How Touchscreens Can Meet Calorie Compliance And Drive Profits

Aug. 28, 2015

In December 2014, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) published its final rules for calorie disclosure in relation to vending machines. The new rule indicated that all vending machine operators who own or operator 20 or more vending machines that dispense food must display calorie information before the point of purchase.

The rules also specified that calorie declaration must be placed on a sign in close proximity to the food item or its selection button on the vending machine. One way in which vending operators are complying with the federal law is through the installation of digital, electronic or LCD displays, commonly referred to as touchscreen technology, on their vending machines.

Here are three reasons why touchscreen technology may be an investment worth making:

1: Immediate updates

Among many benefits, touchscreen technology allows operators to update nutritional information and planogram changes immediately once the compliance date of December 2016 rolls around. This may be of particular interest for operators who regularly change out product or have a plethora of placed machines.

Operators also won’t be able to simply list the calorie information for hundreds of products, said Claudine Kavanaugh, PhD, MPH and RD for the FDA who spoke at the 2015 NAMA OneShow in Las Vegas, NV. “The products listed must only be what is available in the machine.” If an operator changes his or her planogram, adds new products or removes stale product, the calorie disclosure must be updated to reflect that change, which could be burdensome to route drivers who would be tasked with constantly updating a hardcopy binder.

An electronic solution saves operators time by allowing immediate, remote updates.

2: Future-proof technology

Operators making an investment in technology can rest assured that their investment serves more than one purpose. Not only can electronic devices display calorie information, but many also allow for cashless payments.

In fact, cashless payments are increasing, with 14 percent of consumers having made a purchase via mobile payment so far in 2015, according to  new research released by Blackhawk Network.

Many electronic solutions come with a built-in credit card swipe, NFC and smartphone app capabilities and can be updated as consumer payment preferences change.

3. Increased consumer engagement

Operators can turn a traditional vending machine into an integrated consumer experience by installing a touchscreen that allows for advertisements, promotions and loyalty programs.

Partnering with manufacturers, operators can offer promotions on specific products and implement dynamic pricing on other items. Touchscreen advertisements can also be used to draw a customer in to the machine or to promote a specific brand. Most importantly, touchscreens have the ability to increase consumer engagement with loyalty rewards wherein a user purchases a certain number of products and gets the next one free.

Operators can turn federal law compliance into a potential uptick in revenue with touchscreen technology, which can display calorie information and much, much more. 


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