Vending machines dispense beverages, snacks and food from coils, spirals, stacks and drums. Some vending machines stand alone; others are aligned into a bank configuration.
We have machines located outside with security mesh covering glass front. We have antique machines that are refrigerator display cases.
There are fresh food vending machines which sell fresh salads, sandwiches and fruit. Vending machines produce and sell fresh popped popcorn, cotton candy and even live lobsters.
Bulk vending machines sell irregular “handfuls” of candy, nuts and gums. Crane type vending machines vend random scoops of hard candy. Attached to these comments is a PowerPoint presentation with photographs of the wide variety of food and beverage vending machines.
So the FDA must take into consideration the very wide variety of vending machine types to determine how calorie disclosure can take place and also provide meaningful information to consumers.
NAMA encourages the FDA to allow a wide variety of disclosure solutions, to allow vending operators options.
We recommend that the FDA does not define the method of how calorie counts should be displayed. Rather, it should write general rules that calories should be made available prior to the point of purchase. Vending operators can then determine a solution which will comply based on the vending equipment.
Another preferred solution would be to allow one menu of all food and beverages for an entire bank of vending machines. This menu would list all food and beverages which may be stocked in a vending machine and would disclose calories for all items in all vending machines in close proximity. Grouping menu items into categories such as “beverages,” “chips,” “candy,” or “gum” might help consumers select snacks by comparing similar snack or beverage categories. A bank of machines would include all vending machines which are aligned and touching side-by-side.