Category Archives: Healthy Vending Machine Choices

New York City, Choose Healthy Snacks and Beverages in 2018

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City

Deciding to “go healthy” is a lot easier than it once was as healthy snacks and beverages can be found almost everywhere from the corner store to the office break room vending machine. While the definition of “healthy” varies from person to person, the availability and variety of choices New York City consumers have to choose from keeps expanding. Recent research by Grand View Research, Inc., a market research and consulting company, projects that “the global organic food and beverage market is expected to reach USD 320.5 billion by 2025.”

Now, that is a lot of healthy snacks and beverages to choose from!

The challenge is finding one’s way through all of the choices. Two of the largest projected segments New York City consumers will be looking for include non-GMO products and organic fruits and vegetables. To be able to make an educated decision, it is important to understand what organic and non-GMO mean, and the benefits of purchasing not only organic fruits and vegetables but also products made from organic fruits, vegetables, and grains.

What does non-GMO mean?

Before understanding non-GMO, it is important to know what GMO means. The Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit organization, writes that “genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.” So, a non-GMO product is a product that is grown or made without any GMOs.

Ongoing research continues to find evidence that connects GMOs to health problems, environmental damage, and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights. However, there have been no long-term studies completed that examine whether or not consuming GMOs is actually safe. At this point, it is up to the individual New York City consumer to make their own decision about GMOs.

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City
What does organic mean?

For any type of food to be labeled organic, it must have been grown or farmed without the use of artificial chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. Different rules apply to growing crops (grains, fruits and vegetables) versus raising animals. Per NSF International, crops are to be “grown, handled and processed without the use of pesticides or other synthetic chemicals, irradiation, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or bioengineering [GMOs].”

One of the primary benefits of choosing organic grains, fruits, and vegetables, or healthy snacks and beverages made from them is the lack of pesticides, which have been proven to be harmful to humans. The adverse health effects of pesticides include: cancer, immune or nervous system damage, increased risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, fertility issues, depression,  ADHD in kids, and respiratory problems.  

Unfortunately, organic fruits and vegetables are not always readily available when New York City consumers are on-the-go. A great way to help your employees have access to organic choices when fresh produce isn’t available is to offer organic snacks and beverages in the office break room vending machine. Refueling and/or re-hydrating plus a healthy choice equals a win for everyone.

It’s time to create more winning opportunities in your office break room. Whether you’d like to add more healthy snacks and beverages, offer Free Vending, or completely overhaul your current vending machine selections, Healthy Vending can help. Call us at 917.572.3671 to get started.

Healthier Vending Machine Beverages in New York City

Healthy Vending Options in New York City

Vending machine technology is only one of the many aspects of the vending industry that has changed a lot since the first bottled soft drink machines, cooled with ice, appeared on the market in the 1930’s. Which beverages New York City consumers want to buy have also undergone several makeovers.

Diet sodas, for example, were first mass produced during the 1960’s and enjoyed a seemingly positive reputation until the early 2000’s when sales started to decline. The shift in opinion began as New York City consumers learned more about diet soda’s ingredients and understood that those ingredients were actually chemicals that were dangerous to their health.

Today, medical professionals have a better understanding about the downsides of consuming diet soda. Keri Glassman, R.D.N., at Women’s Health shares, “It [diet soda] is filled with unhealthy chemicals, including artificial sweeteners, which actually make[s] you crave more calories later” and contributes to weight gain.  

However, diet soda alone doesn’t cause all weight gain. Cara Harbstreet, R.D., of Street Smart Nutrition says, “Consumers of diet soda who engage in other lifestyle behaviors associated with poor health outcomes are at a greater risk than those who balance their intake of diet soda with other healthful habits.The variables make it difficult to pinpoint whether diet soda consumption alone is the cause of negative health outcomes, or whether it’s the culmination of a number of factors…nothing in nutrition or health exists in a vacuum.”

Healthy Vending Options in New York City

As 2017 comes to a close, it is important to consider other habits that play a role in developing health-related issues such as not exercising, smoking, consuming too many sweets, and diet or regular soda instead of water, and not sleeping enough. The following are a few health issues that can happen as a result of doing either too much of a bad thing or not enough of a good thing.

  • not exercising enough: increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, depressions, osteoporosis, bone fractures, and more sick days
  • smoking: higher risk of developing lung cancer, COPD including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and worsening asthma
  • eating and/or drinking too much sugar: greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, cavities, depression, joint pain, and an increase in wrinkles and saggy skin
  • not getting enough water: causes headaches, dry mouth, eyes, and skin, disorientation, low energy levels, muscle cramps or spasms, hunger, and mood swings
  • not getting enough sleep: increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, obesity, depression, lack of alertness, impaired memory, mood swings, and an increased chance of having a car accident

So, as 2018 is quickly approaching, individuals should focus on exercising, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and consuming healthy vending machine snack and beverage choices. But don’t forget to enjoy a special treat every once in awhile.

To help your New York City employees and students make healthy choices during the work or school day, offer a wide variety of healthy snacks and beverages in the office break room or school lunchroom vending machine. Not only will it positively impact your employees’ and students’ health, but it will also help maintain high energy levels and increase productivity. That’s a win-win for everyone.

For more information about adding healthy options to your current vending machines or creating the ultimate break room in 2018, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We’d love to help.

New Food and Beverage Choices Fill Millennials’ Shopping Carts in New York City

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City

Which food and beverage choices did you purchase the last time you needed something to eat and drink? Was it a green tea or maybe a breakfast smoothie? If so, you might be one of the many New York City residents who have recently posted online about your experience.

According to a recently released study by CBD Marketing, Millennials, or those between the ages of 18 and 35, have played a key role in changing “long-standing truths” within food and beverage categories. The research analyzed 10.8 million social media posts and other online content specific to food (8.6 million) and beverage (2.2 million) product groups. Frequently used hashtags for foods included #healthy, #organic, #naturalfood, and #healthyfood), while #greentea, #healthy, #coffee, and #tea were seen most frequently for beverages.

Even though Millennials are tech savvy and share their thoughts and buying habits frequently and openly, it would be a mistake to treat all Millennials as one group. Millennials consist of three overlapping subgroups whose differences can greatly impact their preferences. Some are college students or living at home, others are out of college and just entering the workforce, and others are buying homes and starting families.

And don’t forget to consider other New York City demographics when monitoring social media insights. For example, women created 62 percent of the content while men created only 38 percent. The study also found that “Millennial men and women use very different descriptors when talking online, so it’s important to use language that reflects your target audience.” The top terms used more frequently and often by women include love, amazing, good, best, favorite, enjoy, and delicious) while men used good, love, great, enjoy. Men also seemed to express negative options more frequently.

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in New York City

CBD Marketing’s Co-CEO Lori Colman said it best when she said that “businesses and brands that mine this treasure trove of online data will be the ones that market their products successfully.” In order to learn about your New York City employees’ food and beverage preferences for the office break room consider the following criteria.

Food Preferences
  • Like healthy, natural foods; support alternative food distribution via meal delivery and meal services
  • Buy from environmentally conscious manufacturers and purveyors; want transparency
  • Gravitate to cultural flavors and foods like Scandinavian and Indian
Beverage Preferences
  • Looking for green tea, kombucha and even traditional hot lemon teas
  • Want flavored, sparkling and plain water, “better-for-you” drinks promoting energy, immunity, digestive health
  • Enjoy plant-based milks, and cold brew

How many of these healthy food and beverage choices are available for your employees in the New York City office break room? If you’d like to add more options or bring some variety to your current vending machine offerings, Healthy Vending can help. Contact us at 917.572.3671 to get started.

Healthy Vending Machine Options in New York City Can Boost Productivity

Healthy Vending Machine Choices in New York City

Corporate wellness programs including those that offer healthy vending machine options can have a positive impact on both an employee’s health and on the company’s productivity, but only if the wellness program is implemented carefully.

A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, UCLA, and Washington University in St. Louis found that wellness program participation “improved average worker productivity by over 4 percent” which is roughly equivalent “to adding one additional day of productive work per month for each employee” (Gubler, Larkin, & Pierce,2017, p. 2). Taken one step further, researchers determined that by using diet and exercise, sick and healthy employees increased their productivity by 10 percent.  

There are, however, several important caveats to consider.

  • Participation must be voluntary. Researchers found that when participation was required or strongly suggested through social or financial pressure, the participants reacted negatively. Participants perceived the company to be overstepping its bounds and interfering in their health and lifestyle choices.
  • Participants must believe in the program’s merits and safety. Highlighting the differences between the reality of the program versus its perceptions will help employees trust that their health data will remain private and will not be used for employment-related purposes.
  • Long-term productivity gains are unlikely to be sustainable through single or short-term interventions. Employers must consider multiple or long-term wellness support for employees if increased productivity is to be sustainable.

Wellness programs or interventions can occur in many different forms from fitness activities to healthy food choices in the office break room vending machine. The best choices for your specific organization will likely vary from the organization next door. Ask your New York City employees for their opinions and preferences. To start the conversation, consider a few of the following options.

Healthy Vending Machine Choices in New York City
Fitness
  • encourage public transportation, walking or biking—arrange for bike racks and provide “bike to work” promotional materials
  • encourage stairwell use by strategically placing posters with information about the physical benefits of using stairs
  • offer corporate discounts for health club memberships or offer an on-site fitness facility
  • coordinate and market running and walking groups and other monthly and weekly fitness challenges
Corporate Culture
  • Turn sit-down meetings into walking meetings
  • bring in items that will encourage folks to take a break and rejuvenate such as scooters, game rooms, footballs, and hula hoops
  • incorporate plants and other greenery around the office
  • offer a quiet spot to take a nap
Food Choices
  • offer healthy snack and beverage vending machine choices in the office break room— don’t forget to include non-dairy milk options for those who are vegan or are dairy intolerant
  • offer free or reduced cost refreshments for employees—it’s a great morale booster
  • throw a monthly healthy potluck
  • coordinate with a community supported agriculture (CSA) for local fruit and vegetable deliveries to the office  and/or find local farmers markets

Whether you are looking to offer free or subsidized snack and beverage choices or add a new vending machine to your office break room, Healthy Vending can help. We offer a wide variety of products and services that can help boost your employees’ wellness and productivity. Call us at 917.572.3671 for more information.  

Reference:

Gubler, T., Larkin, I., and Pierce, L. (June 28, 2017). Doing Well by Making Well: The Impact of Corporate Wellness Programs on Employee Productivity. Forthcoming, Management Science. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2811785