The European Vending Machine Manufacturers Association (EVMMA), a group within the European Vending and Coffee Association (EVA) representing 20 machine manufacturers, has agreed to set a zero-sugar level on hot drinks machines as standard.

This means all hot drinks vending machines will be configured as standard in the factory with no added sugar, unless a specific request has been made otherwise. This should mean in practice that consumers will no longer have to take action at a hot drinks machine to actually remove the sugar option if it is not desired.

Manufacturers typically set up their machines in the factory to ensure that the highest quality coffee can be dispensed. This means for example, that the coffee bean grind is optimised. Until now, however, to reflect consumers’ taste demands, some sugar may have been added to coffee-based drinks in the initial setup; a configuration that had been developed over years.

Now this step to stop unintentional sugar intake from vending machines has been taken by European manufacturers in order to demonstrate a proactive action in a wider EVA commitment to encourage a more nutritious offering at vending machines. The EVA as a founding member of the EU Platform for Diet, Physical Activity and Health, has for years, been promoting a more diverse offering in snack vending machines and is pleased machine manufacturers are complementing this work by taking positive collective steps to identify and provide solutions through the machines themselves.

This action does not however cover vending machine operators, who after purchasing the machine could amend its setup. Furthermore, the consumer will continue to be able to choose to add sugar to their hot beverages, if that is their personal preference.

This step by machine manufacturers follows other recent voluntary initiatives in the vending industry aiming to promote healthier eating, including a collaboration between the Spanish Vending Association (ANEDA) and the Spanish government on a range of criteria with the aim to provide more balanced options in vending machines in this market.