Objective: We examined outcomes following the implementation of employer-wide vending standards, designed to increase healthy snack and beverage options, on the proportion of healthy v. less healthy sales, sales volume and revenue for snack and beverage vending machines.
Design: A single-arm evaluation of a policy utilizing monthly sales volume and revenue data provided by the contracted vendor during baseline, machine conversion and post-conversion time periods. Study time periods are full calendar years unless otherwise noted.
Setting: Property owned or leased by the City of Philadelphia, USA.
Subjects: Approximately 250 vending machines over a 4-year period (2010-2013).
Results: At post-conversion, the proportion of sales attributable to healthy items was 40 % for snacks and 46 % for beverages. Healthy snack sales were 323 % higher (38·4 to 162·5 items sold per machine per month) and total snack sales were 17 % lower (486·8 to 402·1 items sold per machine per month). Healthy beverage sales were 33 % higher (68·2 to 90·6 items sold per machine per month) and there was no significant change in total beverage sales (213·2 to 209·6 items sold per machine per month). Revenue was 11 % lower for snacks ($US 468·30 to $US 415·70 per machine per month) and 21 % lower for beverages ($US 344·00 to $US 270·70 per machine per month).
Conclusions: Sales of healthy vending items were significantly higher following the implementation of employer-wide vending standards for snack and beverage vending machines. Entities receiving revenue-based commission payments from vending machines should employ strategies to minimize potential revenue losses.
Keywords: Convenience foods; Food labelling; Health promotion; Intervention studies; Nutrition policy; Vending machines; Workplace.