Healthy Nutrition Guidelines for Vending & Micro-Markets: Beverages

Beverages in vending machines and micro-markets must meet product mix guidelines; food and nutrient guidelines; and promotion, placement and calorie display guidelines.

Product Mix Guidelines

  • At least 50% of beverages in each vending machine and micro-market must be healthy beverages.
  • Plain or calorie-free carbonated water must be an option in each beverage vending machine/micro-market. Vending machines that only sell cans are exempt from this guideline if drinking water is ready available in the vicinity of the vending machine.

Food and Nutrient Guidelines

Any beverage that meets USDA's Smart Snacks in Schools meets the Healthy Nutrition Guidelines. Use Alliance for a Healthier Generation's product calculator to check compliance.

To qualify as healthy, the beverage must be:

  • Plain or carbonated water
  • Unflavored 1% milk (up to 12 fluid ounces)
  • Unflavored or flavored non-fat milk and milk alternatives (e.g. soy or almond milk) (up to 12 fluid ounces)
  • 100% fruit juice with no added sweeteners, can be diluted with plain or carbonated water (up to 12 fluid ounces)
  • Low-calorie beverages with no more than 60 calories per container (up to 12 fluid ounces)
  • No-calorie beverages with no more than 10 calories per container (up to 20 fluid ounces)

Promotion, Placement and Calorie Display Guidelines

  • Only products that meet the Food and Nutrient Guidelines shall be promoted (e.g. buy one, get one). Pricing models that promote healthy choices by establishing lower prices for healthy beverages relative to other beverages are strongly encouraged.
  • Healthy beverages should be placed in positions with the highest selling potential.
  • Calorie information should be available in accordance with the Food and Drug Administration's Vending Machine Final Rule: Food Labeling; Calorie Labeling of Article of Food in Vending Machines.