Pepsi ‘Better-For-You’ Vending Machine Proves That ‘Better’ Is Relative

By Mike Pomranz |

© PepsiCo

Yesterday, Pepsi announced that the brand is planning on rolling out “Hello Goodness” vending machines in 2016 – snack dispensers that claim to offer “good- and better-for-you choices.” But just how much “better” for you many of the products included in the machines are, is drawing some skepticism.

Though these new branded vending machines will include products like Sabra Ready-to-Eat Hummus cups and Tropicana Pure Premium juices, they’ll also be stocked with Nacho Cheese Doritos and Mountain Dew Kickstart. Questioned by CNN about these specific items, a Pepsi spokesperson said that the Doritos are reduced fat Doritos and also stated that some of the included items fit health trends like gluten-free or fat-free.

One product that is conspicuously absent from these Pepsi machines, as CNN points out, is Peps, insinuating that the primary point of this new rollout might be to help the soda giant distance itself from its flagship brand at a time when public support for soda is flagging.

Still, if that’s the case, Pepsi isn’t saying it publicly. “We see it as accretive, not as cannibalistic,” Kirk Tanner, COO of Pepsi’s North America beverage unit, said in an interview. “We see it as a great way to grow our business.” That growth will come in the form of “several thousand units throughout the U.S. … in a variety of locations, including select healthcare, recreational, transportation, governmental, workplace and educational facilities.”

That’s a lot of Goodness. Though if you really want to be healthier, maybe try to eat fewer meals out of vending machines.

Related: Healthy Takes on Unhealthy Takeout Classics 
The Weirdest Things You Can Get Out of Vending Machines 
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