Healthier vending machines installed by Better-GLL and Lambeth Council

23 March 2018

Written by: Lambeth Council

Health and Wellbeing - News and announcements

A new healthier approach to vending machines is encouraging reduced calorie intake and sugar consumption at leisure and fitness centres in Lambeth.

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A partnership led by Better (the customer brand of the UK’s largest public leisure operator GLL), Selecta (the vending and self-serve retailer) and Lambeth Council has presented a healthier range of snacks and drinks for local people to enjoy as part of their work-out.

Better shares the ambitions of public health partners in Lambeth to tackle rising levels of obesity and health inequalities. This initiative also contributes towards Lambeth’s declaration to reduce sugar consumption in the Borough.

A new approach

The new approach to vending machines includes:

  • replacing many chocolate bars with nuts and nibbles
  • replacing sweets with sugar free alternatives; and
  • replacing crisps with popcorn or lighter options.

The changes mean that the new healthier vending machines contain significantly less calories and sugar – the equivalent of up to 1000 sugar cubes have been removed from a typical machine.

The health merits of the vending product range – which complies with the Government Buying Standards (GBS) include:

  • Products selected for their nutritional profile, organic and sustainably resources ingredients or suitability to specific consumer groups (e.g. vegan friendly)
  • On machine messages to encourage healthier choices
  • Sophisticated contactless payment with the latest telemetry

Healthier alternatives

Simon Sen, Better’s Regional Director for London West said:

“Many people use vending machines for an ‘after workout snack’ but these don’t have to be loaded with fat, sugar and salt and there are equally delicious and healthier alternatives out there.

“Customers have told us they would like to switch.  So we are following their lead while supporting the growing movement across the leisure sector to bring healthier change.”

Word from the Cabinet

Amongst the initial local authority partners to have embraced the healthier changes to Better Leisure Centre vending is Lambeth Council.

Councillor Jim Dickson, Cabinet member for Healthier and Stronger Communities at Lambeth, said:

“As a council we are trying to tackle rising levels of obesity and looking at things that support healthier lifestyles. We know that simple changes can make a big difference in making it easier for us all to make healthy choices. This is part of a range of initiatives to support healthy eating and good nutrition in the Borough.”

Alec Guthrie, Channel Marketing Manager,Selecta said:

“At Selecta, we are committed to offering customers and consumers good quality, healthier options. We are pleased to be working with Better to help them meet their health and wellbeing goals, as well as the needs of their customers. Through offering this range we are working together to make the healthier choice the easy choice.”