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Why Vending Machines Should Be Allowed in Schools

Should vending machines be allowed in schools? This is a question that has faced endless argument over the years. We know that some people support the idea and others don’t. Parents, for example, are concerned that their kids will overindulge in unhealthy feeding habits. Most have the notion that vending machines dispense only high-fats and high-sugars. Well, this is not true if we consider a recent CBS News finding.

According to the finding, the US government through the Department of Agriculture issued a directive that required vending machines to dispense healthy smart snacks over junks. Since the directive was issued, we are seeing vending machines dispensing healthier alternatives like peanuts, popcorns, and fresh fruits. If we can recap the opening question, the answer is yes and here are 10 reasons why:

1. Encourage Healthy Dieting

As indicated earlier on, vending machines of today sell healthier options. In schools, they dispense healthy choices like fruit snacks, cereals, milk, and yogurt. Since most habits are taught in school, it becomes easier for the kids to learn how and why to eat healthy because of the availability of vending machines. Besides, schools with food-dispensing vending machines are obliged to follow the government’s directive on combating childhood obesity and other diet-related conditions.

2. An Option During Lunchtime

For schools where lunch is not offered and students are required to carry food, vending machines can help a lot. Since these machines dispense nutritious and healthy food choices, students will find it smart to carry money for buying food from vending machines instead of carrying packed lunch. What’s more, those who have special diet requirements don’t have to settle for what’s offered by the school during lunchtime. It’s just a matter of buying what they want as long as they can afford it.

3. Easy Access

Accessibility is an important factor for all consumers and not just school-going kids. The consumer wants to access supplies easily without having to walk, cycle, or drive a long distance. This is exactly what vending machines promise when they are readily available in schools. Students can access them conveniently during break time and buy whatever they want if it’s available. They can also buy food supplies to take on their way home.

4. The Staff Can Also Benefit

Vending machines are not just beneficial to students. Both the teaching and non-teaching staff can access them and buy from them. Staff members don’t have to be forced to carry packed lunch or go outside the compound to look for food. Knowing that the options are low-cost, they can even buy some to take home. Schools, therefore, need to make an effort to also cater to the needs of the staff just as much as those of the students. If for example, the staff prefers coffee and tea to soda, then the school management should consider it.

5. An Option for Budget Students and Staff

Vending machines are generally an attractive selling point because they are a budget-option. Consumers buy from them because they promise cheaper supplies. So, their availability in schools is positive news to students. They can buy foods and non-food supplies cheaply. Staff members on a budget can also benefit from vending machines. Since foods are low-cost, the staff can plan on their spending every day.

6. Keeps Students and Staff Around

From an academic standing, it’s not a good habit to see students loaming the streets looking for food. Not only does this waste time but it’s also unsafe for the kids. To ensure that they always stick around, it’s worthwhile to invest in a couple of food-dispensing vending machines. The machines just need to sell food supplies that the students prefer to buy. The staff also gets to stick around the school since they no longer have a reason to go out looking for food.

7. Fuels Classroom Concentration

Students like to eat – that’s a universal truth. So, it’s almost impossible for them to concentrate in class when they crave for food. They prefer to snack during breaks and this can be assured by the availability of food-dispensing vending machines. The fact that they are assured of accessing the vending machines during their break makes them relaxed and extra attentive in class. Normally, it’s the worry of not knowing where to get snacks that makes students less alert in class.

8. A Bridge for Nutritional Gaps

Though it’s every parent’s dream to see their kids eat healthy at all times, they don’t have control over what they eat in school. The kids may need essential vitamins and minerals that they can’t get from the breakfast they take at home or the lunch they serve in school. However, such nutrients can be readily available in an array of healthy foods dispensed by vending machines. The foods come rich in vitamins and proteins and are meant to make up for the nutritional gaps that the kids may be experiencing. You’ll want this for your child as a concerned parent.

9. Not Limited to Food

Vending machines may be popular with selling foods but they can also dispense nonfood choices. In schools, they can dish out supplies like pens, pencils, notepads, and tapes. In this case, students will not be forced to go out of class to look for these supplies as they are available in a vending machine. It’s also worth noting that the vending machine technology has improved so much. We now have vending machines that allow students to sign up for after-school events. Others allow the buying of unusual items like personal computers, bandages, and personal effect items.

10. Revenue for Schools

Lastly, schools normally have an extensive budget that they need to meet. For instance, they have to pay utility bills, add new books, and organize trips. These costs can be partly met by the revenue generated by vending machines. Since students and the staff are encouraged to buy from the machines, there’s always profit streaming in. Even though it may not be much, it can help significantly. Generally, a larger school population calls for more vending machines. In turn, more revenue is generated.

Closing Thought:

There’s no doubt that vending machines are a great investment in schools. Both the students and the staff can benefit from them. Schools administrations can earn profit from them and the government’s advisory on child healthy can also be met. It all boils down to proper supervision and usage.

10 Unique Vending Machines around the World

When the term vending machine is mentioned, a majority of us only think about sodas, candies, and snacks. What you probably do not know is the fact that these machines can be designed to dispense anything. Out there, there are vending machines that dispense gold coins, cars, art pieces, crabs, gifts, among other unusual items. Some are weird but incredibly cool. Others are just beyond human comprehension. Well, you have to travel to see some of these exceptional designs to believe them. So as you can have somewhere to start from, we have compiled a top 10 list of some of the world’s most unique vending machine and where you can find them:


  1. Gold ATM, UAE

Who could have predicted that gold can be dispensed by a vending machine? This invention made its debut at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. It literary works like a cash ATM, only that it dispenses gold coins instead of paper money. You can buy gold coins from different countries like South Africa and Canada through the vending machine. Recently, such machines were installed in Florida. So, you don’t have to make the trip to the United Arab Emirates if you are already in the US. Just go to Florida and you’ll have an experience of a lifetime. If you have been looking for a way to buy genuine gold coins, then the Gold ATM is the way to go.

  1. Gift Machine, Dubai

In any holiday season, gifting is always a special occasion. However, it can be really difficult to find the right gift to give. In Dubai, you don’t have to struggle about it. All you need to do is visit one of the gifting machines in the streets. By the touch of a button, you can buy your special gift. From underclothes to scented candles, the vending machine has it all. You don’t even have to worry about the packaging as the gift will come with its own special wrapping. The bonus is that you also get a gift bag for carrying the gift. The shopping experience is just exceptional.

  1. Umbrella Machine, Hong Kong

Things get really interesting when you go to Hong Kong. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the rain coming and so you may need an umbrella when in the streets. The advantage is that you don’t have to struggle looking for one as all you have to do is to approach an umbrella dispensing vending machine. This is meant to save time and to prevent you from soaking in the rain as you look for shelter. Most of the umbrellas are easy to carry and so you shouldn’t have a problem putting it into your bag when the rain stops.

  1. Apple Products Vending Machine, USA

If you are a fan of the iPhone, the iPad or any other Apple product, then you can view the latest designs in Las Vegas. You’ll be able to access several vending machines showing Apple products. A majority of them are located close to airports and major hotels. Though you can’t buy directly from the vending machine, it allows you to know what products are on offer when you visit an Apple outlet.

  1. Live Crabs Machine, China

Speaking of weird vending machines, this one definitely fits the bill. The machine sells to you live crabs that you can bring back home to keep as pets or cook them. Well, the former reason is a bizarre one. To most people, the dispensing of the crabs is just horrific. Though these vending machines are not located everywhere in China, you’ll find them on major streets. The surprising thing is that the crabs remain alive even after packing. This is because they are totally chilled. The chilling temperature makes them dormant as long as they are within the vending machine. The bonus is that the packaging is edible and so can be consumed alongside the crab.

  1. Used Car Selling Machine, USA

A few years back, an Arizona-based auto company going by the name Carvana Dealership launched vending machines for selling used cars. Though they have an online platform, their strongest selling point has been the dispensers. Now, the company is expanding. They have vending machines for used cars in Washington, Philadelphia, and other places. Wondering how these vending machines look? Well, they take the shape of a tall building where cars are arranged on floors. The cars are found inside glass walls and so you can see them clearly when outside the building.

  1. Art-O-Mat Vending Machine, USA

In the streets of North Carolina where this invention originates, you are likely to buy the best local art pieces on the streets via the vending machine. The design is an improvement of the cigarette vending machine. Each vending machine is filled with small art pieces that are created and designed by local artist. So, if you are looking for American art and you really want to support local talent, then you should buy from Art-O-Mat.

  1. Farmer’s Fridge, Canada & USA

Who said that healthy foods can’t be dispensed as easily as junks? The farmer’s fridge is a vending machine that allows you to buy fresh and organic vegetables. The produce is mostly local. So, you don’t have to worry about what to buy when you get the vending machine. These foods are not just nutritious but also delicious. They basically do not compromise on taste or nutritional value.

  1. Pharmashop24 Vending Machine, Italy

In Milan, there’s an automatic dispenser that sells to your diapers, pain killers, and contraceptives. Considering that most shops don’t run 24/7 in Milan, these vending machines allow you to get the pharmaceutical products whenever the normal outlets are closed. Besides, most people like buying pharmaceutical products discreetly. You get this advantage when buying from Pharmashop24.

  1. Pizza Machine, Germany

Lastly, your favorite delicacy can now be dispensed by a vending machine. You just have to make the trip to Germany to witness this incredible innovation. The interesting thing about the machine is that it allows you to pick the pizza type that you want and it’ll be ready after a few hours. What pops out of the machine is freshly-prepared and incredibly delicious. Mark you; the machine handles everything from the preparation to the serving. The innovation is just genius.

Closing Thought:

Call them weird, special or just cool; the above machines are the epitome of vending machine innovation. They make traveling to these countries exciting and shopping tempting. You can’t help but try to be a part of the lovely experience.

When Were Vending Machines Invented?

Today, you are likely to see a vending machine in any physical store that you enter. Whether it’s the supermarket or a local restaurant, there’s always a designated vending machine that’s meant to serve you whenever you feel like buying. You actually don’t have to worry about the time of shopping or who’ll serve you as vending machines have you covered. From foods and beverages to cigarettes and newspapers, there’s virtually a vending machine for everything.

You just need to insert money or a credit card and the vending machine will automatically sell to you. Because of this, they are often referred to as automatic retailers. But, as you continue to marvel at these masterpieces, do you really know when the machines were invented? We try to break down the history of the machines for you so as you can understand their origin much better.

The First-Ever Vending Machine Invention (215 BC)

The first vending machine dates back in Ancient Greek in 215 BC. It was a piece of work by mathematician Hero of Alexandria. The idea behind the invention is very interesting. You were required to feed the machine with coins so as it can give you ‘holy water’. Once you insert a coin into it, it would fall on an empty pan that was linked to a lever. So, the weight of the inserted coin will pull the attached lever resulting in the flow of ‘holy water’. The water was called ‘holy’ because it was tantamount to a ‘Greek god’. Later in 1615, the tobacco vending machine was invented in the UK. The machine was a portable one.

The First Modern Vending Machine (the 1880s)

The first-ever commercial (coin-operated) automatic retailer was invented in London early in 1880. The whole idea was to help busy and money-hungry entrepreneurs sell quickly and in bulk. The automatic retailer was designed to dispense postcards. The man behind the idea was Percival Everitt. This machine not only became an important dispensing point at the post offices but also at the railway stations. Later, the vending machine would dispense envelopes and notepapers in addition to postcards.

In 1893, the first vending machine company was founded in England. The company going by the name Sweetmeat Delivery was established to facilitate installation as well as maintenance of commercial vending machines. In 8893, a German entrepreneur who was selling chocolate set up his own company for building vending machines for chocolate dispensing. The machine will later be used to dispense soaps and matches.

The First-Ever Vending Machine in the US (1888)

The US is never left behind when it comes to inventions. Though the first modern vending machine was invented outside the US in the early 1880s, a similar design was built in the US in 1888. The company responsible was Thomas Adams Gums. The vending machine was meant to sell fruity gums in New York City, especially around the railway area. In 1887, the company added a gaming incentive to their invention. This prompted people to refer to the machine as a ‘trade stimulator’ as it encourages more people to buy the gums.

The Evolution of the Vending Machine

So much has changed since the first invention of the vending machine. So many vending machines companies have been founded over the years. So, technology has vastly changed. Here’s a breakdown of the evolution:

  • 1890 – The First Vending Machine for Drinks

From dispending postcards and gums came vending machines for beverages. At around 1930, the first vending machine for dispensing sodas was invented. The only available dispensed soda drinks at the time were Pepsi and Coke. As expected, Coca Cola made the way for Pepsi. In 1946, the vending machine for dispensing coffee was invented for institutions. Later on, vending machines for canned soda were invented. The machines were also used to dispense water in restaurants and supermarkets. Surprisingly, a majority of the earlier designs are still in operation to date.

  • 1926 – The First Vending Machine for Cigarettes

The need to have a quick way of selling cigarettes prompted American inventor and innovator William Rowe to come up with the first vending machine for dispensing cigarettes. However, the invention has been marred with concerns about underage buyers and this messed up their popularity. Actually, they are more popular in Japan and Europe as opposed to the US as the countries have better ways to ensure age verification before selling.

  • 1950 – The First Vending Machine for Life Insurance

In 1950, American airports saw the need to sell life insurance via automatic selling points. So, they started using vending machines to sell policies to travelers that would assure them death coverage in case their flight crashed. Unfortunately, these machines were short-lived. They barely lasted two decades.

  • 1950 – The First Vending Machine for Schools

As you already know, the first coin-operated vending machine was invented in the 1880s. However, the machine was only redesigned for school use in 1950. This is the year that students and teachers would buy drinks and candies from automatic retailers. However, there were and still, are restrictions pertaining to what sugary consumables should be dispensed in schools and which ones shouldn’t.

  • 1965 – The First Vending Machine to Accept Paper Bills

Early in 1965, a man by the name John Greenwick decided to build a vending machine that uses paper bills instead of coins. This was a great shift from the original coin-operated vending machine. Now, people don’t have to carry coins anymore because of this invention.

  • 1972 – The First Vending Machine for Snacks

In 1972, a company by the name Polyvend saw the need to dispense snacks. So, they invented the first glass-front vending machine for shops. The machine would entice kids and adults with candy cravings to grab a bite. Such designs are quite popular around the shopping malls and in the streets.

  • 1987 – The First Vending Machine for Frozen Foods

The invention of vending machines for beverages and snacks opened the door for options that dispense frozen foods. Actually, the manufacturer saw the need to hold foods within the vending machine for long without risking them going bad. So, 1987 saw the origin of some of the world’s best vending machines for frozen food products.

Closing Thought:

The vending machines have come a long way and there is no doubt about it. From using coins to now using credit cards, it has been a story for the ages. These automatic retailers make things really interesting for the modern consumer. They not only get to save time but labor too. They are truly the future of the retail business.