Trends and the Snacks New York City Employees Eat

Healthy snacks in New York CityDo you have any favorite snacks that you loved as a child but no longer eat? If you do, it wouldn’t be a surprise as many New York City employees no longer eat the same foods that they did as children. Besides changing palettes, changing food trends also influence which snacks people eat during their lifetime. In 2018, there were several trends including botanicals, transparency, sustainability, and indulgence foods that caused the preferred list of snacks to evolve yet again.

Botanicals

Edible plants and flowers with a variety of health related benefits are making an appearance in snacks and beverages in the United States. Some of the more recognized ones include ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), ginger, lavender, curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric), carob bean pods, chamomile blossoms, chia seeds, flax seeds, hibiscus, elderberry, and passionflower. To make it easier for consumers to use these botanicals when they aren’t already a listed ingredient, several companies have prepared and prepackaged them for individual use.

Transparency

New York City consumers also want to know more about what they eat and drink. It’s no longer enough to learn just the ingredients or how many calories are in something. In addition to information about the packaging, the number and type of artificial ingredients, and sustainable production, consumers want to know where their food came from and how it was handled along the way. Being able to know as much as is possible about a specific product helps potential consumers to feel a personal connection to their food.

Healthy snacks in New York CitySustainability

In regards to snacks and beverages, sustainability has expanded to include more than farming practices or land management. Today, it includes creating as little food waste as possible by using all of an ingredient. For example, if a watermelon is used as an ingredient, the rind and seeds are no longer thrown away. Instead, they are used to create new and interesting snacks and beverages. This process goes a long way to decrease unnecessary food waste.

Indulgence Foods

The category of indulgence foods includes exactly the type of snacks and beverages that it sounds like. High-quality, organic dark chocolate is a great example. When compared to a very inexpensive, highly-sweetened milk chocolate, consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Zs, will choose the high-quality dark chocolate. Reducing the amount of sugar consumed and choosing non-GMO, organic, and clean-label products are more important than decreasing the amount of fat or calories consumed.

Have you considered the impact that these trends have had on your New York City employees’ break room snack and beverage choices. If not, it’s time to let the healthy vending machine experts help you make sure that their preferences match their break room vending machine options. For more information about making the change, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to hearing from you.

What Type of Value Does Your New York City Break Room Offer?

Break Room options in New York CityTo be a sought after perk, a break room has to offer what current and potential employees are looking for, and today, that means understanding what New York City Millennials want. As of 2017, research by the Pew Research Center found that Millennials became the largest group of Americans in the U.S. labor force at 35 percent. Generation Xers got bumped to second place with 33 percent of the workforce.  

While the number of years between Millennials and Gen Xers may not be very far apart, many Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) came of age during the recession. For a variety of different reasons, the recession had a strong impact on Millennials and triggered a need to find value in what they purchase. Words that describe a product or brand and convey value to Millennials include “well-priced given the quality,” “reliable,” “high quality,” “trustworthy,” and “loyal to customers.” Next in line are words that indicate social responsibility like “fair-minded,” “ethical,” “moral,” and “transparent.”

Whether the product in question is a piece of clothing, a smartphone, or a snack or beverage purchased from a vending machine, value matters. So, how does this generational shift impact your New York City break room? Unfortunately, there is no single answer for all break rooms. To figure out what matters in your break room, consider the following questions.

Break Room options in New York City

Who was your current break room designed for, and what did they value? What do your current employees value? Does that match what Millennials value?

Was it Baby Boomers or Gen Xers? What was or is important to them? Do they still value the same types of snacks and beverages or break room environment? Depending on the age of your organization, your current employees might be those who the space was designed for. But if that’s not the case, what do your current employees value? Are they looking for healthy snacks and beverages that have a functional purpose? Does that snack need to be organic or be made with as few ingredients as possible?

The next step in this process is to see compare those answers to what New York City Millennials are looking for in the break room. Based on the results of the Pew Research Center study, most Millennials are looking for a welcoming, comfortable space that offers snacks and beverages which are well-priced and made with high-quality ingredients by companies that are trustworthy, transparent, and care about their customers. And that sounds like something everyone would enjoy.

Healthy Vending would love to help your New York City organization take the first step toward a high-value break room with delicious and healthy beverages and snacks. You might also consider adding a bit more value by offering the same vending machine options at a reduced cost or for free. For more information, contact us at 917.572.3671. We look forward to helping you increase the value of an important employee perk.

Healthy Vending Choices Take Over New York City Break Rooms

Healthy vending option in New York CityHave you ever considered what might happen if you were to offer healthy vending machine options in your New York City break room? The results might be surprising as both employees and employers would benefit.

“Healthy” no longer means super expensive and weird tasting. Rather, competitively priced, all-natural, organic, and tasty snacks and beverages help turn your break room into an inviting space that encourages collaboration and creativity. Gone are previous obstacles such as needing to find a corner store that employees had to overcome to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. Now, all it takes is a trip to your New York City break room.

Snack and beverage vending machines in the break room are also important resources that help employees avoid the negative effects of hunger and dehydration. Hunger increases impulsiveness and the likelihood of experiencing lightheadedness, and decreases one’s ability to make long-term decisions and concentrate. As dehydration increases, the negative impact on cognitive and physical functions, such as short-term memory, arithmetic efficiency, and visuomotor tracking; motor speed and attention increases. None of those effects lead to positive outcomes, but without them, employee productivity Healthy vending options in New York Cityand morale increases.

To provide your employees’ with an extra perk and boost your break room’s appeal, offer subsidized pricing or free vending. They are two great ways to help take care of your employees’ financial and physical health. (They’re also an enticing perk for potential new employees.)  

Subsidized Vending: New York City employees pays a portion of the cost. The prices of vending machine snacks and beverages are lowered, and your company receives a bill at the end of each month for the difference.

Free Vend: All products are available to your employees for free. Each month, your company pays for the full amount.

And don’t forget to encourage your local New York City school to switch to healthy snack and beverage vending machines in their school lunchroom. Students also experience the negative effects of hunger and dehydration which negatively impacts their ability to learn.

Whether you are interested in healthy vending machines for your New York City break room or lunchroom, Healthy Vending can help. We offer a wide variety of organic and all-natural snacks and beverages that are healthy for everyone. For more information, please call us at 917.572.3671.

Water, Vending Machines, and Hydration in New York City

Water options in New York City

Do you drink enough water on a daily basis to meet your health needs? If you’re like 77 percent of a group of recently surveyed employed Americans, you don’t. The reason given by 43 percent of those individuals was lack of thirst. Before going any further, it is important to make a necessary statement.

If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Staying hydrated is crucial. Hydration not only plays an important role in an individual’s health, but it also impacts how that individual functions. Because dehydration has already occurred before a New York City individual realizes that they are thirsty, the negative impact of dehydration has also likely happened.

Mild dehydration has been known to have a negative impact on productivity, energy levels, and alertness. Hydrated employees can also have an impact on workplace productivity. Tony Ibarguen, CEO of Quench recently said, “One inexpensive way to boost productivity is to encourage hydration. Companies that make it easy and convenient for their people to access and drink more water throughout the day may see their employees’ energy levels, engagement and work capacity increase.”

Unfortunately, there are several obstacles that must first be removed if New York City employees are going to consume more: lack of time to get water; have to pay for it; and dislike the taste of it at work.

Let’s look at three ways to overcome those obstacles and help employees stay hydrated.

Lack of time to get it

Consider the placement of beverage vending machines throughout your office or facility. In addition to placing vending machines in the break room, also consider placing beverage vending machines in highly trafficked areas. By creating opportunities to get bottled water in areas where employees naturally traverse, those employees are more likely to stop and grab a bottle.

This approach is also backed by science. Researchers at the University College of London found that study participants were more likely to take the path of least resistance when it came to accomplishing a task. So in other words, it’s important to place as few obstacles as possible along the way to get a bottle of water.

Water options in New York City

Have to pay for it

While bottleless water coolers that connect directly to the building’s water supply or a filtration system can sometimes be a solution, there are many other situations when that is not an option. A great way to provide bottled water and overcome employees needing to pay for it is to offer vending machine beverages at a reduced cost or for free. New York City employees see free or subsidized vending as a high-value benefit, but for employers, the cost is much lower than the perceived value.

Dislike the taste of it at work

Yes, it is true. Water has a taste. Recent research published in a monthly scientific journal about neuroscience found that water has a flavor. While researchers believe water’s flavor should be in its own category, they discovered that its flavor is most closely related to the sour flavor category. Given this information, it is important to offer a variety of options from ‘normal’ bottled water to bottled flavored sparkling water. Each one of these will have a unique taste that reflects its specific mineral content or any natural flavors such as fresh fruit that might have been added.

Healthy Vending can help New York City employers overcome all three of these obstacles, and help employees stay hydrated by offering a variety of healthy beverages in vending machines throughout your place of employment. Available options include regular bottled water; bottled water with electrolytes; sparkling bottled water with electrolytes; and plain and flavored sparkling bottled mineral water. And don’t forget to offer healthy snacks to go with your employees’ preferred choice. Hydrated and satiated employees are a win for everyone.

For more information about healthy vending machine options to your New York City break room, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to helping your employees stay hydrated.

Doing More to Meet New York City Snack and Beverage Needs

Beverage and snack options in New York City

In 2018, there is a disconnect between New York City’s favorite packaged snack and beverage brands and the labels on snack and beverage packages that make them more appealing. Morning Consult Intelligence, a survey research and media monitoring organization, recently determined that the top 10 favorite packaged snack and beverage brands fall onto the ‘traditional’ side of the traditional versus healthy equation. But that same cohort of adults agreed that the words that typically describe the healthy side of the equation made products more appealing. For example:

  • 81 percent believe the word “fresh” makes products more appealing.
  • 68 percent said that labels including “sourced from American farmers,” “nutritious,” or “a high source of vitamins” makes products more appealing.
  • 66 percent agreed the words “natural flavors” makes products more appealing.
  • 58 percent said that “naturally sweetened” and “high in fiber” also makes products more appealing
  • 42 percent to 50 percent believe that “free-range,” “low-calorie,” “organic,” “non-GMO,” “fat-free,” “sugar-free,” and “sustainably sourced” makes products more appealing.
  • 54 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds say a product labeled organic is more appealing compared to 37 percent of those 65 and older.

snack and beverage options in New York City

Healthy Vending goes above and beyond by being 100 percent dedicated to providing healthy snack and beverage choices that fall into the “more appealing” category to New York City businesses and schools. Terms that represent many of our snack and beverage options also match those found in the study: organic; fair trade; non-GMO, no artificial colors, preservatives, or ingredients; vitamins and minerals; concern about different dietary needs (vegan, kosher, gluten free).

In addition to offering snack and beverage alternatives in vending machines, Healthy Vending uses vending machine technology to help educate New York City employees and students before making a purchase. Each vending machine is equipped with the MIND™, Make Informed Nutritional Decisions, a user-friendly touch screen monitor that displays product information and nutrition panels for every snack and beverage in the machine. An added bonus — the majority of the snacks and beverages in our vending machines are equal in price to less healthy options.

Providing support for the well-being of your New York City employees can also come in the form of supporting financial health. Whether it’s covering all or part of the cost of healthy snacks and beverages, this benefit represents a higher value to employees than the actual cost to employers. A physically healthy employee with a healthy financial picture is an employee with less stress who can be more productive.  

Healthy Vending continues to be a healthy resource that gives New York City employees and students a healthy alternative. For more information about offering healthy snack and beverage vending machine options in your office break room or school lunchroom, please contact us at 917.572.3671. We look forward to working with you.

New York City, Enjoy Bottled Water at Any Time of the Year

Bottled Water in New York City

Bottled water continues to be a popular choice for both refreshment and rehydration in New York City. As the seasons change and summer vacation comes to an end, New York City employees and students are heading back to work and school. Even though the temperature may be slowly dropping, it is important to remember to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can happen to anyone when there “is a lack of water in the body resulting from inadequate intake of fluids.” Even a small amount of dehydration can cause headaches, poor concentration, tiredness, and lightheadedness — all symptoms that can make it harder for employees and students to be productive. An easy way to stay hydrated is to always have low or no-sugar beverages like bottled water available in the office break room or school lunchroom vending machine.

Bottled water choices in the United States (U.S.) have expanded to include domestic non-sparkling water (5.5 percent increase), domestic sparking water (27.5 percent increase), imported sparkling and non-sparkling water (9.2 percent increase), and home and office delivery of 3 to 5-gallon size bottles (1.3 percent increase). The switch from other packaged drinks to bottled water has been so strong that, according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), “bottled water is the number one beverage product in the U.S., by volume, for a second year in a row.”

And that list of beverages includes carbonated soft drinks whose sales have continued to decline over the past 13 years as consumers have shifted away from sugar-sweetened beverages. Some of the reasons why New York City employees and students have made the switch include the following. Bottled water

  • is a healthy choice,
  • tastes great and is refreshing,
  • is convenient and available any time of day, and
  • Is portable.

Bottled Water in New York City

Another way to help boost productivity is to keep hunger at bay by offering healthy snacks in office break room or school lunchroom vending machines. Eating healthy snacks regularly throughout the day keeps energy levels up and blood sugar stable. A satiated and hydrated employee or student is a winning combination. For more information about adding healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your school or place of business, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to working with you.

New York City, Avoid This Ingredient in Your Snacks

Healthy Snacks in New York City

Removing trans fats from America’s snacks is one way to protect New York City employees’ and students’ health. Trans fats come from two types of sources — natural sources or industrially-produced sources (partially hydrogenated oils) — and are very unhealthy. Trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein or LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowers high-density lipoprotein or HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Consuming large amounts of trans fat also increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

To help combat the negative effect of trans fats, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed REPLACE, a six-step strategic guide to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply. The guide includes:

  • REview dietary sources of industrially-produced trans fats and the landscape for required policy change.
  • Promote the replacement of industrially-produced trans fats with healthier fats and oils.  
  • Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced trans fats.
  • Assess and monitor trans fats content in the food supply and changes in trans fat consumption in the population.
  • Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans fats among policy makers, producers, suppliers, and the public.
  • Enforce compliance of policies and regulations.

The removal of trans fats from food products has already been shown to have dramatic effects. Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases explained, “Banning trans fats in New York City helped reduce the number of heart attacks without changing the taste or cost of food, and eliminating their use around the world can save millions of lives.” On a more individual note, the WHO suggests “that the total trans fat intake [for an individual] be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake.”

Healthy Snacks in New York City

To understand what a New York City employee or student should look for on nutrition labels of their favorite snacks, it’s important to know more about industrially-produced trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. A partially hydrogenated oil occurs when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil making the oil solid at room temperature. Margarine is a great example of this. Other types of snacks that are frequently made with partially hydrogenated oils include potato, corn, and tortilla chips, crackers, cookies, microwavable popcorn, and cream filled candies.

The following are a couple tips that can help New York City employees and students determine if a particular item has trans fats.

  1. If an item can last in the pantry for weeks without going stale, it is most likely made with trans fats.
  2. If the nutritional label lists 0 grams trans fat, read the ingredient list to see if there is any partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. A loophole in the U.S. allows manufacturers to write 0 grams trans fat if the food has less than 0.5 grams trans fat in a single serving.
  3. Choose monounsaturated fats — the healthier fat — such as olive, peanut and canola oils.

Another way to help your New York City employees and students eat fewer trans fats is to offer only healthy snacks and beverages in the break room or lunchroom vending machine. Offering healthy options makes it just a bit easier to make a healthy choice. For more information about adding healthy snacks and beverages to your office break room or school lunchroom, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We are 100% dedicated to providing healthy snacks and beverages to New York City.

New York City, Have You Tried the New Better-for-You Snacks?

Healthy Sweet Snacks in New York City

If New York City employees look closely, they will see that there are new better-for-you chocolate snacks to be enjoyed. This is good news for employees that enjoy chocolate but stay away because of chocolate’s nutritional value. Researchers and analysts have found that consumers prefer better-for-you (BFY) products and are frequently moving away from traditional sweet treats. The chocolate industry has responded by developing a variety of new chocolate snacks such as fruit covered in dark chocolate.

Other new chocolate BFY snacks include chocolate combined with different ingredients to make new textures, chocolate paired with herbs and spices, dark chocolate and sea salt, nuts covered in dark chocolate, chocolate in protein bars, poppable truffle bites made with dark chocolate, chocolate and nut butter dips, chocolate bark with a variety of other ingredients, pulse brownie bites made with chickpea flour, and sweet potato brownies. With so many choices, there is a chocolate snack for almost everyone.

For those New York City employees who don’t like chocolate, there are a lot of new non-chocolate BFY options available.

Fruity Flavors: Naturally sweetened sweet or sour gummy bears are a fun low-calorie treat made with stevia. Fruit is also a commonly used ingredient to make naturally sweetened treats such as fruit chews and fruit leather.

Brittle: A syrup-based sweet treat, BFY brittle can be naturally sweetened with maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar.  

Other Candy: Hard candy, mints, and lollipops are made from a variety of natural and sometimes organic sweeteners including brown rice syrup, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice,  honey, and maple syrup.

Healthy Sweet Snacks in New York City

Whether New York City employees enjoy something with chocolate or something without chocolate, there are three themes that run through all of the types of sweet treats.

  1. Better-for-you sweet snacks are made with new ingredients and a different type of ingredient. Sweet potatoes, chia seeds, nut flours, chickpea flour, and coconut flour and sugar are rarely found in traditional sweet snacks, but they are frequently used in BFY sweet snacks.
  2. The second theme is that the types of ingredients have changed. Consumers also expect to see organic, non-GMO, minimally processed ingredients.
  3. The amount and type of sugar is the third theme New York City consumers expect to see. Regular sugar is no longer an acceptable ingredient. Today’s sweet snacks are made with either sweeteners that are low in calories and fructose and are very sweet such as stevia, xyliton, or yacon; or natural sugar based sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.    

Which better-for-you sweet snacks do your employees wish they could find in the break room? Healthy Vending can help create a customized list of snacks and beverages that are both better-for-you and a tasty sweet treat. For an even sweeter treat, offer vending machine snacks and beverages for a lower or zero cost. Call us at 917.572.3671 for more information.

Emerging Snack and Beverage Trends in New York City

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City

Changing snack and beverage trends in New York City are impacting everyone from small, local companies to the largest snack food distributor. To be successful in the long run, both big and small companies need to understand what consumers are looking for.

Meals

Rather than eating three meals per day, more consumers are looking for ways to enjoy six to eight smaller meals or snacks each day. While the nutritional needs of New York City employees and students have not changed, how they get those nutrients has. This means that each “mini-meal” consumed while at work or at school needs to be nutritionally solid.

Healthy snack and beverage options need to provide the right type of nutrition to meet those nutritional needs, but in smaller quantities. One way to do that is to offer snacks and beverages with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that will get them to their next consumption occasion.

Plant-based Snacks

While New York City consumers are gravitating toward snacks with high protein and fibrous plant ingredients, many other consumers are not. Historically, “healthy” plant-based snacks lacked flavor and had unusual textures. Dr. Christine Cioffe, senior vice president of PepsiCo Sustainability and Global Snacks R&D explained it best when she said, “People might change their behavior for something with a functional benefit, but overtime will fall off if it’s not flavorful.” Today, there are many delicious plant-based snacks available.

Determining which plant-based snack and beverage products to offer in the office break room or school lunchroom might sound overwhelming, but here are two approaches depending on the situation.

  • Survey employees or students about which plant-based products they already enjoy outside of work or school.
  • For new products and especially when people are suspicious about the taste, encourage employees or students to try new products by creating a trial run period for products at no cost. Then survey everyone to learn which snacks are the most popular.

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City

Organic, Non-GMO, and Socially Good Practices

Consumers want transparency about a number of things from the origins of their prepackaged snacks to how companies are accountable for their environmental footprints and the health of their consumers.

Helping New York City employees and students understand both the big picture and the little picture is important. For the little picture, provide information about what each term means, why it is relevant, and where to look for information on each product. Explaining why companies need to invest in socially good business practices and how it benefits the consumer is a great place to start understanding the big picture.

How is your business or school helping New York City employees or students meet their snacking goals? Consider removing the extra noise and offer only healthy snacks and beverages in your break room or lunchroom vending machine. We’ve done the hard work and made sure that all-natural and organic snacks and beverages are available. In addition, all of our options meet or exceed the minimum nutritional standards established by the USDA School Food Service Program.

For more information about adding healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your location, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

New York City, Watch Out for New Terminology on Snacks and Beverages

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City

When are healthy vending machine snacks and beverages still healthy snacks and beverages? When the term genetically modified organisms on the packaging has been changed to bioengineered.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing a terminology change from ‘genetically modified organisms’ (GMO) to ‘bioengineered’ (BE) for certain foods. The proposed new rule aims to establish a national standard, the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS), to disclose information about the BE status of snacks and beverages for consumers, and how those foods must be labeled.

Bioengineering, as defined by the proposed act, is a food “(A) that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and (B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”

What does that mean in plain English? The current term, GMO, will be replaced with BE, and products that meet a predefined set of criteria must follow the newly established rules to comply with the proposed act. Unfortunately, this change will place more of the burden on the consumer to understand the different components of the proposed rule, and how each one impacts labeling.

Unlike the USDA organic label, the label for the NBFDS won’t be a single icon that is easily recognized. Instead, companies have the option of using a text declaration on packaging, such as “bioengineered food” or “bioengineered food ingredient,” or in a sentence such as “contains/may contain a bioengineered food ingredient.” Additionally, companies have a third option of using a digital link or QR code disclosure rather than a label, text or sentence.

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City

The following are a few important points to know about the new labeling requirements when choosing snacks or beverages from the office break room vending machines.

  • The most predominant ingredient in a food, snack, or beverage would independently be subject to established (Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA)) labeling requirements. This includes raw produce, seafood, dietary supplements, and most prepared foods such as breads, cereals, non-meat canned and frozen foods, snacks, desserts, and drinks.
  • If a meat, poultry, or an egg ingredient is the third-most predominant ingredient, or lower, the food would be subject to the new BE labeling regulations.

Three important exceptions to the new BE labeling regulations are (1) when the first ingredient is meat, poultry, or eggs followed by any other ingredient even if that ingredient is one that has been genetically modified; (2) when the most predominant ingredient in a food is broth, stock, water, or a similar solution, and the second-most predominant ingredient in the food is meat, poultry, or eggs; and (3) if the food item in question is from an animal that consumed feed produced from or contained a BE ingredient.   

Rather than expecting New York City employees to keep track of every snack or beverage that falls under the new labeling requirements, remove the guesswork and offer only healthy snacks and beverages in their break room vending machines. And don’t forget about New York City students when considering which type of vending machines to add to the school lunchroom. Not only are healthy snacks and beverages better for their growing bodies, but they are also better for their long-term health.

For more information about adding healthy vending machines to your office break room or school lunchroom, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to hearing from you.

A Healthier Alternative