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Pepsi’s New Vending Machines Sell Only Healthy Food

The vending machines will be moving away from the traditional soda and chocolate bar formula and offering products like ready-to-eat hummus cups and granola bars.
December 17, 2015, 3:00pm

Despite being designed with ease in mind, vending machine selections are not always easy.

It doesn't take much for the office vending machine to morph into a gumball machine for grown-ups who, with a few coins, can watch a pillow of orange tortilla chips get gently nudged off its resting place and into their soon-to-be cheese-dust-encrusted hands.

A high-fiber, low-carb granola bar is a lot less tempting when it's sandwiched between a bag of Doritos and a low-fiber, high-fat chocolate bar.

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Amid changing consumer attitudes towards fats and sugars, and mountains of evidence pointing towards the ills of processed foods, vending machine giants like PepsiCo are being forced to re-think their vending machine strategies.

One way of doing that is to force consumers to choose between only "healthy" products, thus alleviating the sometimes crippling decision-making process involved with choosing between healthy and not-so-healthy vending machines options.

Big soda and processed food companies don't exactly have the best reputations when it comes to health and the environment, and this isn't time that Pepsi has tried to rebrand with vending machines.

Back in 2009, PepsiCo, owner of Tropicana, was coming to terms with the carbon footprint created by its premium OJ. It began to deploy "greener" vending machines which reduced energy usage by 15 percent, in an effort to transform the industry "in a way that is going to be more climate-friendly to a great degree."

READ: Cutting Sugar Out of Your Diet Only Makes It Taste Sweeter

PepsiCo, whose massive portfolio also includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, and Quaker, is now fighting consumers' perceptions on the health front with "Hello Goodness" vending machines.

"Consumers want more choice when it comes to what they eat and drink on the go, and we're providing the choices they want," Kirk Tanner, chief operating officer of PepsiCo North America Beverages said in a press release. "For years, PepsiCo has been transforming its portfolio to offer more and better food and beverages. We're continuing this journey with our new Hello Goodness vending initiative, which brings together the power of our brands and our expertise in design, category management and equipment innovation expertise."

The vending machines will be moving away from the traditional soda and chocolate bar formula and offering products like ready-to-eat hummus cups, popcorn, baked potato chips, granola bars, iced tea, and, naturally, Tropicana orange juice.

The machines will also feature digital touch screens, cashless vending, as well as food and beverage pairing ideas "for different eating occasions throughout the day."

Hello Goodness. Goodbye autonomy.