Researchers reported Monday that no vending machine snacks are worth the feeling of anxiety consumers undergo while waiting for the candy to fall to the bottom of the machine.
The report described the feeling as “an acute nervous sensation for the duration of time following the input of the number and moment it drops,” and interviewed hundreds of vending machine patrons on their experiences.
“There’s nothing I love in life more than those Hot Tamales candies,” said Alanah Hodge, a participant in the study. “But I’ve come to realize it’s just not worth the terrifying feeling of hoping they won’t get stuck in their little spiral. No treat is worth that feeling.”
According to the study, despite the seductive pull vending machines have over passersby, there is not a single snack that justifies the intense worry associated with the risk of it getting stuck.
“We ran all the numbers,” said lead researcher Jalynn Thomas. “Reese’s Cups, Ruffles, even Honey Buns. None of them were worth the emotional labor.”
Thomas continued, “The greatest risk factor is of course that the snack may not drop, which yields not only a physical but a psychological cost associated with shaking the machine in hopes of jostling a sweet treat loose. Even then, an economic cost may be incurred if a second snack has to be purchased to release the first one. And then you have two of the same snack and suddenly you wish you’d just brought one from home!”
Reports say researchers are considering a follow-up study measuring the depressive effect of purchasing chewy, fruity lifesavers only to find out they’re the hard, minty kind.