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Brussels metro to experiment with healthy vending machines

14:21 04/01/2024

Brussels public transport operator Stib is installing new vending machines at Schuman, Montgomery and Arts-Loi metro stations which only contain healthy foods.

MP Thomas Naessens (Ecolo) voiced concern in parliament last month that at present only unhealthy snacks are available in the vending machines at stations.

“It sometimes happens that I take the metro and get hungry or thirsty, but the existing vending machines only offer industrial food with too much sugar or salt,” Naessens told Bruzz.

The Brussels region launched a public tender last year to look for new operators willing to offer vending machines with healthy food and drink in metro stations and a first candidate applied in June, according to mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen).

“Stib met the candidate and agreed to carry out a test in three stations,” Van den Brandt said. “The test will start as soon as the candidate is ready.”

It is expected that the machines will be installed by next month.

“With this, we do not want to say who should eat what, but everyone should have the opportunity to choose healthy food,” said Naessens.

“These new vending machines fit in with Good Food, the regional vision of sustainable and quality food that is often also local.”

How long the test of the new vending machines in Schuman, Arts-Loi and Montgomery metro stations will last is not yet clear, but other stations may also receive them.

Naessens said the public tender is still ongoing and more potential operators, for other metro stations, can apply via Stib's website.

“Personally, I would like to go even further, by also looking at the food offerings of the shops in the metro stations,” Naessens added.

Written by Helen Lyons