Hankering for a snack or beverage? There’s a new kind of vending machine in South Florida where you won’t find any candy or soda.
“I like the fruit products. I think they’re tasty, they’re very healthy, they make me feel good,” said Sophia Binda, who is the community manager at The Laurels in Jacaranda.
The fitness center there has a vending room with machines that sell soda and ice cream – and one called "Fresh Healthy Vending."
It dispenses gluten-free and high-fiber multigrain tortilla chips, granola, applesauce to go, organic juice drinks and milk, and Pirate's Booty, a lower fat alternative to regular chips or cheese puffs.
“The nutritional value of the products is so much better, no additives, no colors,” said Pam Santucci, who works with the Florida Department of Health and decided to invest in this franchise.
Fresh Healthy Vending snack machines are also at the Hyatt at Pier 66, the Mardi Gras Casino, the VA Medical Center and three private schools.
“If they want to eat right but they’re at a workplace all day and at 3 o’clock they go up to the vending machine and the only choice is junk food, they’re not going to make good decisions,” Santucci said.
Last September all Miami-Dade public high schools put in vending machines that dispense healthy meals.
Sometimes healthier can be pricier. A 10-ounce can of all natural lemon lime spritzer is $1.50, and a small package of granola is a dollar.