The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Balanced for Life program, a national health and wellness initiative, offers a wide array of marketing tools for vending operators. From online resources that can help operators evaluate and create nutrition-based menus to downloadable template wellness materials, machine graphics and point-of-sale materials, the program has something for everyone.
If you’re new to health and wellness generally or have questions about finding products, understanding how to price them, or even wonder why you should even consider implementing a health and wellness program at your accounts, NAMA’s new “Health Wellness and Vending: How to Make it Work For You” manual is the best place to start. Inside the manual you will find:
- What operators who are interested in integrating health and wellness into their vending program need to know before they get started.
- How certain demographics of an account might impact the overall product selection and percentages.
- How pricing issues affect product selections and examples of successful pricing initiatives.
- Techniques for effectively educating customers about the benefits of health and wellness choices.
- Successful experiences in introducing health and wellness products to school officials, parents, and others in the community.
- Resources that are available through NAMA with health and wellness programs generally.
After you have an idea of what, exactly, your health and wellness needs are, the Balanced for Life Campaign has a variety of materials that can help you with whatever your needs might be.
NUTRITION PACKAGES: LOOK FOR FIT PICK™
If you’re an operator looking for a nutrition standard that you can share with accounts, you might consider the new Balanced for Life Fit Pick™ Nutrition Baskets. Each BFL nutritional component is a voluntary, stand alone system that provides all the materials necessary to implement that particular standard.
The package includes stickers that operators can place in front of qualifying products, along with thin clings that explain the nutrition standard, and coin slot and round stickers to help educate consumers as well. Each package also includes a list of products that meet that particular nutrition standard.
The stand-alone baskets offer two choices for operators to consider:
- 35-10-35 standard – This is the most widespread nutritional guideline, and calls for products that are less than 35 percent calories from fat, less than 10 percent from saturated fat and less than 35 percent total weight in sugar; or
- The Alliance for a Healthier Generation standard – This standard begins with the 35-10-35 guidelines mentioned above, but also requires a cap of 230 milligrams of sodium and for calorie caps of 180 for products sold in middle schools and 200 for products sold in high schools.
NAMA created two nutrition standards for operators to ensure there were options designed to meet the needs for each and every account. For example, the 35-10-35 guideline might meet the needs of most accounts, but others might be interested in a stronger nutritional component.
Specifically, many B & I accounts might adopt the 35-10-35 option, but other locations might want the more aggressive Alliance package.
I can tell you from personal experience that the new Fit Pick™ nutrition standards are being very well received by my clients. Both Group Health, a local health care cooperative, and the State of Washington Department of Health recently decided to scrap an existing in-house nutrition standard program and replace it with NAMA’s Fit Pick™ program. In addition, the program itself has been very well received by the employees.
If you haven’t looked at these new nutrition baskets, you’re missing out on a valuable tool to share with your accounts. Taking action and being proactive now can help position you as a concerned partner, helping you solidify your long-term relationship and future.