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Customer Tastes are Changing in K-12 School Vending

Customer Tastes are Changing in K-12 School Vending

New research from Y-Pulse LLC asked hundreds of students what they did—and didn't—like about their schools' vending options.

What are student attitudes toward the choices they have in school vending machines? What would they like to see in the machines, and when do they use them most? These are some of the questions asked by the Y-Pulse LLC research organization ( in its recent Trends in Vending survey. The online survey encompassed 571 elementary and secondary school students (a separate survey was sent to school foodservice professionals with vending responsibilities).

Are healthy food items available in machines at school?

When asked, “What's in Your School's Vending Machines,” students were all over the board, but the bottom line is that healthy selections that are also appealing are not terribly prevalent.

When are vending machines used at school?

Across all age ranges and both genders, surveyed students reported that they mostly used vending machines during — rather than before or after — school hours for breakfast and snack items.

Why don't you buy fresh food from machines at school?

The most common reason kids say they don't buy fresh food from vending machines at school is…they aren't available.

Drinks bought from vending machines at school

Branded soft drinks and unbranded water are clearly the two top choices for vended beverages in schools.

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