beverages in orlando and central florida break rooms

Summer Beverages Delight Orlando and Central Florida

beverages in orlando and central florida break rooms

It may almost be the end of summer, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy delicious and hydrating summer beverages. Combine flat or sparkling water with a variety of teas, fruits and sweeteners, and Orlando and Central Florida area residents can enjoy a limitless selection of cool, refreshing beverages. 

The following list includes a few of our favorite choices to be enjoyed over ice or frozen fruit:

  • sparkling honey limeade: sparkling water, fresh lime juice, honey and sugar to taste 
  • pineapple lemonade: fresh pineapple, lemon juice, lime juice, water and a bit of sugar
  • peach and strawberry fizz: roasted peaches and strawberries, sparkling water and apple juice
  • blackberry-lime sparkling water: blackberries, lime juice, sugar and sparkling water
  • cucumber-mint water: cucumber, lime, mint and water
  • vanilla-rosemary lemonade: rosemary, lemon juice, vanilla bean, sugar and water
  • ginger and honey sweet tea: black tea, fresh ginger, honey and water 

Everything can be made with flat or sparkling water; well everything except the next beverage.

This last option definitely stands out and makes everything a little more fun. It’s a coconut frappe. Instant coffee is combined with coconut milk, honey and vanilla extract and blended with ice to create a sweet, summery and energy-boosting beverage. Nothing says summer like the flavor of coconuts. 

Whether on vacation, at home or at work, staying hydrated is important for everyone. Becoming dehydrated is always a possibility, especially during the warmer months, and is something Orlando and Central Florida employers and employees need to be aware of. Not having enough water in one’s body can lead to serious medical conditions including swollen feet, headaches and heat stroke. 

beverages in orlando and central florida break rooms

Early signs of dehydration to watch out for are thirst, flushed skin, premature fatigue, increased body temperature, faster breathing and pulse rate, increased perception of effort, decreased exercise capacity, and are followed by dizziness, increased weakness and labored breathing with exercise. Orlando and Central Florida employers can support their employees’ hydration year-round by offering a variety of both cold and hot beverages in the break room. 

Elevate your break room benefits by offering healthy snacks and fresh food to go with hydrating and delicious beverages. The Vending Station would like to help your organization support your employees by creating a custom refreshment menu with highly sought-after options. For more information, please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. 

break rooms in orlando and central florida

Social Awareness Finds a Place in Orlando and Central Florida Break Rooms

break rooms in orlando and central florida

Will consumer awareness of food-related topics impact future refreshment menus in Orlando and Central Florida break rooms? The answer is yes; they already have, and they will continue to do so moving forward. All one has to do is look around to see snack and beverage options that are made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), are low in added sugar or are locally sourced.

A recent Nielsen study, which asked two important questions, confirmed what many Orlando and Central Florida consumers already knew. Awareness of social issues related to the food and grocery industry plays a role in shopping patterns and will continue to influence shopping behaviors as consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Xers, learn more about different issues.

As of the end of the study, the social issues that ranked the highest in current consumer awareness were buy local (46 percent), GMOs in foods (35 percent) and no added sugar/sugar reduction (33 percent). A quick trip to Orlando and Central Florida break rooms will highlight that snack and beverage manufacturers are already aware that these issues are important to their customers.

The second part of the study, which food/grocery companies need to pay attention to, asked participants, who were currently aware of a topic, how interested were they in learning more about that issue. Topics that ranked the highest were pesticide/herbicide use in food production (66 percent), food waste in grocery stores (58 percent) and at home (57 percent) and products free from artificial ingredients (57 percent).

When combining current issues with potential new issues, three areas emerge: 

  • which (chemicals, antibiotics, GMOs, artificial ingredients, etc.) are used to grow crops, raise animals and/or make/cook/bake snacks, food and beverages
  • buy local
  • combat all types of food waste
break rooms options in orlando and central florida

Taking these three areas back to Orlando and Central Florida break rooms, employers need to be aware of which issues are most important to their employees. If snacks, cold beverages, coffee or fresh food do not meet employees’ needs, those employees will go off-site to find what they need. And that is a loss for Orlando and Central Florida companies. 

Employees who visit on-site break rooms for snacks or meals are likely to be more productive and have more opportunities to have spontaneous interactions with coworkers which can lead to less stress and increased creativity. Now that sounds like a win for everyone.

The Vending Station excels at customizing break room menus that employees are excited about and works to ensure that menus change as employees’ preferences change. For more information about updating your current vending, micro-market or pantry service break room menu or customizing a new one, contact The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. 

healthy snacks in orlando and central florida

Five Healthy Habits to Incorporate Into Your Orlando and Central Florida Workday

healthy snacks in orlando and central florida

Making healthy choices at work is much easier today than it used to be thanks to a much larger variety of better-for-you choices available in the break room. A recent report by Oh My Green, a concierge-style provider of healthy food and wellness services, supports the idea as their report showed that their clients were willing to switch to healthy snacks, beverages and food if healthy options were available.

Additional snacking patterns appeared over the duration of the analysis including fruit as the number one healthy snacking choice and the frequency of unhealthy snacking declining. With unhealthy consumption decreasing, healthy consumption increased as more healthy choices became available, even when there was a variety of options in the break room available.

In addition to choosing healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food from your break room micro-market or pantry service, there are four other healthy habits to incorporate into your workday.

  • Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea: Take the time to relax and chat with colleagues while drinking your beverage and enjoy the accompanying energy boost that follows a short while later. If consuming caffeine isn’t an option, don’t worry; enjoy a decaf coffee or tea instead. You’ll still be able to relax and talk with colleagues while enjoying your beverage.
  • Go for a walk: Exercise is important for many reasons including your performance during the workday. Walking or other types of movement increases blood flow, boosts certain hormones and reduces stress. Spending time outside whether it’s sunny or cloudy also helps the mind and body relax.  
  • Drink enough water: Staying hydrated is crucial for one’s physical and mental health. Dehydration causes many negative responses including a decrease in alertness, memory and productivity; all of which negatively impacts getting things done. Healthy options include regular bottled water, sparkling water or flavored carbonated water.  
  • Reduce stress: Everyone experiences stress. Some stress is beneficial, but too much is harmful. The challenge is figuring out where the line is between beneficial and too much as everyone’s line is in a different place. Several ways to decrease stress include taking several deep breaths, listening to music or looking at images or pictures that bring happiness.
healthy snacks in orlando and central florida

Whether Orlando and Central Florida employees realize it or not, making simple choices can greatly impact their day, for both the better and the worse. Employers can help guide their employees toward good habits by highlighting healthy choices that are available in their micro-market or pantry service and creating break room spaces that encourage collaboration and relaxation.

For more information about updating your refreshment menu or completely redesigning your break room, The Vending Station can help. Please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632 to take the first step.

office coffee service options in orlando and central florida

Coffee and Blueberries are a Pair in Orlando and Central Florida

office coffee service options in orlando and central florida

Coffee and blueberries in the same mug aren’t usually thought of as a delicious combination enjoyed during a morning or afternoon break at work. However, in honor of National Blueberry Month, let’s explore how Orlando and Central Florida employees can enjoy the flavor of blueberries with their favorite coffee or espresso-based beverage.

There are two ways to enjoy a cup of coffee with hints of blueberry. The first is to add blueberry flavoring or syrup, and the second is to enjoy a beverage made from Harrar beans.

Blueberry Flavoring can be added at one of two different stages during the coffee creation process. The first options occur immediately after the beans have been roasted. While the beans are still hot, blueberry flavoring is added as a coating to the outside of the beans to create a layer of flavor. The beans are then sold to consumers. After the beans are ground and later brewed, the blueberry flavor, which was on the outside of the beans, mixes with the ground coffee and creates a blueberry-flavored beverage.

The second way to add blueberry flavor is to purchase or prepare blueberry syrup and add it to a freshly brewed cup of Joe. With this option, Orlando and Central Florida consumers can decide how little or much they want to add. If making the syrup from scratch, only three ingredients – fresh blueberries, water and sugar – and sometime are needed. 

office coffee service options in orlando and central florida

Harrar coffee beans, the other option, are from the Oromia region of Ethiopia and are one of the oldest types of bean still in production. Grown on small farms at elevations between 4600 feet and 6500 feet, the beans are dry processed, which means they are harvested and processed by hand and then dried in the sun. The end result is a bold and complex coffee with notes of blueberries as well as apricots and a hint of jasmine. 

If the traditionally flavored types are preferred by your Orlando and Central Florida employees, there are a lot of options available from French-vanilla and hazelnut to different roasting processes and types of beans. And that doesn’t include the all of the espresso-based beverages that can be made with those beans. Make it easier on your employees to find their favorite beverage during the workday with office coffee service (OCS).

OCS lets your Orlando and Central Florida employees know that you value them. In return, energized and hydrated employees are more creative and productive. It’s a win for everyone. For more information about our OCS options, please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to customizing a solution that fits your organization’s specific needs.

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

2019 Coffee Trends in Orlando and Central Florida

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Coffee is important, especially to the 63 percent of American adults and Orlando and Central Florida individuals who drink it daily in 2019. The reason why it is important will vary based on the individual, but there is one overarching theme that has impacted the industry as a whole. 

Consumers’ values, especially toward coffee and where it comes from, have changed. Not only are Orlando and Central Florida consumers more aware of what they are drinking but they also consider sustainability, grower/roaster transparency and wellness benefits when choosing their beverages. The results of the National Coffee Association’s (NCA) newest report, 2019 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT), reflects these ongoing changes.

To better understand three of the top trends included in the NCDT report, it’s important to first define the categories or terms that the NCA uses in the report.

Traditional – Not Gourmet: “not brewed from premium whole bean or ground varieties”

Traditional – Gourmet: “brewed from “premium varieties””  

Gourmet Beverages: includes two distinct sub-categories (1) espresso-based beverages, and (2) non-espresso-based beverages (ex. cold brew)

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Three of the top trends in 2019 are

  • The percentage of gourmet beverages consumed by Americans the previous day increased to 61 percent. Drilling down a level, espresso-based beverages increased to 24 percent while non-espresso-based beverages increased to 11 percent. Traditional – gourmet decreased by 1 percent to 15 percent.
  • More often than in previous years, coffee and espresso-based beverages today are being prepared out of the home and enjoyed after the traditional breakfast hour. This shift in consumer behavior is reflected by the 6 percent decrease since 2012 of survey participants who brewed their coffee at home, and the 5 percent increase by those who enjoyed a coffee or espresso-based beverage made outside of the home.
  • For those in the under-40 demographic, 80 percent of survey participants were aware that cold brew is an option. 89 percent were also aware of ready-to-drink (RTD) choices. The increased awareness of cold brew and RTD beverages offers manufacturers an opportunity for innovation, whether in preparation methods or types of ingredients.

Do your Orlando and Central Florida employees feel the same way about their office coffee service (OCS) options? The Vending Station offers an extensive OCS and can help your organization customize the best solution for your employees from coffee and tea to cold beverages, healthy options or fresh food. To learn more or schedule a product sampling, please contact us at (407) 891.7632.

snacks in orlando and central florida

Snacks Meet Orlando and Central Florida Employees Where They Are

Snacks. They’re everywhere. In fact, in 2018 Americans enjoyed almost 386 billion ready-to-eat snacks. Whether they are eaten on their own, as part of a meal, or as a meal replacement, snacks need to continue to evolve so they can meet the needs of future Orlando and Central Florida consumers. David Portalatin, NPD Group’s food industry advisor, explained it best when he said, “snack food rolls [are] is changing in different ways in reaction to Americans’ desire for balance, portable snack foods, and holistic wellness.”

Orlando and Central Florida employees are no different. They are also looking for snacks that offer balance, portability and wellness. But what do those three things mean?

Balance

The concepts of healthy and great tasting no longer exist on opposite sides of the aisle. Today’s snacks and beverages meet in the middle. It’s all about balancing enjoyable flavors, textures, and healthy ingredients with a reasonable amount of something sweet over the course of a day or week to help create a balanced diet. Manufacturers are working to meet consumers in the middle by offering thinner versions of their most popular cookies. 

snacks in orlando and central florida

Wellness

For a snack or beverage to fall into the wellness category, it must offer more than just healthy ingredients. It needs to have a purpose or be considered functional. Snack or beverage choices that are high in protein, offer weight management benefits, or include immune-boosting or pro-digestive health ingredients all fall into the functional category. Ingredients such as fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, and alternative protein sources all help a snack or beverage to perform a specific purpose.

Portable

Single-serve, on-the-go, and functional are three attributes that Orlando and Central Florida employees look for when choosing portable snacks. With 86 percent of Americans eating a snack instead of a meal and 20 percent of Millennials eating snacks while running errands, there are a lot of people eating on-the-go. Successful snack manufacturers take that into account and create options that can be enjoyed anywhere.

Do your Orlando and Central Florida employees have access in their breakroom vending machine or micro-market to snacks that are balanced, wellness-focused, and portable? The Vending Station can make sure that those who don’t eat a traditional lunch also have a variety of choices to help meet their dietary needs. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please call The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632.

herbal tea in orlando and central florida offices

Tea Delights Orlando and Central Florida Employees Year Round

herbal tea in orlando and central florida offices

“Just like eating fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods, regular tea consumption has been shown to have significant health benefits.”

– Peter Goggi, President of the Tea Council of the USA.

The weather may be warm outside, but that doesn’t mean Orlando and Central Florida employees can’t enjoy a delicious cup of hot or cold tea during their workday or on the weekend. With so many different types available, it can feel overwhelming when trying to choose one. Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning.

Tea starts as a single plant, the Camellia sinensis. How the leaves are cared for, plucked and dried or oxidized will determine the end result. The five main types are black, white, green, oolong and puerh (or dark). 

Black tea is the most commonly consumed type in the world. In the United States, over 80 percent of the tea consumed is black. The key is to make sure that the leaves are fully fermented or oxidized.

Green tea is known to have many health benefits including stress reduction and improved memory, attention and brain function. To make green tea, the leaves are heated after being plucked to prevent oxidation.

Oolong tea is made by only partially fermenting the leaves. Once the plucked leaves have withered, they are then fermented before beginning the drying process.

White tea is one of the most unique types. It can only be produced by following strict harvesting and processing guidelines developed in the Fujian Province in China. A simple description of the process includes the following steps. The leaves are hand-picked, delicately handled, steamed and then dried. 

herbal tea options in orlando and central florida

Puerh or “dark” tea is also unique because it is aged for decades before it is consumed. By storing it for so many years after processing, the microbes on the leaves are able to ferment to create a distinct beverage.

To brew an excellent hot beverage, the Tea Council of the USA recommends following the Four Golden Rules:

  • “use a teapot 
  • bring fresh, cold tap water to a full boil (Note: If your water is heavily chlorinated or contains other objectionable odors, filter before boiling) 
  • use one teaspoon or one tea bag per cup 
  • pour boiling water over bag and brew by the clock 3 to 5 minutes and serve”

The following times are recommended steep times for creating the perfect cup: white for 1-3 minutes, green for 3 minutes and black, oolong and dark for 3-5 minutes.  To make smaller quantities of iced tea, pour the hot beverage over ice, and enjoy. (Be careful when pouring hot water into a glass. Hot water can cause the glass to crack.)

Whether Orlando and Central Florida employees choose black, green or herbal tea will depend on their taste preferences and the health benefits they are looking for. The best approach to meet a variety of needs is to offer a wide selection of different hot beverages as part of your break room’s office coffee service. And don’t forget to offer cream, including a dairy-free option, and sugar for those who don’t drink their tea or coffee black. 

For more information about customizing your coffee service or other break room refreshment services, The Vending Station can help. We offer comprehensive vending services including snack, cold beverage and fresh food vending machines, micro-markets and pantry service. To schedule a product sampling, call us today at (407) 891.7632.

vending options in orlando and central florida

NAMA Presents Growth Opportunities to the Vending Industry

vending options in orlando and central florida

Growth is a common theme found throughout the vending industry in 2019. This past April, 4,500 convenience services professionals converged at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV for The NAMA Show 2019. The show is an annual event sponsored by the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), a group representing the $25 billion convenience service industry in the United States. 

With over 360 exhibitors including some of the world’s most popular brands, 100 new exhibitors and 125 new products for visitors to learn about, there was something for everyone to explore. Advancements in vending machines, coffee service, micro-markets, and pantry services were on display. Vending service providers, customers and industry providers gathered to see and learn about up and coming consumer and industry trends including new business and career growth strategies, educational opportunities, new products and brands, healthy choices, going green and new technologies. 

Two key areas with a large amount of growth at the show were healthy products and new technology trends and solutions.

Healthy is still in.

Even after the organizers increased the size of the footprint for the healthy or better-for-you pavilion to 3,300 square-feet, the pavilion was sold out. It’s clear that healthy snacks and beverages continue to represent an area with growth potential.  

Manufacturers are listening to consumers and developing new products to meet consumer demand. Vending providers are also listening to their customers. In addition to healthy products with attributes from responsibly sourced to lower calories to reduced sugar and non-GMO, new approaches to eating healthier were also on display. Those trends included on-the-go nutrition, functional choices that support a specific lifestyle, occasion-based eating, and providing fresh fruit at the office.

Technology keeps evolving.

And the vending and refreshment industry is no different. Innovations in technology are improving both the front-end (consumer) and back-end (vending provider) experiences. For example, social media communities, personalized web-portals, and live chat enable back-and-forth communication between consumer and vending provider. To appeal to consumers, vending providers offer self-checkout technology that processes quick, cashless payments and fast, seamless product delivery systems. 

Vending providers, on the other hand, look for back-office management tools that will improve warehouse organization and order fulfillment. Innovative systems on display at the 2019 NAMA Show included technology that optimized up-to-the-minute sales data, maximized delivery routes; increased efficiencies, and minimized out-of-stock occurrences.

Whether an organization would like to update their current break room vending machine menu or create a customized micro-market or pantry service, The Vending Station can help. We provide our Orlando and Central Florida customers with the newest technologies and healthy snack, beverage, and fresh food choices to create a space that could only be called “the ultimate break room.” For more information about our refreshment services or to schedule a taste test, please call us at (407) 891.7632. We look forward to hearing from you.

Vending Machine Options in Orlando and Central Florida

Orlando and Central Florida, Did You See the Bacon Vending Machine?

Vending Machine Options in Orlando and Central Florida

Students at Ohio State University proved once again that anything can be sold in a vending machine. In December of 2018, the meat science program at Ohio State and the Ohio Pork Council partnered to sell students packets of ready-to-eat bacon for $1 from a vending machine during finals week.

Unexpectedly successful, the students of the meat science program had to restock the machine four to five times per day just to keep up with demand. The fundraiser sold over 275 pounds of bacon in the eight-day period. 

So, how does a stand-alone machine that sells bacon end up on a college campus? Ohio State senior and part-time employee at the Ohio Pork Council, Meghann Winters, suggested it as a way to promote Ohio pork. Since the concept of offering cooked bacon via a vending machine was unheard of, Winters had to purchase an old vending machine and “baconify” it. 

Retrofitting the machine proved to be a challenging process. Per Winters, “Most vending machines are made for candy bars, not necessarily bacon. We had to make sure the packaging didn’t get caught as it was falling out. We also had to find shelf-friendly bacon.”

Vending Machine Options in Orlando and Central Florida

While a bacon vending machine is definitely unique, and the bacon delicious, that doesn’t mean “traditional” vending machines are boring. In fact, there are a variety of healthy and traditional snacks and beverages as well as fresh food in Orlando and Central Florida break room vending machines that will satisfy any palate. 

A frequent challenge is drawing attention to the snacks, beverages and fresh food, and encouraging employees to try something new. One way to overcome that hurdle is to host a taste-testing event. Orlando and Central Florida employees are more likely to try something they’ve never consumed if that item is free. A side benefit of satiated and happier employees is often increased morale and increased productivity. That sounds like a win for everyone.

Whether your break room needs a complete overhaul or just a few updates, The Vending Station can help. We offer a variety of refreshment services including sought-after, brand name snacks and beverages as well as fresh food in state-of-the-art vending machines. For more information, please contact The Vending Station at (407) 891-7632.

healthy options in orlando and central florida

Healthy Options Play a Vital Role in Orlando and Central Florida Micro-Markets

healthy options in orlando and central florida

The demand for fresh, natural and organic products is on the rise. With the continued interest in healthy eating, Orlando and Central Florida vending providers and employers have an opportunity to educate consumers about the newest choices in the better-for-you category. Lucille Beseler, president of Family Nutrition Center of S. Florida shared “that people are interested in nutrition and listening to the newest product options, which includes what is available in the micro market.”

Beseler’s statement is supported by an increased demand for healthy snacks. Automatic Merchandiser’s annual industry report shows the increase in demand as it found that fresh food and better-for-you product sales compromised a larger percentage of overall micro-market sales than before.

Savory snacks are no longer the only type of snack that might be changed to be considered better-for-you. Sweets, especially dark chocolate, are being made with healthier ingredients. A recent report by Convenience Store Designs covered the changes in chocolate sales and determined that better-for-you qualities like the benefits of dark chocolate or the addition of functional ingredients played an important role in increasing sales. 

But better-for-you chocolate isn’t the only sweet treat that Orlando and Central Florida consumers are looking for in their break room. The sought-after bold and hot flavors currently found in snacks have made their way to the candy aisle. In fact, sales of non-chocolate spicy and hot candy products are increasing at rate of 25% compared to non-chocolate candy.

healthy options in orlando and central florida

While the health benefits of snacks, fresh food and beverages are very important to Orlando and Central Florida consumers, they also want to learn about how eating or drinking a specific product will feel and sound. For instance, is it crunchy, crispy or silky? Are there multiple textures within a single product? Products that share information about textures have a higher chance of being purchased. Combine bold and spicy flavors with touch and sound, and you’ll have an experience consumers are looking for.

Drawing your Orlando and Central Florida employees into the micro-market with a combination of healthy, bold and spicy, and textually-intriguing snacks can also result in multiple benefits for both you and your employees. A welcoming space where colleagues can spontaneously gather creates opportunities for creativity. Healthy employees who are also satiated and hydrated are likely to be more productive. And as snacks continue to replace meals during the day, they will continue to be a strong revenue driver.

Whether it’s time to update your current micro-market menu or create a new one from scratch, The Vending Station would like to help. We will help customize the perfect combination of refreshment options from healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food to office coffee service. For more information, please contact The Vending Station at (407) 891.7632.