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Starting in 2020, trade association National Automatic Merchandising Association announced yesterday, one-third of the offerings in the nation's vending machines with be designated as "better for you" foods.

The association said "it has committed to substantially increasing the amount of healthy offerings in the nation’s vending machines," according to a story in the Washington Post. "With the support of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, two nonprofits that work to alleviate obesity in young Americans, NAMA’s 1,000 members have agreed to raise the share of healthy options from 24 percent to 33 percent."

The story says that "the new healthier options will replace sugar-based beverages with water and non-sugary beverages, and will include apples and bananas, fresh food prepared in USDA-certified kitchens, baked (not fried) chips, string cheese, nuts, dried fruits and sealed sandwiches."
KC's View:
There seem to be a pair of factors at work here.

One is the fact that technology is better. Both the vending machines and the product packaging have improved to the point that apparently it is easier to make healthier and fresher foods available.

Just as important, the vending industry knows what everybody else knows - that people are trying to eat healthier, know more about nutrition and health, and that it is in the industry's best interests to be seen as being in synch with consumer priorities.