Vending goes vegan

The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) shares insight into the rise of vegan products in vending machines, as well as detailing the top vegan products available from some of its members today.

There are lots of variations of veganism, ranging from ‘dietary vegans’, who are on an exclusively plant-based diet due to dietary restrictions; ‘junk-food vegans’ who prefer to eat processed vegan foods such as snack bars, desserts and frozen food variations as well as vegans who eat plant-based foods entirely due to the environmental concerns that come with eating meat and dairy.

With the many variations in mind, paired with the fact that the majority of the vegan population in the UK consists of working adults aged between 18 and 34 years (the Millennial generation), it is crucial that plant-based food products become more readily available in the ‘Food on the Go’ market, especially in vending.

Over a third of new product development from leading food-to-go operators in 2020 was new vegan products, with leaders in the industry convinced it is on the rise. To highlight this growth the AVA, partnered with some of its vending members, has shared the top five vegan products currently available in its vending machines, whether it be in the workplace, shopping centres or universities.

Nescafe Gold’s plant-based coffee
AVA member Nestle’s main coffee brand Nescafe is a globally recognised drinks brand. The coffee itself is entirely plant-based, with some providers now offering non-dairy milk options such as Oat and Almond ‘milk’.

Eat Real crisps
Doozy, an AVA member, sells three different flavours of these vegan and gluten-free crisps: Sour Cream and Chive Hummus, Sea Salt Lentil and Sundried Tomato and Roasted Garlic Quinoa.

Urban Fruit snacks
Another Doozy product, these 100% fruit snack packs are perfect for healthy snacking on-the-go as well as a vegan snack alternative for children. Available in Magnificent Mango, Perfect Pineapple and Smashing Strawberry.

Love Raw ‘Cr&am Wafer’ bars
These independently made, entirely vegan chocolate bars are sold by AVA member Broderick’s and are considered to be a delicious alternative to a kinder chocolate bar.

Calm CBD Drinks
A favourite of Broderick’s, the Calm Drinks range is completely vegan-friendly and offers further product specification. From its CBD range to its immune-supporting multi-vitamin range, this ticks the health and plant-based boxes.

The AVA said as an association it is always looking to expand on product innovations, including new trend products and those adhering to dietary requirements. For this reason, it regularly encourages members and their customers to provide feedback and insight, to ensure all benefit from what is on offer at a nearby vending machine or coffee dispensary machine.

Owner of Broderick’s vending, John Broderick details: “The COVID-19 pandemic has of course affected orders, however, we do believe this is a fast-growing market.  To mark Veganuary, we will be launching our first vegan-only machine in the Trafford Centre.

“Due to the strong performance of vegan products, in 2021 we’re making the considered move to include at least two vegan lines in every machine. We’re seeing a real trend for non-vegans to consciously choose vegan products if they pass the taste test – and the days of opting for vegan at the expense of a great tasting snack are long gone.

‘’There are hundreds of exciting products out there.  Broderick’s currently works with around 30 vegan food and beverage businesses and we’re on a mission to bring more of the very best vegan brands to our vending machines.”

Chief executive of the AVA, David Llewellyn adds: “Vending is a convenient and safe way to consume food during this time and with the addition of plant-based products it also taps into the ethical, environmental, health and medical needs of the consumer.

“The AVA is committed to supporting its members and in turn, their customers, by continuing to prioritise this level of product development and innovation by utilising our resources to promote plant-based vending and offer comprehensive guidance and advice on the sector for our members.”