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Vending machine firm to sell healthy items

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Vending machines, long the objects of contempt from health conscious U.S. residents, are starting to offer more nutritionally correct fare.

North Carolina's Canteen Vending Services, one of North America's largest vending machine operators, announced Wednesday it is installing hundreds of machines with healthy foods in 11 cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco.

Vending machine users will find such items as fresh melon and berry fruit cups, turkey and reduced-fat Swiss cheese wraps, granola bars, vitamin-enhanced water and even vitamin packs.

The company says it expects to install at least 7,500 such machines in dozens of cities during the next five years.

In addition, the company said it would make at least 15 percent of the items in all 160,000 of its traditional vending machines more nutritious products. Just five years ago, that percentage was about 2 percent.

Vending will be turned on its head, says Mike Kiser, CEO of Canteen. It will change from indulgent and convenient to nutritious and convenient.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International


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