Nutrition facts coming to vending machines

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Wichita, Kan. -- You've probably already seen nutrition information posted right on the menu at some fast food restaurants. Well a similar change is coming to vending machines. The regulation was included in the Affordable Care Act.

If you're standing in front of a vending machine, you've got a lot of choices. Some show you the calorie count right on the front while others you just have to guess.

"When I do go to vending machines I pick something that looks healthy and I check the back and I'm like, 'oh not so healthy,'" Vending machine customer Alejandra Araiza said.

By the end of 2014 nutrition information will posted in the vending machines for snackers to clearly see.

"It's information for people to use their knowledge and make a choice. If it's not there they don't have that information at all, if its there they can at least choose to use it or not use it,” YMCA Healthy Eating Director Tammi Krier said.

It's not really an issue for Wichita YMCA's, they already stock their machines with only healthy choices but their supplier, Premier Food Service, will soon be responsible for posting nutrition information in all of their other machines.

"I envision a paper document attached to the machine probably on the inside of the glass and that way nutrition information is listed,” said Gordon Long, Director of Customer Relations and Sales for Premier Food Service.

Vending companies will have to cover the cost and time required to post nutrition facts Gordon Long says that could be difficult for smaller companies, with only a few employees.

“Whereas they could go in before and make a change immediately for a customer request, now all of a sudden they have to say I may have to get back with you on my next stop I'll bring out the new nutrition guidelines,” Long said.

The guidelines vending companies will have to follow haven't been finalized yet. Once they are, companies will have one year to comply. The vending industry is asking to change that deadline to two years.

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