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.

What Type of Value Does Your New York City Break Room Offer?

Break Room options in New York CityTo be a sought after perk, a break room has to offer what current and potential employees are looking for, and today, that means understanding what New York City Millennials want. As of 2017, research by the Pew Research Center found that Millennials became the largest group of Americans in the U.S. labor force at 35 percent. Generation Xers got bumped to second place with 33 percent of the workforce.  

While the number of years between Millennials and Gen Xers may not be very far apart, many Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) came of age during the recession. For a variety of different reasons, the recession had a strong impact on Millennials and triggered a need to find value in what they purchase. Words that describe a product or brand and convey value to Millennials include “well-priced given the quality,” “reliable,” “high quality,” “trustworthy,” and “loyal to customers.” Next in line are words that indicate social responsibility like “fair-minded,” “ethical,” “moral,” and “transparent.”

Whether the product in question is a piece of clothing, a smartphone, or a snack or beverage purchased from a vending machine, value matters. So, how does this generational shift impact your New York City break room? Unfortunately, there is no single answer for all break rooms. To figure out what matters in your break room, consider the following questions.

Break Room options in New York City

Who was your current break room designed for, and what did they value? What do your current employees value? Does that match what Millennials value?

Was it Baby Boomers or Gen Xers? What was or is important to them? Do they still value the same types of snacks and beverages or break room environment? Depending on the age of your organization, your current employees might be those who the space was designed for. But if that’s not the case, what do your current employees value? Are they looking for healthy snacks and beverages that have a functional purpose? Does that snack need to be organic or be made with as few ingredients as possible?

The next step in this process is to see compare those answers to what New York City Millennials are looking for in the break room. Based on the results of the Pew Research Center study, most Millennials are looking for a welcoming, comfortable space that offers snacks and beverages which are well-priced and made with high-quality ingredients by companies that are trustworthy, transparent, and care about their customers. And that sounds like something everyone would enjoy.

Healthy Vending would love to help your New York City organization take the first step toward a high-value break room with delicious and healthy beverages and snacks. You might also consider adding a bit more value by offering the same vending machine options at a reduced cost or for free. For more information, contact us at 917.572.3671. We look forward to helping you increase the value of an important employee perk.

Healthy Vending Choices Take Over New York City Break Rooms

Healthy vending option in New York CityHave you ever considered what might happen if you were to offer healthy vending machine options in your New York City break room? The results might be surprising as both employees and employers would benefit.

“Healthy” no longer means super expensive and weird tasting. Rather, competitively priced, all-natural, organic, and tasty snacks and beverages help turn your break room into an inviting space that encourages collaboration and creativity. Gone are previous obstacles such as needing to find a corner store that employees had to overcome to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. Now, all it takes is a trip to your New York City break room.

Snack and beverage vending machines in the break room are also important resources that help employees avoid the negative effects of hunger and dehydration. Hunger increases impulsiveness and the likelihood of experiencing lightheadedness, and decreases one’s ability to make long-term decisions and concentrate. As dehydration increases, the negative impact on cognitive and physical functions, such as short-term memory, arithmetic efficiency, and visuomotor tracking; motor speed and attention increases. None of those effects lead to positive outcomes, but without them, employee productivity Healthy vending options in New York Cityand morale increases.

To provide your employees’ with an extra perk and boost your break room’s appeal, offer subsidized pricing or free vending. They are two great ways to help take care of your employees’ financial and physical health. (They’re also an enticing perk for potential new employees.)  

Subsidized Vending: New York City employees pays a portion of the cost. The prices of vending machine snacks and beverages are lowered, and your company receives a bill at the end of each month for the difference.

Free Vend: All products are available to your employees for free. Each month, your company pays for the full amount.

And don’t forget to encourage your local New York City school to switch to healthy snack and beverage vending machines in their school lunchroom. Students also experience the negative effects of hunger and dehydration which negatively impacts their ability to learn.

Whether you are interested in healthy vending machines for your New York City break room or lunchroom, Healthy Vending can help. We offer a wide variety of organic and all-natural snacks and beverages that are healthy for everyone. For more information, please call us at 917.572.3671.

Water, Vending Machines, and Hydration in New York City

Water options in New York City

Do you drink enough water on a daily basis to meet your health needs? If you’re like 77 percent of a group of recently surveyed employed Americans, you don’t. The reason given by 43 percent of those individuals was lack of thirst. Before going any further, it is important to make a necessary statement.

If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Staying hydrated is crucial. Hydration not only plays an important role in an individual’s health, but it also impacts how that individual functions. Because dehydration has already occurred before a New York City individual realizes that they are thirsty, the negative impact of dehydration has also likely happened.

Mild dehydration has been known to have a negative impact on productivity, energy levels, and alertness. Hydrated employees can also have an impact on workplace productivity. Tony Ibarguen, CEO of Quench recently said, “One inexpensive way to boost productivity is to encourage hydration. Companies that make it easy and convenient for their people to access and drink more water throughout the day may see their employees’ energy levels, engagement and work capacity increase.”

Unfortunately, there are several obstacles that must first be removed if New York City employees are going to consume more: lack of time to get water; have to pay for it; and dislike the taste of it at work.

Let’s look at three ways to overcome those obstacles and help employees stay hydrated.

Lack of time to get it

Consider the placement of beverage vending machines throughout your office or facility. In addition to placing vending machines in the break room, also consider placing beverage vending machines in highly trafficked areas. By creating opportunities to get bottled water in areas where employees naturally traverse, those employees are more likely to stop and grab a bottle.

This approach is also backed by science. Researchers at the University College of London found that study participants were more likely to take the path of least resistance when it came to accomplishing a task. So in other words, it’s important to place as few obstacles as possible along the way to get a bottle of water.

Water options in New York City

Have to pay for it

While bottleless water coolers that connect directly to the building’s water supply or a filtration system can sometimes be a solution, there are many other situations when that is not an option. A great way to provide bottled water and overcome employees needing to pay for it is to offer vending machine beverages at a reduced cost or for free. New York City employees see free or subsidized vending as a high-value benefit, but for employers, the cost is much lower than the perceived value.

Dislike the taste of it at work

Yes, it is true. Water has a taste. Recent research published in a monthly scientific journal about neuroscience found that water has a flavor. While researchers believe water’s flavor should be in its own category, they discovered that its flavor is most closely related to the sour flavor category. Given this information, it is important to offer a variety of options from ‘normal’ bottled water to bottled flavored sparkling water. Each one of these will have a unique taste that reflects its specific mineral content or any natural flavors such as fresh fruit that might have been added.

Healthy Vending can help New York City employers overcome all three of these obstacles, and help employees stay hydrated by offering a variety of healthy beverages in vending machines throughout your place of employment. Available options include regular bottled water; bottled water with electrolytes; sparkling bottled water with electrolytes; and plain and flavored sparkling bottled mineral water. And don’t forget to offer healthy snacks to go with your employees’ preferred choice. Hydrated and satiated employees are a win for everyone.

For more information about healthy vending machine options to your New York City break room, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to helping your employees stay hydrated.

Doing More to Meet New York City Snack and Beverage Needs

Beverage and snack options in New York City

In 2018, there is a disconnect between New York City’s favorite packaged snack and beverage brands and the labels on snack and beverage packages that make them more appealing. Morning Consult Intelligence, a survey research and media monitoring organization, recently determined that the top 10 favorite packaged snack and beverage brands fall onto the ‘traditional’ side of the traditional versus healthy equation. But that same cohort of adults agreed that the words that typically describe the healthy side of the equation made products more appealing. For example:

  • 81 percent believe the word “fresh” makes products more appealing.
  • 68 percent said that labels including “sourced from American farmers,” “nutritious,” or “a high source of vitamins” makes products more appealing.
  • 66 percent agreed the words “natural flavors” makes products more appealing.
  • 58 percent said that “naturally sweetened” and “high in fiber” also makes products more appealing
  • 42 percent to 50 percent believe that “free-range,” “low-calorie,” “organic,” “non-GMO,” “fat-free,” “sugar-free,” and “sustainably sourced” makes products more appealing.
  • 54 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds say a product labeled organic is more appealing compared to 37 percent of those 65 and older.

snack and beverage options in New York City

Healthy Vending goes above and beyond by being 100 percent dedicated to providing healthy snack and beverage choices that fall into the “more appealing” category to New York City businesses and schools. Terms that represent many of our snack and beverage options also match those found in the study: organic; fair trade; non-GMO, no artificial colors, preservatives, or ingredients; vitamins and minerals; concern about different dietary needs (vegan, kosher, gluten free).

In addition to offering snack and beverage alternatives in vending machines, Healthy Vending uses vending machine technology to help educate New York City employees and students before making a purchase. Each vending machine is equipped with the MIND™, Make Informed Nutritional Decisions, a user-friendly touch screen monitor that displays product information and nutrition panels for every snack and beverage in the machine. An added bonus — the majority of the snacks and beverages in our vending machines are equal in price to less healthy options.

Providing support for the well-being of your New York City employees can also come in the form of supporting financial health. Whether it’s covering all or part of the cost of healthy snacks and beverages, this benefit represents a higher value to employees than the actual cost to employers. A physically healthy employee with a healthy financial picture is an employee with less stress who can be more productive.  

Healthy Vending continues to be a healthy resource that gives New York City employees and students a healthy alternative. For more information about offering healthy snack and beverage vending machine options in your office break room or school lunchroom, please contact us at 917.572.3671. We look forward to working with you.

New York City, Enjoy Bottled Water at Any Time of the Year

Bottled Water in New York City

Bottled water continues to be a popular choice for both refreshment and rehydration in New York City. As the seasons change and summer vacation comes to an end, New York City employees and students are heading back to work and school. Even though the temperature may be slowly dropping, it is important to remember to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can happen to anyone when there “is a lack of water in the body resulting from inadequate intake of fluids.” Even a small amount of dehydration can cause headaches, poor concentration, tiredness, and lightheadedness — all symptoms that can make it harder for employees and students to be productive. An easy way to stay hydrated is to always have low or no-sugar beverages like bottled water available in the office break room or school lunchroom vending machine.

Bottled water choices in the United States (U.S.) have expanded to include domestic non-sparkling water (5.5 percent increase), domestic sparking water (27.5 percent increase), imported sparkling and non-sparkling water (9.2 percent increase), and home and office delivery of 3 to 5-gallon size bottles (1.3 percent increase). The switch from other packaged drinks to bottled water has been so strong that, according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), “bottled water is the number one beverage product in the U.S., by volume, for a second year in a row.”

And that list of beverages includes carbonated soft drinks whose sales have continued to decline over the past 13 years as consumers have shifted away from sugar-sweetened beverages. Some of the reasons why New York City employees and students have made the switch include the following. Bottled water

  • is a healthy choice,
  • tastes great and is refreshing,
  • is convenient and available any time of day, and
  • Is portable.

Bottled Water in New York City

Another way to help boost productivity is to keep hunger at bay by offering healthy snacks in office break room or school lunchroom vending machines. Eating healthy snacks regularly throughout the day keeps energy levels up and blood sugar stable. A satiated and hydrated employee or student is a winning combination. For more information about adding healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your school or place of business, contact Healthy Vending at 917.572.3671. We look forward to working with you.