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.
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.