Demand for Organic Snacks in New York City Grows

healthy snacks in new york city schools

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

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

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

healthy snacks in new york city schools

Is it worth it?

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

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

What can we do?

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

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

Bottled Water Options in New York City

bottled water for schools in new york city

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

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

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

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

bottled water in new york city schools

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

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

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

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

Healthy, Plant-Based Diets Are Becoming Mainstream

Healthy Snacks in New York City

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

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

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

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

Healthy Snacks in New York City

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

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

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

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

5 Popular Beverages in New York City

Healthy Vending Machine Beverages in New York City

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

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

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

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

RTD Cold Teas

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

Healthy Vending Machine Beverages in New York City

Enhanced Fruit Drinks

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

Fruit Infused Flat or Carbonated Bottled Water

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

Sparkling or Flat Mineral Water

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

Coconut Water

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

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

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

7 Healthy Food and Nutrition Trends in New york city

healthy break room choices new york city

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

  1. Seed Butters

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

2. Ugly Produce

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

3. African-inspired Flavors

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

4. Digestive Health

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

healthy break room choices new york city

5. Added Sugar Versus Naturally-Occurring Sugar

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

6. Protein Alternatives

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

7. Transparency

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

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

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

Mini Snacks in New York City Offer Great Taste and More

healthyy snacks in the new york city area

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

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

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

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

healthy snacks in the new york city area

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

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

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

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.