in your Vending Machines?
Healthy Vending and the Ever Increasing Demand For Customer ChoiceAs a product of current school’s curriculum, many children from the age of five can identify sugar-rich foods such as chocolate in their diet and know the benefits of eating plenty of fruit and veg each day. Such is the awareness of our children. Conversely, it is extremely rare to find a child who does not have chocolate regularly in their diet. How will the next generation cope with these mixed messages, and how can we as service providers cater for the ever increasing demand for choice. In the past, advertising messages temptingly displayed the actual product and appealed to our emotions – indulgence for women; energy and masculinity for men. Today adverts featuring these temptations are an anachronism. Advertisers have been subtly altering their message. Sharing and gifting themes feature strongly. The clever Left Twix vs Right Twix campaign contains a subliminal sharing message. The emotional Cadbury advert “Mum’s Birthday” features a young girl buying chocolate for her Mum. With the new message, “its ok to buy chocolate as long as you share it or give it away”, fact remains that however it is purchased, we are all eating it, and for some it’s becoming a guilty secret.
Why are there Mixed Messages Surrounding Chocolate?Chocolate itself should not be demonised. Cocoa has been proven to provide some health benefits, including reducing cholesterol, which is beneficial to preventing heart disease and diabetes. It also contains antioxidants, minerals and stimulants like caffeine.
In order to appeal to the palate, sugar is added to cocoa to create different types of chocolate. Health benefits have been attributed to dark chocolate, which has the least sugar and highest cocoa content, although the portion size required to achieve results may be unfavourably calorific. Milk chocolate in popular confectionary is sugar rich, low in cocoa and often mixed with other sugary ingredients. In the UK, a single serve portion cannot exceed 250 calories, however, this cannot claim the health benefits attributed to dark chocolate.