Healthy Vending Machines Coming to Select CTA Employee Facilities

May 8, 2013

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a new contract with Ace Coffee Bar, Inc. to furnish, install, operate and maintain new food vending machines with healthy product offerings – an improvement over food items currently sold at Chicago Transit Authority employee facilities.

The contract requires that 75 percent of the products sold to employees include "healthy snacks." The criterion for healthy snacks was established by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines. This initiative follows Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s lead in providing healthy options in food and beverage vending machines as part of the city’s Healthy Vending Challenge, which asks organizations to change offerings to those lower in salt, sugar and fat.

New healthy food vending machines will be located at more than 29 CTA employee locations replacing equipment installed several years ago. Employees will have a choice of new snacks, such as trail mix, fruit, granola bars, mixed nuts, pretzels and baked chips; nine locations will have cold food machines offering fruit and sandwiches.

“The CTA is committed to supporting healthy lifestyles for our employees,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “That’s why we believe it’s important to offer nutritional food vending options. One of our priorities is to provide a healthy environment for employees wherever possible and making available healthy snack products is a positive step in that direction.”

The five-year agreement with Ace Coffee Bar, Inc. is expected to generate more than $320,000 in revenue over the life of the contract, which includes two, one-year options. CTA will receive a percentage fee of 21.5 percent of the gross revenue and an additional fee to cover the cost of electricity to power the vending machines.

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