All posts by Elisabeth Wrede

Free Vending in New York City Offers Multiple Benefits

Free Vend New York City

Everyone needs to feel appreciated, including New York City employees. Providing free vending in the workplace break room is just one way to express employee appreciation. While each organization in New York City has a different culture, there are several things that create a universal feeling of appreciation and are enjoyed by almost everyone.

How to Show Appreciation

The first one applies specifically to the break room. Ask for your employees’ opinions about which snacks and beverages they would like to have available for free vending. 

Also connected to the break room, would be to survey everyone about the type of environment or vibe they want in their break room. The right combination of refreshments at no cost plus a welcoming environment is sure to encourage employees to stay on-site when they need to re-hydrate or grab a bite to eat. 

The next three ways to show appreciation don’t have to be connected to the break room, but they can be. Offer employees special treats or meals that aren’t usually available in the break room such as ‘Waffle Wednesday’ or ‘Freshly Baked Cookie Friday.’ Donuts from a favorite bakery or popular pizza are also great options.

In the non-food arena, giving employees who have gone above what was expected extra time off acknowledges their effort and time. Not acknowledging their time and effort can silently convey to everyone that they, the employees and their coworkers, receive no benefit for putting in the extra work.

Another way to express appreciation is to perform random acts of kindness. Everyone has heard the story about one person in line purchasing a coffee for the person behind them. To the person who received the coffee, the experience was a random act of kindness. The same can be done for your New York City employees. A simple thank you note or someone’s favorite snack are acts of kindness that show appreciation.

Free Vend New York City

Why Show Appreciation

At the surface, expressing appreciation for your New York City employees improves engagement, retention and motivation, especially during the holiday season. But dig a bit deeper and see a positive impact on employee work/life balance. 

In a recent article published by O.C. Tanner, “Showing gratitude can increase a person’s wellness, increase better sleep habits, increase metabolism and lessen stress. This directly impacts work results and employee interaction. With employee appreciation, you’re not only boosting performance and engagement, but the employee’s well-being and health.”

Drill down a bit further to the core and find that increased appreciation causes more positive interactions which then has even more positive ripple effects moving outward. That sounds like a good thing for everyone.

While Healthy Vending can’t perform random acts of kindness directly for your New York City employees, we can help you customize the perfect break room. Whether it’s free vending, subsidized vending or traditional vending, your employees will know that you appreciate all that they do. For more information, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

Celebrate Fall Activities in Your New York City Break Room

Celebrate Fall in New York City Break Room

The break room is the perfect place at work to celebrate fall. If your New York City employer hasn’t gotten into the fall spirit yet, October 26, 2019 is National Pumpkin Day. In addition to thinking about all the yummy things that can be made with pumpkins, fall is a great time to boost employee moral by encouraging New York City employees to branch out while having fun and meet colleagues in other departments. 

The following are a few ideas to help everyone welcome fall.

Host a pumpkin decorating or costume contest:  Everyone loves a bit of competition. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to host a costume or pumpkin decorating contest for your New York City employees. Both ideas work for single-person teams and multi-person teams, but multi-person teams can increase teamwork and morale. 

Decorate the office: There are a lot of different ways to decorate the break room or office for fall. Place decorated pumpkins (see pumpkin decorating contest above) or gourd arrangements around the room. Add in potted flower arrangements such as garden mums and tall grasses to bring more of the outdoors in. 

Enjoy hot mulled apple cider: Create an aroma based on a popular fall fruit – apples. Enjoyed cold or warm, apple cider delivers a unique flavor combination that is usually only found during the fall months. For a delicious apple aroma throughout the office, heat mulled apple cider on low in a slow cooker in the break room. Provide cups that are meant for hot liquids and a variety of healthy fall snacks.

Celebrate Fall in New York City Break Room

Offer fall flavored creamers: Pumpkin season brings out a desire for flavors that aren’t usually consumed year-round. Whether it’s cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg, there are a lot of fall flavored coffee creamers, such as pumpkin spice, gingerbread, cinnamon vanilla bean, that can brighten your New York City’s employees’ day. Don’t forget to offer a selection of non-dairy fall coffee creamers for those employees who do not consume dairy.

Support your community: Whether it’s a 5k or something longer, give back to your local community by sponsoring an employee team. For those employees who can’t or don’t want to run the race, there are other ways to be involved. Gather a group of coworkers to cheer on the participants and to meet the runners at the finish line or encourage employees to sign up to help with registration or to work at a water station. 

Not sure if your New York City break room is ready for all the pumpkins that will soon be arriving? Healthy Vending can help update your entire break room or customize your refreshment menu with sought-after snacks and beverages. For more information, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. 

Bottled Water Causes Hydration in New York City

bottled water in new york city

Bottled water is a healthy choice. Refreshing and great tasting, it is also convenient and portable. PepsiCo is upping their game and recently announced that they are taking bottled water and hydration to a new level with their Beyond the Bottle program. “The new system makes it easier for people to stay hydrated with great-tasting beverages, digitally track their hydration, and help meet the growing consumer demand for more sustainable packaging.” 

PepsiCo’s new program is an innovative ecosystem that addresses consumer desire for low-and-no-sugar beverages, the human need for hydration and the environmental impact of plastics on the earth. Each part plays an important role in both New York City’s consumers’ daily lives as well as the overall health of the environment. For this post, let’s focus on the individual.

Most New York City employees do not consume enough water. Unfortunately, that often means that they are not as hydrated as they could be. Staying properly hydrated means that more water is going into the body than the amount of water that is leaving. Dehydration is the opposite. 

If you’re thinking that just because summer is gone, and we’re heading toward much colder weather, you don’t have to think about staying hydrated, you’d be wrong. The effects of heating systems and the cold, itself, tend to draw moisture out of the body. Drinking enough water is important for all New York City individuals year-round.

Severe dehydration is dangerous and can cause life-threatening medical conditions, but most New York City employees usually contend with a milder form that still affects their day. Employee and student dehydration negatively impact workplace and school productivity because of a decrease in cognitive abilities, a reduction in concentration and alertness, and slower mental and physical reaction times. At work, it might be easy to overcome one or two coworkers who are dehydrated, but when about 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated, it is a real problem.

An easy way to decrease dehydration during the workday is to drink more water. 

bottled water in new york city

Even though bottled water is often a favorite packaged beverage, when it comes to hydration, water is water. It doesn’t matter if it’s a glass of filtered water or bottled water from the office break room or school lunchroom vending machine.  

Not a fan of plain water? Try adding a slice of lemon or lime or enjoying your favorite brand of flavored sparkling 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. 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 students and employees need. 

It’s time to take the first step. Healthy Vending is here to help your organization customize the perfect refreshment menu for your New York City employees or students. Don’t forget to offer healthy snacks with a variety of bottled water choices as well as other healthy, cold beverages. For more information, please call Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671.

Take Care of New York City with Eco-Friendly Vending Technology

Vending Technology in New York City

Even small steps can have an impact. As a facility or school cafeteria manager, choosing eco-friendly vending technology for your New York City break room or school lunchroom is one of many ways to help take care of the health of your employees, students and city. Another way would be to encourage employees and students to volunteer for the next annual National CleanUp Day. This year’s event took place all around the country this past Saturday, September 21 and collected trash from cities, beaches, parks and hiking trails. 

Anyone can participate. All it takes is picking up trash off the ground. National CleanUp Day, a nonprofit organization, grew out of the question, “What would the world be like if everyone picked up at least one piece of litter?” The founders hoped that the result would be a cleaner country and stronger communities. Volunteering also offers physical and mental health benefits to those who participate. 

Supporting New York City employee and student mental and physical health can also take place in the break room or lunchroom. In addition to placing appropriate trash and recycling receptacles where they are most likely to be used, the type of vending machine technology used, and the quality of snacks and beverages offered are important.

Five innovative and efficient vending technologies can help decrease the negative impact that traditional energy-using machines. Energy Star ratings are usually the first thing thought of when thinking about eco-friendly machines, and they do cost less to operate and use less overall energy. Installing light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs and motion sensors further decreases energy consumption and energy costs. 

The machines also use a product called Vending Miser. It monitors the number of people around the vending machine as well as any ambient temperature changes to use right amount of power to maintain the correct product temperature. Less lighting and fewer compression cycles decreases energy usage and costs for New York City employers and schools.    

Vend Screen is an interactive touch screen located on each machine that enables employees and students to use mobile payments and access product information.   

Vending Technology in New York City

Mobile Vending Request App, a cloud-based mobile app service, simplifies the process for reporting service issues. The technology combines the mobile app with QR codes located on each machine. If a user has a problem, they scan the QR code, and the problem is instantaneously reported. Other customer service features include requesting new products, making customer service inquiries, reporting machine issues, leaving feedback, and connecting with us on social media.

Finally, The Mind™ is an easy-to-use tool accessed via the touch screen on each machine that provides users with nutritional and ingredient information before choosing a healthy snack or beverage. It’s as simple as touching a thumbnail of the product or entering the product ID on the screen. 

Healthy Vending can also help ensure your New York City employees and students are only offered high-quality and healthy snacks and beverages. We are 100 percent dedicated to providing health snacks and beverages and offer a large selection of all-natural and organic products. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please contact us 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.

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.

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.

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.