All posts by josh

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. 

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.

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.

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.