Healthy Vending Options in Orlando and Central Florida

Food Trends Impact Orlando and Central Florida Healthy Vending Options

Healthy Vending Options in Orlando and Central Florida

Chocolate, cheese, and cereal have more in common than Orlando and Central Florida employees might realize. All three represent food trends that will impact future healthy vending options. As consumers seek out healthier packaged snack, food, and beverage options in the office break room and at home, manufacturers are responding by developing new choices to meet those needs.

Chocolate’s Dual Purpose

Times have changed. Chocolate is no longer seen only as a sweet treat that should be enjoyed sparingly. According to David Sprinkle, Research Director for Packaged Facts, “Chocolate companies are increasingly jumping on the better-for-you snacking trend, which leverages frequency of snacking by Americans with a balanced approach to nutrition that explores realistic options rather than a more dogmatic philosophy that forbids snacks or sweets altogether.”

These changes, however, are about more than traditional milk chocolate. Innovative companies are giving “old” chocolate treats a makeover. New dark chocolate products satisfy cravings and deliver quality nutrition without loading the Orlando and Central Florida consumer with sugar. The key is to offer new, high-cocoa content, low unhealthy-fat, and low-sugar, chocolate snacks with other healthy vending options in the office break room.

Cheese’s New Identity

To meet other snacking and on-the-go trends, cheese-makers are developing new cheese options in special cuts and sizes. Orlando and Central Florida employees are also looking for portable cheese snacks in easy-to-use packaging.

Cheese comes in a variety of flavors and nutrition as it contains calcium, protein, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, D and K, good bacteria, and antioxidants. But, watch out for choices with higher amounts of calories, salt, and saturated fat. Softer cheeses have fewer calories than hard cheeses because of the smaller amount of fat  To enjoy better-for-you cheese options look for ones that are fresh, organic, and made from healthier milk as well as low in fat and sodium.

Healthy Vending Options in Orlando and Central Florida

Cereal’s Expanding Role

The days of eating cereal only for breakfast are gone. Orlando and Central Florida employees are consuming cereal at all times of the day. General Mills recently found that “an estimated 30 percent of all US cereal consumption now comes in the form of snacking —triple the level of a decade ago.”

New cereal choices include a variety of flavors such as pumpkin, cinnamon, chocolate, coffee, and mocha. The type of ingredients have changed too. “Healthier” grains including quinoa, multigrain, oat, flaxseed, hemp, chia, pumpkin seed, and pea protein are a few of the options available. Cereal can also be enjoyed in the form of an on-the-go cereal bar, as a topping on a mid-morning yogurt snack, or as an after dinner treat.

Which of these healthy vending options are already available in your Orlando and Central Florida office break room? Whether you want to add one or all three, The Vending Station can help. We offer customized vending solutions including pantry services, micro-markets, and vending machines. To start the next step, call us at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Office Breakroom Beverages in Orlando and Central Florida

A New Beverage Hits Orlando and Central Florida Micro-Market Shelves

Office Breakroom Beverages in Orlando and Central Florida

Do you have a favorite beverage that you enjoy frequently? If Diet Coke is your beverage of choice, then you are one of over 25 million people who enjoy Diet Coke. And now, Orlando and Central Florida employees are about to have four new flavors to try—Diet Coke Ginger Lime, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry, Diet Coke Zesty Blood Orange and Diet Coke Twisted Mango—along with the original flavor. Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director for Diet Coke, recently said

Diet Coke is one of the most iconic brands loved by millions of fans in North America. Throughout this relaunch journey, we wanted to be bold, think differently and be innovative in our approach. And most importantly, we wanted to stay true to the essence of Diet Coke while recasting the brand for a new generation.   

It’s not just the addition of four new flavors, the look has changed as well. The sleek new cans share the same shape and size (12 ounces) as other Coca-Cola beverages and have a new look-and-feel with bold accent colors that represent each new flavor. Orlando and Central Florida employees will also be able to enjoy the new Diet Coke beverage flavors in the office breakroom micro-market. (Vending machines will likely only carry the original Diet Coke flavor due to space constraints.)

Office Breakroom Beverages in Orlando and Central Florida

A micro-market, or an open concept “mini” store using open shelving, glass-front coolers, and self-checkout technology, offers Orlando and Central Florida employees additional benefits. Micro-markets carry a large number of product options acknowledging that employees have distinct preferences and unique work schedules. They also provide employees the option to read nutrition labels and make educated decisions about what to eat or drink as well as highlight healthy choices by offering fresh and nutritious sandwiches, wraps, salads, snacks and beverages, fresh produce, and yogurt.

With Orlando and Central Florida companies vying for the same small group of potential employees, benefits such as the micro-market, cafe-style coffee service, or pantry service are three ways to attract, retain, and reward employees. Your employees enjoy the spoils while your organization enjoys the lower cost of the benefit.

For more information about updating your current snack, beverage, and coffee selections, or creating the ultimate breakroom, call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to hearing from you.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Orlando and Central Florida, Have You Met Coffee, the Great Defender?

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Coffee’s reputation has changed.

The Orlando and Central Florida beverage is no longer seen as harmful and damaging to your health. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined, after reviewing 1000 previously completed studies, that coffee cannot be classified as a cause of cancer anymore.

Now, there is one more reason to add to the list of why it is beneficial. Recent research performed by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that “people with colorectal cancer (CRC) who drank at least four cups of coffee per day after their diagnosis had a significantly lower risk of early death – from either their cancer or any cause – than those who didn’t drink coffee.”

Let’s take a look at five other reasons why the hot, caffeinated beverage is more than just an energy boost.

  • decreases the likelihood of developing heart disease, lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes, fights depression, decreases the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease, and helps your liver;
  • reduces the chance of developing dementia or cognitive impairment in women 65-80 (2 to 3 cups per day);
  • can decrease pain sensitivity in those with chronic pain;
  • reduces the risk of developing oral, pharynx, liver, prostate, and endometrial cancer, and melanoma;
  • increases the chance of living longer when compared to non-coffee drinkers (3 cups per day).

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Those are some spectacular benefits. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make sure that your Orlando and Central Florida employees have access this great protector while at work—offer coffee service in the office breakroom. When developing specialty coffee service, consider the following:

  • brewing systems: single-cup brewer, pour-over brewer, automatic brewer, or bean-to-cup brewer
  • beans (source and roasting process): locally roasted, national brands (value & specialty), and espresso
  • cream & sugar trends: dairy and non-dairy creamers, and sweeteners
  • other beverage options: hot tea, hot chocolate, and water filtration

And don’t forget to offer your Orlando and Central Florida employees healthy snacks and beverages to enjoy with their favorite cup of joe. Whether it’s combining coffee service with pantry service or a micro-market, The Vending Station can help. Contact us at (407) 891.7632 for more information.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Hot Tea in Orlando and Central Florida Keeps Its Superhero Title

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

It looks like hot tea is at it again! Researchers have discovered another reason why enjoying a hot cup of tea is beneficial for your Orlando and Central Florida employees’ health.

A recent study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology  examined the beverage preferences of 1,600 individuals and their likelihood of developing glaucoma. Researchers found a direct relationship between consuming hot tea daily and a reduced risk of developing glaucoma (compared to those who did not consume hot tea). Drinking at least one cup of hot tea per day decreased the odds of developing glaucoma by 74 percent.

​What is Glaucoma?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma is a disease that occurs when unwanted fluid collects in the front part of the eye and damages the optic nerve often causing blindness in those over 60 years of age. Catching it early, however, can reduce its severity.

Researchers know that “tea contains phytochemicals and flavonoids, which have been observed to have anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties” and that those antioxidant properties “may play a protective role in glaucoma.” But glaucoma isn’t the only health problem that can be positively impacted by drinking hot tea regularly. Other benefits of consuming hot tea include:

  • Lowered LDL or “bad” cholesterol;
  • Reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, and death from cardiovascular disease;
  • Decreased risk of certain cancers and neurological decline;
  • Improved muscle mass and increased bone mineral density, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis; and
  • Increased exercise endurance, focus, energy levels, and memory.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Consider the positive impact that these benefits could have on your Orlando and Central Florida employees. In addition to improved focus, mental clarity, concentration, and higher energy levels, healthy employees are likely to have increased morale, productivity, and fewer sick days. There is a definitive connection between employee health and a business’ bottom line. When an organization has healthy employees, that organization is likely to have a financial advantage in its industry.

To make sure Orlando and Central Florida employees have access to hot tea as well as coffee and snack options onsite, consider providing coffee service, bottled water, and healthy snacks in your office breakroom. Whether you prefer to use vending machines, pantry service, or a micro-market, The Vending Station can help develop a customized plan that will meet your needs. Contact us at (407) 891.7632 to learn more.

 

Reference

Wu, C.M., Wu, A.M., Tseng, V.L., Yu, F., & Coleman, A.L. (14 December 2017). Frequency of a diagnosis of glaucoma in individuals who consume coffee, tea and/or soft drinks. British Journal of Ophthalmology. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2017-310924

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Find New Food Trends in your Orlando and Central Florida Office Coffee Service

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

It’s only March, and 2018 food trends have made their way into the Orlando and Central Florida’s office coffee service. New flavors, unique plant-based ingredients, and eye-catching colors are creating a healthier, tastier, and more visually intriguing experience.

Color

Just as with food, eye-catching color in coffee is being sourced from natural ingredients. For example, charcoal, the key ingredient in goth food such as pizza and ice cream, can be also be used to create goth coffee. But gray isn’t the only new coffee color you’ll find.

Vegetables such as beets and sweet potatoes provide natural red/purple and orange-ish dyes. In fact, pink, green, and purple gourmet coffee has already been seen. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for latte art. A rainbow of colors is used to create beautiful designs in the latte’s foam. It’s beautiful and tastes great.

Healthier Choices

The move toward including plant-based ingredients, alternative sweeteners, and  antioxidant-rich botanicals in one’s coffee is upping the potential for coffee’s health benefits. Chicory, green coffee extract, or moringa is replacing some of the caffeine in coffee creating a beverage that offers a more moderate energy boost. Other trending botanical ingredients include turmeric (an anti-inflammatory), mushrooms, and hibiscus/floral infusions.

Including better-for-you sweeteners such as maple syrup and raw honey in your coffee service not only offers new flavors but also provides alternative sweeteners that offer a variety of health benefits. Maple syrup provides antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; is low on the Glycemic index; and has anti-inflammatory properties while honey is a natural energy source, cough syrup, and has beneficial antioxidants.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

New Flavors

2018 food trends will see new flavors such as cracked pepper, figs, pistachios, and east meets west flavor combinations. In demand flavors to enjoy with coffee or tea are quite different. Orlando and Central Florida consumers are looking for fresh, less processed techniques and flavors when it comes to their coffee service. In other words, coffee should be more nutritious and have a smoother and less bitter taste.

Better-for-you-fats such as coconut oil or grass-fed butter are believed to provide sought after health benefits such as brain function support when mixed with hot coffee. Fresh and less processed also remain at the forefront of new flavors. Nut and seed milks, raw honey, raw cacao, and other natural flavors combined with coffee or tea create a more natural and nutritious beverage.  

Whether your Orlando and Central Florida employees are looking for 2018’s new flavors in their snacks or in their coffee, consider including a micro-market and coffee service in the office break room. It’s quick, easy, and potentially available to your employees at a zero or reduced cost. To add a variety of snack, food, and beverage flavors to your Orlando and Central Florida office break room, call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632.

Office Break Room Snacks in Orlando and Central Florida

2018 Food Trends Impact Snacks and More in Orlando and Central Florida

Office Break Room Snacks in Orlando and Central Florida

trend: (n.) a general direction in which something is developing or changing     

   – English Oxford Dictionary

Each year Orlando and Central Florida consumers experience new flavor combinations that take the culinary world by storm, and 2018 is no different. While new food trends don’t instantly appear as snacks or meals in micro-markets or vending machines, they will eventually make their way toward the office break room.  

Here are a few new food trends that you’ll likely see in 2018.

Foods from Hawaii—where East meets West
For years, the Hawaiian islands have been known for their native dishes such as Poi, a staple food made from the root of the taro plant. The influx of cultures from around the world has, however, created new dishes that have made their way across the continental United States. Don’t be surprised if you see any of the following around Orlando and Central Florida in 2018.    

  • Poke (pronounced “POH-keh”) Bowl: chunks of raw, marinated fish, usually tuna, tossed over rice or quinoa, and topped with vegetables and umami-packed sauces.
  • Loco Moco: 1st layer: white rice or fried rice; 2nd layer: a beef patty, Spam, or Portuguese sausage; 3rd layer: brown gravy; 4th layer: a fried egg
  • Malasadas: a Portuguese, eggy, yeast doughnut (with no hole) that is fried and rolled in sugar

Office Break Room Snacks in Orlando and Central Florida

Is it art, or is it food?
Neither—it’s both. Chefs are using a mix of high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables to create eye-candy colored delicacies that that are part art and part food. Whether it’s a snack, a sweet treat, or a gourmet coffee, there are endless possibilities when it comes to combining a variety of flavors and colors to create healthy snacks and beverages. Keep an eye out in Orlando and Central Florida for new snack and meal choices that are almost too colorful to eat.   

  • Green: kale, spinach, peas, broccoli, and kiwi
  • Red: cranberries, strawberries, cherries, tomatoes, and pomegranates
  • Blue/Purple: beets, purple cauliflower, blueberries, eggplant, and plums
  • White: bananas, cauliflower, jicama, parsnips, and turnips
  • Orange/Yellow: lemons, carrots, peaches, mangoes, and sweet potatoes
  • Brown/Black: coffee, chocolate, mushrooms, or licorice

Figs and Pistachios—Two Rising Stars
Both figs and pistachios have been grown in different parts of the Mediterranean, Asia, and the Middle East for centuries. It looks like they will both now have a permanent place in Orlando and Central Florida cuisine. Figs, a fruit grown on trees, can add a wide range of flavors from a hint of maple syrup to a nutty, coffee flavor to almost any dish. Pistachios, a member of the cashew family, also grow on trees and are a nutritionally dense food that pairs well with a wide variety of other ingredients because of its buttery and smooth flavor. If you see any one of the following snacks around Orlando and Central Florida, give it a try.

  • Snacks with Figs: fig bars, dried figs, pastries filled with fig paste, and jam made from figs
  • Snacks with Pistachios: roasted or raw pistachios, pistachio ice cream, pistachio cookies, and trail mixes

Which trends would your Orlando and Central Florida employee like to find in their office break room? If it is time to update your micro-market or vending machine options, The Vending Station can help you customize the right combination of snacks, beverages, and meal choices. For more information about traditional or healthy choices, call us at (407) 891.7632.     

Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Coffee Service and the Micro-Market in Orlando and Central Florida

Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Office coffee service is often considered a separate service when it comes to the office break room, but it doesn’t have to be. For a moment, ponder what it would be like to mesh coffee service with a micro-market. On their own, micro-markets and coffee service offer distinct benefits, but when they are blended together in the Orlando and Central Florida office break room, they create a unique employee perk. Employees now have a relaxed on-site spot to grab a gourmet coffee beverage and a snack or meal.

This is even more important as recent research has found that the best time to enjoy a cup of coffee is either mid-morning or early afternoon, not first thing after waking. A simplified explanation is that the human body produces more cortisol at waking. Coffee, or caffeine, increases those cortisol levels even more. When the caffeine and cortisol wear off, an intense drop in energy occurs. Consuming coffee when cortisol levels are low, mid-morning or early afternoon, creates a bigger energy boost than when they were high. That sounds like a bonus for both Orlando and Central Florida employees and employers.

To effectively blend coffee service and micro-markets together, it is important to consider several aspects of coffee service, and how each aspect can help integrate coffee with the micro-market.

Coffee Brewers

  • choose brewers that make freshly made gourmet beverages; bean-to-cup or single-cup brewers are the current favorites
  • consider brewers with touchscreens that have the ability to create specialty drinks, including espresso
  • discover which coffee brewer brands are most sought after in your area—yes, brands matter even with coffee brewers

Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Coffee Beans

  • offer a wide range of coffee beans; consider a selection of local and national brands
  • discover which coffee brands are well known and liked by your Orlando and Central Florida employees
  • make sure that the perception of the coffee brands matches the perception of the micro-market—both should be high-end

Other Factors   

  • place the coffee service near popular foods and snacks that go well with coffee—whether it is a breakfast item or an afternoon treat, Orlando and Central Florida employees are more likely to make a spur of the moment purchase if the item is nearby
  • include a wide variety of creamer, coffee flavoring, and sweetener choices
  • recognize that employees are consumers—brand recognition of coffee brewers and coffee beans/roasters plays a role in purchase decisions

To make the melding process easier, The Vending Station can guide you through the process of integrating office coffee service into an existing micro-market or adding both employee benefits at the same time. For more information about micro-markets, coffee service, or other vending solutions, contact us at (407) 891.7632.