When we were confronted by COVID-19 in early 2020, no one knew how long we would be shut down. Many offices sent workers home thinking they’d be back in weeks, rather than months. When businesses open and resume life in their office spaces again after an unplanned-for hiatus, there are a lot of things to consider. Something that might not come to mind is your vending machines, which COVID-19 measures have affected in offices just like yours in the Los Angeles, CA area.
Though products tend to be chosen for vending machines because they have a long shelf life, nothing lasts forever. If your business in the Los Angeles, CA area has vending machines, here are some specific vending machine shelf-life facts to help you determine what to keep and what to replace when returning to the office after shutting down due to COVID-19.
Not all candies are the same. The vending machine shelf life of a candy depends on what it’s made of. Chocolate-based candies should last nine to 12 months, while more sugary candies like Skittles, Nerds and the like will last closer to 18 months. Softer licorices will only last six to eight months, whereas harder gumballs will last longer at 18 months before tasting past their prime.
Snacks tend to have shorter vending machine shelf lives than candy. Chips, for example, are only fresh for around two to three months before they start tasting stale and past their prime. Small bags of nuts will last six to 10 months in a vending machine before growing stale. Snacks like granola bars tend to have a vending machine shelf life of around six to eight months.
Different kinds of drinks will last longer than others. Not surprisingly, bottled water tends to last the longest. A bottle of water can stay good up to 10 whole years in a vending machine! If you have an entire vending machine of bottled water, you don’t need to worry about replacing any of it when returning to the office after COVID-19 measures.
Cans of regular, non-diet soda and Gatorade or other sugary juice drinks will last the longest after water. These you can count on tasting fresh for up to a year. Diet canned sodas don’t last quite as long, and should be replaced after about three to four months. Oddly, bottled sodas of both diet and regular varieties need to be replaced after three to four months as well.
Replacing vending machine products
If you’re not sure how old the products in your vending machines are, most manufacturers print their products with a “sell by,” “best by,” “use by” or “best before” label. These dates don’t mark the exact moment a product is going to taste terrible or make you sick if you consume it. Most snacks and drinks last a few weeks or even months past the marked date, but they will gradually get harder and taste more stale.
If you have questions about replacing items in your Los Angeles-area vending machines after COVID-19, contact the experts at VSI Vending & Coffee Services today.