Jonathan Hilder, CEO Automatic Vending Association.
Following a call by The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to ban junk food and vending machines from hospitals across the United Kingdom (U.K.), The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) is calling on decision makers to recognize that vending can and should be, part of a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Vending enables 24 hour unattended retailing and as such, allows for the provision of refreshment, both beverages and food, around the clock. This is an essential service for many locations including hospitals, when frequently there is no other form of refreshment available, according to the AVA press release. AVA members operate under a very stringent quality standard thus also guaranteeing quality and hygiene of any purchases made.
The AVA has always advocated consumer choice and education as opposed to regulation, particularly in regard to healthy eating and recognizes that as a trend, health and wellbeing are here to stay. It is also working with the industry to develop an increasing range of options to fulfil this demand.
One recent example is AVA’s project with University College Birmingham (UCB) where they are working together to create ranges of Healthy Vending solutions. Other innovations in vending include offering full “steamplicity” meals which provide healthy sustenance and can be heated in a microwave.
Vending Industry experts gathered recently at AVEX at a “Being Healthy” Conference to explore how changing consumer needs can be met through the selections offered in the vending channel – an event which received support from across the food industry.
The convenience, simplicity and quality of vending currently available can be adapted to deliver refreshment choices that fully support consumers seeking a healthy lifestyle. The AVA reported that it would be delighted to engage with The Royal Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to explore how we might work together to maximize innovations in vending in hospital settings.