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.

New York City, Celebrate National Vending Day Every Day

Vending Options in New York City

March 7, 2019 was NAMA’s inaugural celebration of National Vending Day, a special day set aside to recognize those who make, sell and enjoy vending machines and the products they offer. Whether we realize it or not, the vending industry has played a role in our lives at one point or another, from the vending machines in a break room to the highway rest stop and everywhere in between. In fact, the impact of the Convenience Services industry, which the vending industry is part of, is larger than most of us realize and has had an economic impact of close to $25 billion. Now, that is something worth celebrating. 

Instead of waiting until March 7, 2020 for the next celebration, celebrate vending machines and your New York City employees every day. Consumers know what they want to eat or drink, and they know when they want it. Help them understand that their break room snack and beverage vending machines are a great on-site resource.

Below are a few suggestions that can spark employee excitement and share information about the delicious products that are available.

Taste-testing Event

It’s no surprise that humans are known for avoiding change, and that includes trying a new healthy snack or beverage. New flavors or textures can be daunting especially when it comes to spending money. Encourage your New York City employees to enjoy new flavors and textures by offering a taste-testing event. Whether it’s once a month or once a quarter, it’s a great opportunity for your employees to experience something new, and you can learn which products are more likely to sell.

Vending Options in New York City

Trivia Competition

A little friendly competition is fun, and it can increase camaraderie and morale. Consider hosting a special event like a vending trivia competition with vending-related prizes. There are a lot of interesting facts about vending machines out there. Here are a couple questions to get you started.

  • When did the first reference to a vending machine occur? (answer: 215 BC by Hero of Alexandria, an engineer and mathematician in first-century Roman Egypt. He created a machine that accepted a coin and dispensed holy water.)
  • When did the U.S. Post Office start using stamp vending machines? (answer: 1905)

On-site Events

Host an on-site event celebrating your employees. As part of the celebration include product discounts or snack and beverage giveaways and programs where employees can earn currency for products available in the break room. Everyone likes to get something for free or at a discounted price, even in the break room.

The Break Room

Spruce up your New York City break room. Bright, cheery and welcoming spaces are more likely to attract employees than the bleak, gray break rooms of yesterday. If possible, include plants, brightly painted walls and several separate seating areas that encourage spontaneous conversation, collaboration or a moment of relaxation.

Lastly, consider revamping your current refreshment services or adding new ones to your office break room or school lunchroom. Healthy Vending can help you create a customized menu with the right combination of products for your New York City employees or students. For more information, call us at 917.572.3671.

New York City Consumers Learn About Bottled Water

Bottled Water in New York City

Did you know that there’s a podcast about bottled water? The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) recently launched the podcast titled H2O In The Know. Each episode focuses on different water related topics including the current science on hydration, how to increase recycling rates, standards and regulations, and the taste of different types of waters. 

Jull Culora, IBWA Vice President of Communication, recently shared that “H2O In The Know offers consumers a great new way to learn interesting facts and stories about water, especially bottled water.” Let’s take a quick look at some of the questions that were discussed in the first episode. 

Before we get to the first question, you might be wondering what any of this has to do with you, a New York City consumer. The answer is…a lot.

Humans need water to survive. Research has shown that humans can last three maybe four days without consuming any water. But, that doesn’t mean that every bit of water on the earth is safe to be consumed. To understand if a certain type of water is good for human consumption, it is important to know more about that type of water. For the bottled water industry, specifically, the answers to the following questions will help New York City consumers learn more about what they are drinking, and when it comes to things we consume, more knowledge is definitely better.

Are there regulations for bottled water?

The short answer is yes, there are. Bottled water is regulated at both the federal and state level and is considered a packaged food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, the FDA regulations governing the safety and quality of bottled water are as stringent as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations that govern tap water.  

Are there standards that pertain to only bottled water?

Again, the answer is yes. For the standards that focus on bottled water, the FDA has divided them into the following groups.

  • Standards of Identity: regulations that define the different types of bottled water
  • Standards of Quality: regulations that set maximum levels for contaminants that are allowed
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP): regulations that set manufacturing parameters to ensure that food, including snack and beverages, is healthy to consume.
Bottled Water in New York City

What  types of bottled water are available?

Per the FDA, there are six different types of bottled water available. They are spring water, purified water, mineral water, sparkling bottled water, artesian water or artesian well water, and well water. To help New York City consumers know which type of water they have, the FDA also requires that each type of water be clearly printed on the label of each bottle of water.

Now that you’re aware of some of the regulations and standards, use this information to help your New York City employees and students by removing a potential concern that they shouldn’t have to think about during their day. Provide them with healthy vending machine beverages and snacks in their break room or school lunchroom. For an extra bonus for your employees, offer snacks and beverages at a reduced or zero cost. Not only will they be hydrated and satiated, but morale will get a boost too.

For more information about offering healthy snacks and beverages in your workplace break room or school lunchroom, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We’ll help you create a customized, healthy menu that is sure to please everyone.

Savory Snacks Fill a New Role in New York City

Healthy, savory and tasty snacks are exactly what New York City employees are looking for when they need a quick bite to eat. A recent survey about the Global Health & Wellness (H&W) market for Savory Snacks found that the growing number of health conscious individuals and the increase of awareness about obesity and its complications have contributed to the increase in demand for healthier and more nutritious choices.

But New York City consumers are looking for more specific information about their snacks. Reading that a snack might be healthy isn’t enough. They want to know if a specific savory snack is ‘free from’ or ‘food minus’ certain unhealthy ingredients. For example, the demand for savory snacks that are ‘free from’ a particular ingredient such as cholesterol accounted for 82.6 percent of the total demand for savory snacks. Consumers have learned that avoiding cholesterol and saturated fats is important as both can lead to cardiovascular disease, a major cause of death worldwide. 

So, what does this information have to do with your New York City breakroom or lunch room vending services? A lot. Savory snacks aren’t going anywhere especially as today’s employees and students consume heavier, more nutritious snacks as mini meals. 

Snacks in New York City

The effects of eating healthier are more far-reaching than most of us realize. In the short term, employees and students who make healthier choices can have more energy and are able to focus and concentrate more effectively because their bodies have received the right kind of fuel. Increased overall productivity and potentially better long-term health are some of the long-term results that healthier snack and beverage choices today can impact tomorrow. 

One way to help your New York City employees or students make healthier choices is to meet them where they are with healthy, savory snacks and refreshing, cold beverages. But, unfortunately, it isn’t enough to just place any healthy items in your breakroom vending machine. Make sure that everyone knows that their preferences have been considered by creating a customized snack and beverage menu. If there are enticing, healthy choices at work or school, grabbing something not-so-healthy off-site will require more time and work to accomplish the same task.

Healthy Vending, New York’s largest provider of all-natural and organic snacks and beverages, can help you customize a vending machine menu that meets all of your organization’s sweet or savory, healthy needs. To schedule a savory snack product sampling, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. 

New York City Employees Look for Their Next “Snack Meal”

healthy snack options in New York City

Even if you haven’t heard of the term “snack meal,” you’ve likely experienced it with the 86 percent of Americans who already have. A snack meal is a healthy snack eaten in place of a traditional meal, and more and more people are incorporating them into their diet. For example, according to a recent survey performed for Farm Rich, the average New York City employee consumes five snack meals each week and is likely to eat their snack meals instead of lunch.

Shannon Gilreath, Director of Marketing at Farm Rich, shared that “People are no longer feeling bound to the traditional three meals a day, which gives them more variety and time back to do the things they enjoy most, and for many, that doesn’t involve a ton of time in the kitchen, especially on busy days.”

Of the different generations of New York City employees, Millennials are the most likely to believe that “three standard meals a day is a thing of the past.” Unlike older generations who look at snacks as a way to curb cravings, Millennials use snacks as way to refuel without needing a lot of time to grocery shop, prepare a meal, and then sit down to eat it. Snack meals need to be easy and quick to prepare and portable.

Farm Rich’s survey found that the top healthy choices are cheese, crackers, fruit, chips, nuts, veggies, yogurt, and pretzels. The right combination of these healthy options will enable employees to create small meals that meet their own unique nutritional needs.

Snack options in New York City

One way New York City employers can help their employees meet their meal/snacking needs is to offer healthy snack meals (with beverages) in their break room vending machines. Access to healthy, onsite options will not only save time, but it also provides employees with the fuel they need to recharge, giving them the energy to have a productive day.

If you’d really like to give your New York City employees a boost, consider implementing one of the following vending solutions – their wallets will thank you.

Subsidized Vending: The prices of the items in the vending machine are lowered. At the end of each month, your company receives a bill for the difference.

Free Vending: All the products in your vending machines are free. Your company receives an invoice at the end of each month and pays the entire cost.

For more information about customizing the right healthy vending machine menu for your employees, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

Sparkling Water Bubbles Over in New York City Break Rooms

Sparkling Water in New York CityWhat is healthy and hydrating and delivers a fizzy boost? It’s sparkling water!

As the new year gets into full swing, new and existing health-conscious shoppers are on the hunt for all-natural, great-tasting beverages. Sparkling water and its many flavors and bubbles are the perfect choice but making a change or trying something new can be tough. To encourage your New York City employees or students to visit the break room or school lunchroom and enjoy a new beverage, there are a few things to try.

  • Introduce a new beverage, such as a new sparkling water flavor, with an incentive. Who wants to miss out on limited, special-discounted price?
  • Transform the concept of Happy Hour into an “Afternoon Pick-Me-Up” Hour with afternoon beverage specials and snacks that complement specific beverages, such as new sparkling water brand or flavor with a sweet granola bar or crunchy, baked chips.
  • Host an event-based promotion, such as midweek Trivia competition or a March Madness event with sparkling water, iced tea, organic soda and a selection of delicious and healthy snacks.
  • Host a which is the “best-tasting flavor” sparkling water competition or a competition to see who can guess the new sparkling water flavor to pique the interest of New York City employees or students who are curious about trying new beverages but are worried about spending money on a flavor they might not like. Encourage participation by offering unique prizes to the winner.

Sparkling water in New York CityTwo great sparkling water brands to encourage your employees or students to try are LaCroix and bubly. LaCroix sparkling water comes in a variety of flavors and contains 100% natural essences, no sugar, and no artificial ingredients. bubly, new to the sparkling water market, also offers a variety of flavors with no artificial flavors, sweeteners and calories. It’s all up to everyone’s flavor preferences.

Which flavors would your New York City employees or students prefer? Healthy Vending is excited to help you sort out which flavors appeal the most and add those new, healthy beverages to your break room vending options. For more information about customizing your break room with healthy snacks and beverages, contact us at 917.572.3671.

New York City, Make Healthy Protein Choices

healthy options in New York CityWhat makes a snack healthy? Does it matter if it’s made in a New York City individual’s kitchen or purchased from a vending machine? Is it the type of ingredients or maybe the nutrients in the ingredients? The answer is that it varies. For some snacks, it’s the vitamins or minerals, and for others, it’s the protein that makes it a healthy snack. Where it comes from has no bearing on whether or not it’s healthy.

This sounds straight forward until the results of two surveys completed by Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, are considered. Nielsen asked participants to place a variety of protein sources such as beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, dairy, eggs, peanut butter, and cottage cheese in one of three categories: high protein (more than 20 grams per serving), mid-level protein (10-20 grams per serving) or low protein (less than 10 grams per serving).

The results were surprising. According to Nielsen, “overall protein knowledge among U.S. consumers is fairly low. Of the 10 products included in our surveys, only three items reached a majority of consumers correctly identifying protein content levels.”

While participants listed traditional sources of protein (meat, eggs, and dairy) as their go-to source for protein, those same individuals did not rank meat as a source high in protein. Instead, 78 percent of the participants choose peanut butter as a high protein choice when, in reality, peanut butter contains a low amount of protein.

Let’s take a step back and take a (simple) look at protein, and how it helps keep the body healthy. Protein is found in every cell in the body, and, on average, there are 37.2 trillion cells in a human body. Each molecule of protein consists of 20+ amino acids or building blocks. While the body can produce many of those amino acids, nine of them must come from food because the body can not produce them.

Because of the large amount of cells, making healthy decisions about protein sources impacts every part of the body. Choosing healthy protein options for snacks during the work or school day is a great way to help meet daily protein requirements. The following are a few things to consider when making a decision.

  • what is the source of the protein – plant or animal?
  • how much protein does the nutrition label say is in the snack you’re considering?
  • what are the other ingredients (fats, fiber, sodium, etc.) in the snack you’re considering?

Healthy options in New York CityThe answers to the previous questions will be as unique as the individuals answering them. What’s important is that New York City employees and students read the nutritional labels to help choose products that offer protein from preferred sources and provide the right combination of nutrients that they each need. To help them accomplish that, businesses and schools can offer healthy snack and beverage vending machines in their New York City lunchroom or break room.

There’s now one fewer obstacle that employees and students need to overcome, and Healthy Vending can help your organization overcome the challenge of determining which healthy snacks and beverages to offer. We offer a variety of healthy, all-natural, and organic products in Eco-friendly, state-of-the art vending machines. Call us at 917.572.3671 for more information about making the switch.

Healthy Tips for New York City’s Hearts

healthy break room options in New York CityGive yourself the gift of a healthy heart this holiday season and celebrate with some delicious dark chocolate — yes, dark chocolate.

We know that diet plays an important role in one’s overall health including the health of the heart. New research has confirmed, yet again, that dark chocolate can be part of a New York City individual’s healthy diet. Study participants who enjoyed chocolate bars three times per month reduced their risk of heart failure by 13 percent when compared to those who ate no chocolate.  

Let’s celebrate!

But don’t go overboard. The same study found that participants who ate chocolate everyday appeared to increase their risk for heart failure by 17 percent. Yikes!

Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, lead researcher of the study, said, “I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol…However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health.”

Chocolate is made from different combinations of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, cocoa bean powder, sugar, and milk powder. For dark chocolate, the first ingredient should be cocoa or chocolate liquor followed by any combination of cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and cocoa butter. Sugar, a necessary ingredient, is then used to balance the bitter taste of the chocolate. For healthier dark chocolate, sugar should be listed toward the end of the ingredients’ list and always after the cocoa. Cocoa is beneficial for the heart while sugar and any unnecessary fats are damaging.

healthy break room options in New York CityHigh quality cocoa, which is found in some dark chocolate, contains flavonoids (flavanols, flavonols (source of the antioxidant qualities), epicatechin and procyanidins) and polyphenols. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, improve cognitive function, fight inflammation and oxidative stress — improving blood flow, boost blood vessel health, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Other ways to help keep your heart healthy include

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • select whole grains
  • limit unhealthy fats
  • reduce the amount of sodium in your food

Maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season isn’t always the easiest for New York City employees or students. Between work or school, social gatherings, and errands, finding a healthy snack or beverage can be challenging. One way to help them is to provide healthy snack vending machines in visible locations such as the break room or school lunchroom. Our healthy snack vending machines offer

  • controlled portion sizes (weight impacts your heart’s health),
  • the ability to see the ingredient list and nutrition information for each product and to determine the type and amount of grains, fats, sodium,
  • the occasional treat such as dark chocolate, and
  • a healthy option when away from home; whether the stop at the vending machine is planned or not.

Do you have a plan to help your New York City employees or students stay healthy this holiday season and through the new year? We’d like to help you customize a solution that meets your and their needs. For more information, please contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to hearing from you.

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.

A Healthier Alternative