Find Healthy Snacks in New York City School Lunchrooms

healthy snacks in new york city

Whether they are organic or not, healthy snacks need to be available to New York City students during the school day. Not only do healthy snacks provide much needed nutrition, but they also help students focus and be more productive. One California company is taking things into their own hands to help ensure that they have the necessary ingredients to make their healthy products.

CLIF Bar & Company, a snack bar manufacturer, has created the Clif Ag Fund. The purpose of the fund is to help organic farmers in Clif Bar’s supply chain become more resilient when faced with future economic challenges. 

For the Clif Ag Fund’s first investment, Clif Bar & Company explained that the fund “will help finance a $10 million program that could provide up to 80 organic farms with long-term energy cost savings from hosting on-farm wind turbines.” Since organic farmers already deal with thin margins, the long-term energy cost savings are very important.

Out to the Fields

Organic farming is hard. Converting land from traditional farming to organic farming is a multi-year process that requires a lot of trial and error while learning to manage soil quality without prohibited fertilizers and to prevent weeds and insects without herbicides and insecticides. While difficult, increasing the growing number of successful organic farms is crucial to the future of the organic food industry.

As of 2018, data provided by the Organic Trade Association showed that there was a 48 percent increase in total growth of organic sales since 2011. Unfortunately, during the same time period, there was only a 20 percent increase in organic farmland. If the number of successful organic farms doesn’t increase, it will be hard to sustain the growing demand for organic food.

healthy snacks in new york city

Back to the School Lunchroom

With Healthy Vending providing vending machines in schools, New York City parents don’t need to worry about how their students will find healthy snacks during the school day. All of Healthy Vending’s vending machines offer healthy and/or organic snacks and beverages that meet or exceed the minimum nutritional standards established by the USDA School Food Service Program. Proper nutrition is key to successful learning for both students and adults.

For more information about offering healthy vending machine options in your New York City schools or office break rooms, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to working with you to customize a healthy vending machine menu that all your students or employees can enjoy.

Beverage Demands in New York City Lead To New, Healthier Choices

healthy beverage choices new york city

The beverage industry is changing and growing to meet new demand. Gone are the days of choosing a drink solely based on its taste, convenience, image and affordability. In 2019, New York City consumers not only look for those qualities but also look for naturalness, health, function, sustainability and ethics. The belief that what we consume or don’t consume can greatly impact our health has become more popular, and all types of beverages fall into the consumable category.

To meet the rapidly increasing demand for healthier drink options, companies in the beverage industry are developing new healthy options and acquiring other businesses that already have successful healthy beverage lines. Several in-demand options that are already available in New York City vending machines include ready-to-drink (RTD) tea, sparkling water, fruit drinks and various plant waters.

RTD Tea

Ready-to-drink tea is iced tea that is already prepared and sold in bottles or cans. Just as with hot teas, there are many different types of tea such as black tea and green tea sold in the RTD format. The healthy benefits from drinking tea can also here. RTD tea is hydrating, contains antioxidants and can soothe an upset stomach. Other benefits can include decreased risk for heart attack and stroke, lower levels of LDL cholesterol and a strengthened immune system.

Flat or Sparkling(Carbonated) Water

Water in any form is good for New York City employees and students. A key benefit of drinking water is increased hydration, which can increase alertness and productivity. Sparkling or carbonated water can also help calm an upset stomach and cause one to feel full faster, decreasing the amount eaten. 

Fruit Drinks

Unlike traditional sodas, fruit drinks or fruit flavored sodas are made from juice concentrates and contain additional nutrients like vitamin c and antioxidants. While there is usually no added sugar such as high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, it is still important to be aware of how much natural sugar is in a serving, and how many servings are consumed.

healthy beverage options in new york city

Plant  Waters

The type of plant water that many New York City consumers are most familiar with is coconut water, which is made from the clear liquid or water found inside of a coconut. There are three other plant waters that are becoming more well known – birch water, watermelon water and maple water. Just as maple water is made from the sap of maple trees, birch water is made from the sap of birch trees. Watermelon water usually has four ingredients, pressed watermelon flesh, watermelon rind, filtered water and a drop of lemon juice. Each of these four waters is hydrating and offers a variety of amino acids, electrolytes and other nutrients and minerals.

Have you seen your New York City employees or students enjoying any of the above mentioned healthy beverages? It’s time to make sure they have access to their favorites in the break room and school lunchroom vending machines. And don’t forget to offer healthy snacks as well. Hydrated and satiated employees and students are more alert and productive. 
For more information or to schedule as tasting session, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

New York City, Enjoy a Healthy Snack Straight from Nature

healthy snack options in new york city

Blueberries are a delicious healthy snack that are often enjoyed by themselves or as an ingredient in something else. This time of year, blueberries can be found almost everywhere from farmer’s markets to pick-your-own farms to the grocery store. July is especially important for blueberry lovers; it’s National Blueberry Month!

Some blueberry related healthy snacks or mini meals that New York City employees might enjoy during their day include blueberry breakfast bars, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt or parfait, blueberry smoothies, a fruit salad with blueberries or a dark green salad with blueberries and nuts. Choosing to eat multiple mini meals or snacks during the day can help employees meet nutritional requirements, control blood sugar, and maintain metabolism. 

And that is true whether or not New York City employees choose to enjoy blueberries. It is important for everyone to consume enough fruit in their diet. According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, the recommended number of fruit servings per day depends on the individual, but the CDC “federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit.”   

Reading the ingredient list on the packaging of a healthy snack is a great way to see if that snack contains any fruit. If blueberries are a primary ingredient, they will be listed toward the front of the list as ingredients with the largest amounts are listed first followed by the others in descending order. The nutrition panel on the package is another place to find information about a snack. It lists the serving size, how many servings in the package, calories per serving and other nutrients.  

healthy snack options in new york city

For blueberries, 1 cup (148 grams) of fresh blueberries contains 84 calories, 0.3 g fat, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 1.0 mg sodium, 21.5 g total carbohydrates, 14.7 g sugar, 3.6 g fiber and 1.1 g protein. There is also 9 mg of calcium, 9 mg of magnesium, 0.4 mg of iron, 18 mg of phosphorus, 114 mg of potassium, 14.4 mg of vitamin c, 9 µg of folate, 80 IU of vitamin a, and 28.6 µg of vitamin k.

Learning about nutrients is important. Some – like saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium – can be very unhealthy when consumed because they increase the risk of developing certain diseases. Healthy nutrients do the opposite; they can help reduce the risk of developing some diseases, and healthy employees are much better for New York City businesses.

Employers have the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellness of their employees by offering healthy snacks and beverages in their break room vending machines. Employees only need to take a quick trip to the break room instead of going off-site to find a healthy option. 

What healthy choices does your New York City break room offer? To learn more about healthy refreshment options, and how you can turn your break room into a great employee benefit, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. 

Snacks Adapt to Meet New York City’s Consumers’ Needs

Healthy Snacks in New York City

The future of healthy snacks looks bright according to Fact.MR, a market research firm. Their recent report examined current and future scenarios of the snack market for the years between 2017 and 2022 and found promising data for the healthy snack sector. 

According to the report, changes in the definition of health and wellness have led New York City consumers to seek transparency when it comes to the ingredients in their favorite snacks. Unlike previous years when a brand name, by itself, could sell a snack, today’s consumers prioritize the quality of ingredients over brand names. In addition to organic ingredients, non-genetically modified organism (GMO), clean, low-sugar, gluten-free, and healthy ingredients are at the top of the most wanted ingredients list.

Two additional characteristics continue to influence consumer demand. These new snacks must have the ability to bridge the gap between nutritious and indulgent and offer ingredient lists that take regional or local taste preferences into account. 

Now that we know healthy snacks aren’t going anywhere, what can New York City employees and students expect to find in their break room and lunchroom vending machines? Both snack bars and sippable or ready-to-eat soups will likely make an appearance, if they haven’t already. 

Healthy Snacks in New York City

While snack bars will continue to be consumed as snacks, many will be used to replace a meal. Bars used as meal replacements will need to offer nutritious ingredients including a variety of healthy proteins. Healthy sippable soups can also function as a snack or a meal thanks to healthy ingredients, convenience, and versatility. 

Which healthy snacks do your New York City employees or students look for when they need a quick bite to eat? Do they have a favorite beverage? It’s important to understand which products they reach for first in order to be able to offer the most highly desired products. 

We would like to help your organization or school customize a healthy vending machine menu to meet your specific needs. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

Demand for Organic Snacks in New York City Grows

healthy snacks in new york city schools

It’s time for a new approach to choosing break room snacks and beverages. It’s time to seriously consider organic options for your New York City employees. According to Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, “Organics no longer appeal to a single segment or specialty audience, but are mainstream.” That’s right. Organic snacks and beverages are not a fad. 

While all age groups or generations are purchasing more organic products, Millennials continue to lead the pack. They spend an average of 13.8 percent more on organic products followed by GenX at 9.5 percent. But don’t discount GenX as a consumer group. Gen Xers take up 35 percent of the overall U.S. workforce.

The top selling organic categories include cow’s milk, pre-packaged salads, eggs and bars. Even though the majority of vending machines in the U.S. don’t sell cow’s milk or raw eggs, there are many different types of organic snacks that are made with them that are sold in vending machines.  

healthy snacks in new york city schools

Is it worth it?

For many New York City employees and students, deciding whether or not to spend the extra money for organic is a challenging decision. After years of research, many in the medical community say, “yes, it’s worth it.”  The following list examines why.

  • Nutrients: choosing organic can increase consumed antioxidants and reduce harmful toxic heavy metals
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: organically raised animals generally have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, an important fat for heart health
  • Pesticides: choosing organically grown produce helps reduce the amount of harmful pesticides that are consumed
  • Immune health: consuming organically grown and raised plants and animals helps avoid excess exposure to antibiotics and genetically-modified plants improving the immune system

What can we do?

One way New York City employers and school districts can help their employees or students is by offering great-tasting organic options via break room and lunchroom vending machines. This removes a key barrier – having to go offsite. It also helps provide healthy choices while everyone is out during the day. 

Are you interested in learning more? Healthy Vending can help. We offer a wide selection of snack and beverage products at a price equal to many unhealthy ones. We also work with school districts to ensure all items sold meet or exceed minimum nutritional standards. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please contact us at 917.572.3671.

Bottled Water Options in New York City

bottled water for schools in new york city

Bottled water has done it again. “For a third year in a row, bottled water is the No. 1 packaged beverage in the United States,” according to Jill Culora, IBWAs vice president of communications. Bottled still and/or sparkling water is also 72 percent of Americans’ preferred non-alcoholic beverage, an increase of nine percent over 2018. For those who prefer bottled water, taste is the most important feature (98 percent) followed by quality (98 percent), and safety (90 percent).

With 84 percent of New York City residents trying to drink more water, and the hot summer season upon us, let’s take a step back and look at fun summer beverages that often began as flat or carbonated water.

  • lemonade: water, lemon juice, and a sweetener, to taste
  • iced tea: water, tea, and a sweetener, if desired
  • fruit/veggie/herb-infused water: water plus any combination such as strawberry & lime, lemon & basil, strawberry & basil, lemon & raspberry, and cherry & lime

If none of those flavor combinations sound appealing, consider choosing one or more of the following fruits and vegetables that are in-season in the New York City area: mint, blueberries, apricots, kiwi, cherries, cucumbers and peaches. There are also a number of different ways to infuse the water with the flavors of your choice. 

bottled water in new york city schools

You might try squeezing a bit of the juice from citrus fruit (ex. lime, lemon or orange) into a glass or pitcher of water and enjoying. Depending on the size of the container, sliced or chopped fruit can be placed at the bottom of a pitcher or glass and soaked overnight (pitcher) or for a couple hours (glass). Berries can be mashed and placed at the bottom of a glass, and the glass filled with water. For herbs, such as mint leaves, tear up the leaves, cover them in water, and let the water steep. 

The number of flavor combinations and preparation methods are limitless, but not everyone will have the option or want to prepare a water-based beverage. 

While almost three-quarters of Americans voted bottled water as their first choice, don’t forget about other popular beverages. Sixty-one percent of those polled ranked coffee in second place and soft drinks in third with 59 percent. In 2019, New York City employees and students have a lot of healthier options available including natural and organic sodas and carbonated juices. 

Healthy Vending would like to help New York City employers and schools provide their employees or students with healthy beverages and snacks in their break room or lunchroom vending machine. Hydrated and satiated individuals have more energy and are more focused. For more information or to schedule a product sampling today, call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

Healthy, Plant-Based Diets Are Becoming Mainstream

Healthy Snacks in New York City

Enjoying healthy, plant-based products is becoming more mainstream and less niche in New York City. A recent survey by YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, asked 1,200+ participants about their perceptions of plant-based products. The results found that improved health and wellness is an important concern for many consumers. 34 percent of those surveyed considered adding plant-based foods such as those made with almond milk to their diet as a way to achieve health-related goals.

Why are plant-based foods important? Because they offer a wide variety of health benefits. New York City residents who eat plant-based diets tend to have the following:

  • diets with more fiber and nutrients, but less saturated fat and overall calories
  • lower body weight/BMI, cholesterol, blood sugar, and less abdominal fat (all are risk factors for obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes)
  • higher levels of compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, which protects against cell damage and chronic diseases.
  • higher levels of lignans and isoflavones in their blood serum, which is believed to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Some important, but sometimes scary, numbers about plant-based diets show how eating or not eating them can impact health. Individuals who adopted an overall plant-based diet the most had an 8 percent lower chance of dying. Those who chose a healthy plant-based diet had a 10 percent lower risk of death from heart disease. But, and it’s an unsettling one, individuals who consumed the least healthy diet had an 11 percent higher chance of death.

Healthy Snacks in New York City

Which plant-based foods are New York City individuals looking for? According to the YouGov study, flavor is a key factor for 80 percent of participants when they think about trying something new. 51 percent shared that they were interested in trying a product made from almond milk. With so many paths to choose from to improve one’s health, choosing a plant-based diet has definitely moved to the front of the line. 

In general, a plant-based diet includes whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits and vegetables. Remembering to bring healthy snacks to eat throughout the day can be challenging. The following are a few plant-based snack ideas than can help New York City individuals stop hunger during the day. All can be brought from home, but many can also be found in healthy break room vending machines.

  • roasted chickpeas
  • nuts
  • smoothies with a plant-based milk such as almond milk
  • bars made with fruit and other plant-based ingredients
  • veggies chips
  • popcorn
  • lentil/veggie chips
  • edamame
  • fresh fruit and veggies 

Are you interested in helping your New York City employees or students find healthy snacks and beverages while they are at work or at school? Healthy Vending can help customize a break room or lunchroom solution with delicious, satiating and hydrating refreshment options. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, contact us at 917.572.3671.

5 Popular Beverages in New York City

Healthy Vending Machine Beverages in New York City

New York City residents and employees are on the hunt for new beverages that meet a variety of wellness-related needs. To stay current and keep up with growing demand, beverage manufacturers are continually offering consumers new and exciting options to explore. 

Functional beverages, as a group, are a segment within the rapidly growing nonalcoholic beverage market, which is expected to grow to $1.6 trillion in sales by 2025. The fastest growing category in the nonalcoholic beverage market, functional beverages, includes ready-to-drink (RTD) coffees and teas, and relaxation, hydration or energy drinks.

Christina Wood, Sales and Marketing Director at OptiBiotix Health Plc, recently spoke about the expected demand. “Whether vitamin or ‘enhanced’ water to fend off illness, energy drinks to combat fatigue or sports drinks to aid exercise, they [functional beverages] provide the multipurpose value expected by today’s informed [consumers].”

And those consumers also expect to be able to easily purchase their preferred choice at any time of the day. Whether at work or at school, it’s easy to make sure that New York City employees and students can access different functional beverages in their work break room or school lunchroom healthy vending machine. 

RTD Cold Teas

Enjoy a variety of healthy and organic teas made with Fair Trade ingredients. There is an option for everyone from unsweetened to sweetened teas made with organic sweeteners and tea with or without fruit flavors.

Healthy Vending Machine Beverages in New York City

Enhanced Fruit Drinks

The term ‘juice’ takes on a new meaning when it comes to enhanced fruit drinks. Today, these beverages are made from unique ingredients like the coffee fruit and have no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

Fruit Infused Flat or Carbonated Bottled Water

Bottled flat or carbonated water with fruit infused flavors offer the benefits of plain bottled water without any diet sweeteners or sugars. They are zero calorie, zero preservative, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.

Sparkling or Flat Mineral Water

Mineral water offers additional health benefits when compared to traditional bottled water. As mineral water’s name suggests, there are extra minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water that New York City individuals need. 

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a new, healthy choice for staying hydrated. It’s naturally gluten-free, lactose-free, and dairy-free beverage with potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus that hydrates.

Not sure which functional beverages your New York City employees or students might enjoy? Try offering a beverage taste testing event. If everyone knows a bit more about what is available and how it tastes, they are likely to be more comfortable purchasing it. 

And don’t forget to pair your beverage vending machine with a healthy snack vending machine. Make it easier to grab a bite to eat or drink without having to go off-site. Hydrated and satiated employees and students are likely to be more productive and creative. For more information and a free, no obligation quote, please contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

7 Healthy Food and Nutrition Trends in New york city

healthy break room choices new york city

The number of healthy snack and beverage options available in New York City break room vending machines continues to grow, and that’s a good thing. KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) recently released its first annual report reviewing the top food and nutrition trends for 2019. Let’s take a look.

  1. Seed Butters

Consumers saw an increase in the number of alternative nut butters such as almond butter, cashew butter and walnut butter in 2018. This year, a new choice, seed butters, will hit the shelves, if they haven’t already. Seed butters such as sunflower, pumpkin and watermelon seed butters have a good fat profile, like alternative nut butters, but may be a viable choice for those individuals with nut allergies.

2. Ugly Produce

Perfect looking produce will need to make some more room on the shelf for ugly produce in 2019. What is ugly produce? It’s the almost six billion pounds of fruit and vegetables that are not harvested or are harvested but not sold to stores each year because they don’t look perfect. The ugly food movement – or stopping ugly produce from ending up in a landfill – continues to expand and reduce the amount of produce that ends up in a landfill as new retail programs become available in New York City.

3. African-inspired Flavors

While African spices and super foods like harissa, berbere, dukkah, ras el hanout and tiger nuts have been present in the American culinary scene for many years, they can now be found in more conventional formats such as condiments, grain snacks and protein rubs. 

4. Digestive Health

As science has developed a better understanding of the human body, the importance of maintaining good digestive health has grown. Gut health, as it’s also known, plays a critical role in one’s overall health and wellness. In 2019, New York City consumers are likely to find an increase in fiber, prebiotics and probiotics in the snacks and beverages they enjoy.

healthy break room choices new york city

5. Added Sugar Versus Naturally-Occurring Sugar

Understanding the difference between sugar added during the manufacturing process and naturally-occurring sugar is important. While sugar is still sugar, vitamins and minerals accompany naturally-occurring sugar such as those in an apple. Added sugar is just that – sugar. A recent statement by the FDA explains why added sugar can have a negative impact on a New York City individual’s health. “It is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie requirements if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugars.”

6. Protein Alternatives

The days of having limited non-dairy or non-meat protein sources available is gone. Today’s consumer can choose from plant or insect-based proteins as well as lentils and soy. Snack bars, chips, meat-free burgers or sausages and dairy-free yogurts and cheeses are likely to use nuts, extruded seeds, beans, water lentils or algae as their primary protein source.

7. Transparency

During the past year, accountability and transparency had a big impact on how companies design snack and food packaging. In everyday terms that means that companies were more upfront and open about the information on nutrition labels, ingredient lists, and marketing claims. 2019 will see companies applying those same principles of accountability and transparency to their hiring practices and company culture.

With so many new choices coming in 2019, there should be something for everyone. If you haven’t already experienced one of these trends, keep looking. You’ll likely find one in a healthy vending machine near you. 

Are you interested in offering healthy snacks and beverages to your employees or students? We can deliver tasty, flavorful and better-for-you options to your New York City workplace break room or school lunchroom. To schedule a product sampling, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671 .

Mini Snacks in New York City Offer Great Taste and More

healthyy snacks in the new york city area

“With KIND® Minis, we aim to turn the industry’s approach to small portion single-serve snacks upside down.”     – Daniel Lubetzky, Founder & CEO of KIND

KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) is known for its variety of snacking options that can be enjoyed at any time of the day from breakfast to a late afternoon snack. The organization’s new product line, KIND Minis, fills a void left by empty-calorie, single-serve snacks that have been around since the introduction of the small portion snack category.

In line with other KIND products, KIND Minis have nutrient-dense ingredients that provide protein and fiber while using less refined carbohydrates such as flour, sugar or corn. The first ingredient in the bars is either almonds, peanuts or cashews. Lubetzky isn’t surprised that other food manufacturers use flours, sugar and corn more frequently because those ingredients are inexpensive compared to most nuts. For example, the cheaper ingredients, on average, are $2.16 per pound less expensive than the nuts.

But, there is also a not-so-obvious cost to New York City consumers that is connected to the lower-cost ingredients. Those ingredients are highly processed and can increase the risk of obesity, which is already a problem for the 39.6 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of children who are already considered obese. Unfortunately, obesity opens a door to a number of other serious health conditions including diabetes and hypertension.

healthy snacks in the new york city area

The increased risk associated with highly processed ingredients is a problem for many New York City employees and students as half of all eating occasions today are snacks, and 63 percent of individuals use snacks as a way to consume nutrients, but it doesn’t have to be. One part of the solution, where employers or schools can have an impact, is to offer better-for-you snacks and beverages to your employees or students in their workplace break room or school lunchroom. Being able to access healthier options on-site is one way to make choosing healthier easy.   

In addition to products like KIND Minis, better-for-you snacks in your New York City break room might include protein bars with lower amounts of sugar, baked chips made from ingredients such as sweet potato, brown rice or lentils, and dried or fresh fruit. Healthier beverages that promote hydration, another aspect of staying healthy, include flavored or plain mineral or traditional bottled water, unsweetened iced tea or coconut water. 

Does your New York City break room or school lunchroom provide your employees or students with opportunities to access healthy snacks and beverages on-site? Healthy Vending would like to help you offer your employees or students better-for-you snacking choices at prices that are similar to traditional products. To schedule a snack or beverage product sampling, please contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.