Food News: Minibars, Vending Machines Offer Healthy Alternatives

Hotel mini bars and vending machines are now offering healthier snack options, since sales of nuts and trail mix are higher than the traditional junk food.
By: Victoria Phillips
Related To:

Hotel and resort minibars are getting a healthy makeover. The Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Four Seasons are just two companies in a handful of hotel chains opting for healthier minibar options, according to a recent Marketwatch report. Instead of the traditional calorie-filled junk food fare, guests can choose to snack on products like organic Clif Bars, Terra chips and gluten-free energy bars.

Why the sudden change of heart? Hotel patrons are actually clamoring for healthy options. The trail mix and cashews outsell the chocolate cookies, and Fiji Water is the minibar’s most popular item at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, Adam Martindale, the resort’s director of food and beverage, told Marketwatch.

Staples like chips, sodas, candy and alcohol aren’t going away, but by providing more organic, gluten-free and low-calorie snacks, travelers may be more apt to purchase something from the minibar rather than not.

Resorts aren’t the only ones turning to healthy alternatives. According to a press release from Fresh Healthy Vending, the company’s climate-controlled vending machines are in more than 600 campuses across the country.

The goal in offering products from Kashi, Stonyfield Farm and popchips is to “help make the collective, and individual, student body healthier,” Jolly Backer, the CEO of Fresh Healthy Vending, said in the release.

It’s not uncommon for students to crave snacks on campus and, according to the release, Healthy Vending is there to make sure students have healthy alternatives every step of the way.

“The ability to put a healthy vending machine on campus is essential,” Backer said in a recent interview. “It gives kids and college students access to quick, convenient foods that are also packed with the nutrition they need.”

TELL US: Do healthy offerings make you more likely to purchase a snack from a mini bar or vending machine?
Keep Reading

Next Up

Star in Training

The Next Food Network Star winner Aarti Sequeira takes us through the making of her new show, Aarti Party.

Smarter Snacks: At the Vending Machine

It’s afternoon, you forgot to pack a snack and that candy bar in the vending machine is sweetly calling your name. Whether you're at work or stuck after school, sometimes the vending machine is the only option. Tell the candy bar to shut up and type in the numbers for these smarter alternatives.

6 Healthier Packaged Foods

The recent Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo in Houston showcased an array of good-for-you foods that are new to the market. Here are six worth checking out.

Healthier Homemade Cheese Pretzels

You can find soft pretzels in airports, malls and carnivals nationwide. The problem is, these mass-made pretzels are often loaded with calories and salt.

Healthy Snacking at Work

You'll be able to resist the snack machine if you stock your office with healthier snacks like popcorn, frozen grapes and nuts.

5 Snacks to Fight Off Hunger

Snacking is a must! It helps you get from one meal to the next -- no headaches, drops in energy or stomach rumbling. The secret: choosing snacks that contain hunger-fighting ingredients. Here are five favorites.

Healthy Diet Excuses and Solutions

We asked top nutrition experts from around the country some of the most popular weight loss excuses they’ve heard over the years. Do any of them sound familiar?

Robin's Healthy Take: March Madness Munchies

So what if your bracket is busted? You can still cheer along your favorite teams, old and new, with these snacks by your side.

Katie’s Healthy Bites: My Smarter Snack Picks

Some people think too much snacking can lead to weight gain, but the key is nibbling on the right things in the right amounts. Here are a few of my favorite choices.

Healthy Snacks for a Day at the Beach

Heading out for a day of sun, sand and surf? Fill your beach bag with the right snacks so you're not tempted to answer the call of the ice cream man.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.