Success Stories

Midwest Dairy Association - Quad-Cities, Iowa-Illinois Schools

During the 2002-2003 school year, the Midwest Dairy Association and Dairy Management Inc. partnered with Swiss Valley Farms to place dairy machines, containing milk, cheese, and yogurt in 17 middle and high schools in the Quad Cities (Iowa/Illinois). To increase customer awareness, promotional sessions were included. Examples included, product sampling during lunch, Press Your Luck (purchasers of select milk bottles with a sticker on the bottom received a prize), and Lotto Free Vend (a promotion in which machines were set to dispense a free product every 25th sale).

Due to the implementation of the dairy vending machine total milk sales increase 5.1 percent by volume per school over the previous year when dairy vending machines were not available. Overall, milk's total sales accounted for 60 percent, followed by cheeses and yogurt at 24 percent and 16 percent respectively. At the end of the study, feedback from school administration, parents, and the community indicated that the healthier vending machines were appreciated. Twelve of the 16 schools kept the vending machines and more schools are looking into the possibility of adding a dairy vending machine in their school.

Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and U.S. Department of Education. (2005). Making it Happen! School Nutrition Success Stories. Alexandria, VA.


Tips for starting your own vending machine improvement, from the wellness manager at Meredith Corporation.

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  • If you do not already have an agreement with a vendor, consider building a campaign and making it part of your agreement with your vendor.
  • If your vendor is reluctant to implement healthier choices in your vending machines consider building a case and take it to the vendor.  The case should provide detailed information on what the vendor and the company can both provide.
  • If your company does not have a large budget to implement this or does not have the funds to give gift cards as prizes consider giving away company t-shirts or small workout materials, such as stretch bands, exercise balls, or jump rope.

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