Orlando Employees Enjoy Caffeine’s Benefits

Caffeine Snacks and Beverages in Orlando

Maintaining recommended fitness levels is a challenge for many individuals, but there is new research about caffeine that might make it just a bit easier to accomplish. Recent research from the University of São Paulo in Brazil found a link between caffeine consumption and more effective workouts. In the study, the participants’ cycling speed was recorded after the cyclist burned 450 calories. The first time after taking a caffeine pill, the second time after taking a placebo, and the third time after taking nothing. The average cycling speed after consuming the caffeine pill was 3.3 percent faster than when compared to taking nothing. That is a substantial boost.   

Benefits

But caffeine offers more benefits to Orlando individuals who consume it than just improving one’s workout performance. If you ask, most individuals know that it decreases fatigue first thing in the morning as well as during the mid-afternoon slump. Less familiar may be the idea that caffeine has been found to provide a mental boost for 45 minutes after consuming it and improved memory over the next 24 hours. Orlando employee’s reaction time, and concentration also increases. Each of these benefits on their own are good for employee productivity, but when combined, they could be great.  

Caffeine has also been found to play a role in preventing a number of health conditions including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, as well as reduce the risk of liver cancer and mouth and throat cancers.

Caffeine Snacks and Beverages in OrlandoSources

To get the most benefit, it is best to consume snacks and beverages with naturally occurring caffeine. “Added” caffeine does not contain the powerful antioxidants and vitamins that are found in the naturally occurring form causing its boost to be a sudden jolt up and a fast crash down. Some of the 60 plant species that contain the naturally occurring form include cocoa beans, kola nuts, tea leaves, coffee beans, yerba maté, guarana berries, guayusa, and the yaupon holly. Chocolate, tea, and coffee are three of the more popular forms of naturally occurring caffeine in Orlando, and each one contains different beneficial antioxidants.

  • Chocolate: flavonoids, procyanidins, epicatechin, cocoa phenols
  • Tea: epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin
  • Coffee: chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and melanoidins

Which one is your favorite type—chocolate, tea or coffee? Offering all three of them in your Orlando office break room is a cost-effective way to help your employees relax and  at the same time, boost their productivity. For more information about different vending machine, micro-market, or Pantry Service options, call Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896. We can help you determine the best caffeinated options for your employees.

Orlando and Central Florida, How Do You Drink Your Coffee?

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida

Did you know that the majority of U.S. coffee drinkers do not drink their coffee black? According to the most recent National Coffee Association’s National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report, 68 percent of coffee drinkers add some type of non-dairy or dairy product to their coffee, and about 50 percent add a sweetener.  

Cream & Sugar Trends
  • Dairy and Non-Dairy Additives
    • 35% add a non-dairy creamer (or coffee whitener, as it is known in some regions)
    • 14% use half and half
    • 13% prefer whole milk
    • 5% enjoy a non-dairy milk alternative
  • Coffee Flavoring Preferences
    • 21% prefer the flavor to be in a powder or liquid creamer
    • 5% would rather add the flavoring by itself
  • Demand for “clean label” creamers or creamers made from natural ingredients including plant-based creamers has surpassed demand for “traditional” flavored creamers
  • Increased Demand for Sweeteners
    • 38% use sugar
    • 12% prefer artificial sweeteners

With an increase in the type and number of potential options that can be used to change the flavor or sweetness of a cup of black coffee, it is important to take the time to understand your employees’ preferences. If their preferences aren’t available, they are likely to go offsite to find that “perfect” beverage.  

Office Coffee Service in Orlando and Central Florida
Cafe-Style Coffee Service

Offering cafe-style coffee service in the office break room is a cost-effective way to help encourage Orlando and Central Florida employees to stay onsite when they want a cup of coffee. To make sure everyone is able to customize their coffee, consider offering a mixture of the following products in the office break room:

  • non-dairy creamer (or coffee whitener): a plain or flavored liquid or granular substance added to coffee, tea or hot chocolate
  • half-and-half: contains equal parts of whole milk and light cream, and has 10 to 12 percent fat content (more fat than milk, but less fat than cream)
  • milk: cow’s milk that has been fortified with vitamins A and D, and is available as whole milk (~3.5% fat), 2% reduced-fat milk, 1% low-fat milk, and fat-free or skim milk
  • non-dairy “milk” options: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, etc.
  • sugar: granulated or “regular” sugar, cane sugar, organic sugar, etc.
  • artificial sweeteners: aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, etc.

Which items do your Orlando and Central Florida employees request the most? Are they available? Whether your current coffee service needs a tune-up or you want to create the ultimate break room by adding cafe-style coffee service, Blindster Refreshments can help. For more information, contact us at (407) 446-9896.

Orlando, Meet the Gluten-Free Snack

Gluten Free Snacks in Orlando

With the number of Orlando individuals who have to navigate life without gluten because of an illness like Celiac Disease, it is helpful to know that gluten-free foods are now more readily available. A recent report from Research and Markets, Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S. 6th Edition, projected that sales of gluten-free foods in the following categories—Salty Snacks, Crackers, Fresh Bread, Pasta, Cold (ready-to-eat) Cereal, Baking Mixes, Cookies, Flour, and Frozen Bread/Dough—are expected to grow to more than $2 billion by 2020. That is a lot of gluten-free food and snacks.

So, what exactly is gluten? The Celiac Disease Foundation defines gluten as “a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley, and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye.” Gluten behaves as the glue that holds food together. Several different categories of ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, and protein do not naturally have gluten. Creating snacks and other grain-based products requires additional knowledge about how each gluten-free ingredient works as the many of the frequently used grains contain gluten.

There are, however, many plant-based gluten-free ingredient options that are now being used to create healthy, tasty, and filling snacks. The following are a few that Orlando employees might be familiar with:

Whole Grain, Gluten-Free Ingredients
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat groats (or kasha)
  • Corn (maize)
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Wild Rice/Brown Rice
Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Ingredients
  • Arrowroot
  • Pulses (beans, lentils & chickpeas)
  • Cassava
  • Chia
  • Flax
  • Nut flours
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • White Rice

Gluten Free Snacks in Orlando

Researchers from Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 6th Edition found that “pulse-based [ingredients] are particularly valuable in improving the nutrient quality of gluten-free products, as they are richer in fiber, protein, and micronutrients than GF [gluten-free] staples rice and tapioca flour. The appeal of ancient and sprouted grains is much like that of pulses. For food processors [or manufacturers], these ingredients provide whole food, plant-based protein sources that enhance appearance, deliver unique tastes and textures, pack a nutritional wallop, and invite variety and innovation.”

With such a wide variety of ingredients and the different ways that they can be used, the availability of tasty gluten-free snacks in Orlando has grown to include many different salty and sweet snack choices. Gluten-free salty snacks often include rice and corn puffs flavored with aged cheddar or popped potato chips with barbecue flavoring. Sweet treats vary from cookies made with rice or oat flour to gluten-free Greek yogurt with a wide variety of fruit choices.

Have you considered offering both gluten-free and traditional snacks and beverages in your office break room? Blindster Refreshments offers both traditional options as well as products that are gluten-free for those who need gluten-free choices. We can also help you determine the best mix of choices to offer in your office break room. For more information, contact Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896.

Mobile Payments and Growth Spurts in Orlando

Mobile Payments in Orlando

“There will be exponential growth in mobile payments in the U.S. over the next five years.”  

– “The Mobile World of Retail,” a BRP Special Report

In the almost three years since Apple Pay was launched, the ability to make a mobile payment with a smartphone has become just one of several ways that a mobile device can impact the shopping experience for today’s consumers. BRP Consulting recently determined five key ways that mobile devices are impacting the retail experience: customer identification, customer engagement, associate training and task management, mobile POS, and mobile payment. For Orlando vending and micro-market providers, the ability to make a mobile payment is something that cannot be ignored.

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts’ May 2016 report, 55% of the United States’ population was mobile payment users. 72% of those users fell into the Millennial or Gen X generations. While Millennials and Gen Xers enjoy the rewards, discounts, alerts, and electronic receipts that mobile payment solutions offer, they, 74% of Millennials and 70% of Gen Xers, are also very concerned about the risk of identity theft and loss of funds that might come with using mobile payment options. This block to using mobile payments results from a lack of understanding if mobile payments are faster, safer, or easier to use than traditional payment methods.

For mobile payments to be successful in the long run, there must be additional Orlando consumer education about:

  • the length and ease of a transaction using a mobile device as compared to a traditional transaction
  • how loyalty rewards programs can be tied to a mobile wallet, and how that can improve the overall shopping experience   
  • the enhanced security features and faster checkout that mobile wallets offer

Mobile Payments in Orlando

Consumer education about using mobile payment systems does not need to be long and drawn out. A recent USA Technologies study found “that call-to-action messages [on vending machines] underscoring speed, convenience and security of Apple Pay can act as an electronic gateway for consumers to learn about and use the mobile wallets already installed on their phones.” Not only did this information educate consumers, but it also increased mobile payment usage by 135.2% and increased overall sales by 36.5%.  Knowledge really does make a difference.

Offering Orlando employees the option of using mobile payments to purchase a healthy snack or beverage in the office break room not only educates them about mobile payments, but it also gives them an alternative way to purchase a much-needed meal,  snack, or beverage. Taking a break to stay hydrated or eat something supports their physical and mental health, and in the long run, helps your bottom line. To learn more about mobile payments, and how our vending and micro-market services can benefit your organization, call Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896.  

Orlando, Is Your Coffee Service Up-to-Date?

Coffee in Orlando

Have you noticed that coffee has had a makeover? Kyra Auffermann, National Coffee Association communications and content manager, described it best when she wrote,

“Coffee” used to be associated with a traditional percolated brew, consumed at home at the breakfast table. Now the perception of coffee has expanded to include an afternoon nitro cold brew while working at a café, or a bottle from a vending machine in the train station after work.

And the makeover has definitely had a positive impact. 62 percent of Americans now drink coffee on a daily basis—up from 57 percent in 2016. How that coffee is prepared at home, and the types of coffee consumers drink have also changed.   

Single-Cup Brewing

The introduction of single-cup brewing systems has impacted how consumers prepare their coffee at home and in the office break room. Not only have single-cup brewing systems had a 500 percent growth rate since 2012 but 33 percent of U.S. households now own one. The flexibility of the single-cup brewing system takes into account individual preferences when compared to traditional drip brewers and allows users to enjoy all types of coffee as well as tea and hot cocoa; a bonus at any Orlando workplace.

Gourmet Coffee

The classification, gourmet coffee, covers many different types of coffee beverages and represents 59 percent of coffee consumed daily; a 13 percent increase since 2012. Gourmet coffee offers consumers a way to experience new flavors and preparation methods. While there isn’t a specific definition for gourmet coffee, for a beverage to be called gourmet coffee, it must meet several criteria. Gourmet coffee…

  • is “specialty coffee” consumed any time of the day
  • is often not made at home
  • must meet a higher level of quality
  • is more expensive than traditional coffee as consumers are willing to pay more for better drinks
  • includes non-espresso based beverages such as cold brew, nitro coffee, and frozen blended coffee

Coffee in OrlandoAnd it’s not just one segment of the population that is requesting gourmet coffee beverages. In fact, individuals between 40 and 59 years of age had a 16 percent increase in daily consumption followed by 10 percent for those 60+ and 9 percent for 25 to 39-year-olds. With the increase in coffee consumption at all times of the day, it isn’t surprising that research has found that coffee service at work is a benefit that Orlando employees value.

Does your coffee service match what your employees are looking for—individual gourmet choices? We can help you meet those needs by developing a plan for new coffee service or upgrading your current break room. Contact Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896 to make the next step.

Healthy Snacks in Orlando Break Rooms

Healthy Snacks in Orlando

Choices. Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, everyone is faced with multiple choices every day. A University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) graduate student helped her fellow classmates and professors by making the choice to snack healthy easier. As part of her thesis, she set out to learn if students and faculty would purchase healthy vending machine options. After taste testing one of the three snacks—licorice, chocolate chip cookies, or chili cheese flavored pop chips—each tester was asked if they would buy the item if it were available in one of the university’s vending machines. The positive outcome led UNK to replace some of the previous vending choices with healthier options.

Regardless of an individual’s age, eating healthy is important. Not only does a healthy diet impact physical health, but it also affects an Orlando individual’s ability to be productive and produce quality work. Easy access to healthy snacks at work makes choosing healthy snacks easier. Unfortunately, access to healthy snacks at work isn’t always simple. To change that, it is important to involve everyone in the process including coworkers and bosses when deciding how to increase the amount and types of nutritious snacks and beverages available.

For example, break room decision makers should understand that Orlando consumers consider the following when choosing a snack:  

  • quality and type of ingredients
  • origin of ingredients
  • how a brand contributes to society
  • types of flavors and experiences

Popular snacks that fall into at least one of the above categories include beef jerky, popcorn, greek yogurt, roasted seaweed, string cheese, bean chips, vegetable chips, fruit or vegetable crisps, and nuts. And don’t forget to offer individually packaged snacks. It helps snackers with portion control.   

Healthy Snacks in OrlandoBut will offering more healthy choices really have a positive impact? According to recent research in the British Journal of Health Psychology, the answer is yes. As part of the study, participants recorded their food consumption, mood, and behaviors during a 13-day period. Researchers examined how food choices impacted daily experiences and found that the more fruits and vegetables participants consumed, the happier, more engaged, and more creative the participants tended to be. Additionally, a separate review of 30 publications in Perspectives in Public Health found that when there were well thought out and efficiently implemented diet-related interventions in the workplace, productivity increased by 1%-2%.

If your Orlando organization doesn’t offer snacks or beverages in the office break room or is looking to switch from traditional vending snacks and beverages to healthy ones, we can help. By switching to healthy options, the dilemma of making a healthy choice is removed. For more information about how to make the switch, contact Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896.

Benefits for Orlando Coffee Drinkers

Coffee in Orlando

Coffee seems to be transforming its reputation. It’s no longer seen as the harmful beverage it once was. Just this year, the International Journal of Cancer published the results of a study examining “the effect of Italian-style coffee consumption on prostate cancer risk” in almost 7,000 men in the Molise region of Italy (Pounis, et al., 2017, p. 72). The researchers determined that the men who consumed more than three cups of Italian-style coffee per day had a 53 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who drank zero to two cups per day. That is great news!

But, wait a minute—what is Italian-style coffee? Is it the same as American coffee? Turns out, it isn’t. Italian-style coffee is prepared in high-pressure hot water (over 1600 degrees Fahrenheit) without using filters. Most Orlando employees know it as espresso, not coffee.

This isn’t to say that coffee doesn’t have any health benefits. In fact, the results of two studies that were published in 2016 show that coffee does more than offer an energy boost and decrease the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. 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. At the same time, a different group of researchers was performing a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between coffee and different cancer types. They found that coffee intake was associated with reduced risk of oral, pharynx, liver, colon, prostate, endometrial cancer, and melanoma. More good news.

Coffee in Orlando

There is one concern, however, that researchers discovered while studying coffee. Drinking hot or very hot beverages, whether coffee, tea, or something else, can contribute to an increased risk of esophageal cancer or cancer of the esophagus when compared to lower temperature beverages. To help avoid that, remember to give your coffee a few minutes to cool before drinking it. Orlando consumers also have a variety of cold beverages such as iced tea or water to choose from if they are looking for something at a lower temperature.

With such a variety of benefits and coffee’s improved reputation, it’s time to consider either updating your current Orlando office coffee service or offering a new benefit to your employees—the gourmet coffeehouse experience in your break room. Uniquely sourced and locally roasted beans are the foundation for a great cup of coffee and a relaxing mid-afternoon break. To learn more, contact Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896 for more information.

Reference:

Pounis, G., Tabolacci, C., Costanzo, S., Cordella, M., Bonaccio, M., Rago, L., D’Arcangelo, D., Castelnuovo, A. F., Gaetano, G., Donati, M. B., Iacoviello, L., & Facchiano, F. (2017). Reduction by coffee consumption of prostate cancer risk: Evidence from the Moli-sani cohort and cellular models. International Journal of Cancer, 141(1), 72–82.    DOI: 10.1002/ijc.30720

Snacking in Orlando

Snacks in Orlando

How do snacks fit into your day? Do they replace a meal or help you survive until your next one? Or, maybe they’re an energy boost? What about a reward or something to satisfy a craving? You aren’t alone if your snacks function as just one of those, or if they are all three at the same time. According to Tamara Barnett, VP of strategic insights for Bellevue, Wash.-based Hartman Group, “How we go about planning, acquiring and consuming food has been disrupted, and the result has been the displacement of meals and variations in when, how and what gets consumed.”

To help the Orlando consumer adjust to these changes and see value in a snack or beverage, it is important to understand what the three primary snack needs are.

Snacking for Nourishment
  • helps to meet daily caloric needs and to stay hydrated
  • keeps energy levels stable and up
  • helps to manage health and diet
  • stops hunger between meals
  • examples: yogurt, granola bars, whole fruits and vegetables, water, and smoothies
Snacking for Optimization
  • helps to meet mental and physical performance goals
  • offers an energy boost
  • helps with recovery after exertion (loss of nutrients, fluids & energy levels)
  • increases mental focus
  • examples: coffee, whole fruits, popcorn, nuts, and higher protein bars or smoothies
Snacking for Pleasure
  • offers comfort and stops cravings, at least momentarily
  • can be either an indulgence or a reward
  • creates a time to eat different flavors and textures
  • is an opportunity to discover and try new foods
  • examples: cookies, candy, chips, wasabi peas, salted nuts, and flavored milk

Snacks in OrlandoEach of these snack needs can function independently or in combination with each other. In most situations, the Orlando consumer unconsciously requires that the snack be pleasurable even if the primary goal is nourishment or optimization.

Understanding the different snack needs of your employees is important as snack consumption in the workplace is up 10 percentage points to 16% compared to five years ago. 16% of the individuals looking for a snack find it at work (cafeteria or catering) and another 14% find their snacks in vending machines. One way to increase those numbers and have a positive impact on your employees is to reconsider the types of snacks and beverages offered in your office break room. Barnett suggests optimizing break room layouts and product assortments to inspire snacking occasions and to meet your employees’ needs. Not only is it good for your employees’ health and well-being, but it’s also good for company morale and productivity.

To learn more about the wide variety of food, snacks, and beverages we offer and our vending options including traditional vending, pantry service, micro-markets, and corporate wellness, contact Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896.  

Make Your Orlando Break Room New Again

Updated Break Room in Orlando

In Gulfport, Mississippi, high school students in the National Technical Honor Society built a vending machine that, from a distance, appears to be a normal vending machine. After taking a closer look, however, it is clear that this vending machine is unique and special. It is an older vending machine that has been turned into a solar-powered vending machine that dispenses free personal hygiene products to the homeless in the community.

While researching project ideas for a device that blended STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) research with a community need, the students realized that there was a gap between when shelters and soup kitchens were open, and when homeless individuals needed help. To fill that need, they took an item that had a specific purpose, was no longer being used, and melded it into something new to meet a current need. Their approach is not new and can be adopted by anyone including Orlando organizations that need to change up their office break room to provide important benefits for their employees.

The older office break room or office kitchen, as it was known, is usually an unloved space located in an out-of-the-way location. Often it included poor lighting, a basic table and chairs, minimal amenities, and a traditional vending machine. Employees, especially Millennials, are looking for something different and have changed the way office break rooms are viewed. They are now seen as an important space that should inspire creativity and productivity, provide a spot to relax and interact with coworkers, and enjoy a meal or healthy snack.

To encourage your Orlando employees to stay on site to enjoy that meal or snack, consider offering pantry service, specialty coffee service, or an onsite micro-market as a benefit in your office break room. Below are a few important points to know about each option.

Pantry Service
  • Employees pay part of none of the cost for beverages, snacks, or meals while they are at work
  • Pantry service’s perceived value by employees is higher than the actual cost to the employer
  • Employees are less likely to leave the office for a meal or break, which can increase overall productivity
Updated Break Room in Orlando
Specialty Coffee Service
  • Many specialty coffee services use sourced coffee beans and locally roasted coffees creating a unique coffee experience
  • In addition to specialty hot coffees, many vendors now offer cold brew coffees as well
  • Encourages employees to enjoy a well-made cup of joe without leaving the office
Micro-Markets
  • Offer employees a wide range of healthy snacks, beverages, and meal options
  • Use self-checkout kiosks so employees can access healthy choices at any time of the day and don’t have to worry about potential problems with a vending machine
  • Help employers attract and retain employees (it’s an awesome benefit!) and decrease expenses related to other types of food service

Have you considered adding one of these great benefits to your Orlando office break room? We’d love to help you determine which one fits your needs best. If you already offer specialty coffee service or a micro-market and are looking to change-up your offerings, we can help you with that too. Contact Blindster Refreshments at (407) 446-9896 to learn more.

Bottled Water in Orlando is Here to Stay

Bottled Water in OrlandoHave you ever wondered who purchases bottled water? As it turns out, just about everyone does. According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMS), “Americans are drinking more bottled water than any other packaged beverage” for the first time in American history. A recent Harris poll conducted for the IBWA found that 86 percent of people polled purchase bottled water. Additionally, the BMS recently released numbers for 2016 bottled water sales. They found that there was a 10 percent increase in sales and an 8.6 percent increase in bottled water consumption. Now, that’s a lot of bottled water.

So, what makes bottled water so popular? The answer depends on who you talk to. Bottled water offers many benefits and has the potential to meet a wide variety of Orlando consumer needs. The following are just a few of the features that have made bottled water popular.

Bottled water is versatile.
  • It can be consumed at any time of the day.
  • Water mixes well with many other types of beverages.
  • You can drink it cold or hot.
  • It can be found with carbonation or without, and flavored or plain.
Bottled water is healthy.
  • It contains zero calories.
  • It keeps the body hydrated.
  • It can improve one’s mood and focus.
  • It can help replenish lost electrolytes.
Bottled Water in Orlando
Bottled water is portable.
  • It is convenient when one is on-the-go.
  • It is easy to carry it with you.
  • Bottled water is available in many locations.
  • Disposal of the bottle is relatively simple.
Bottled water is safe.
  • It is regulated as a food product by the Food & Drug Administration.
  • Bottled water has a long shelf life.
  • An extra supply should be kept for an emergency or disaster situation.
  • It can help prevent illness when traveling outside of the U.S.

With the great demand for bottled water, it is important to make sure that your Orlando employees have access to a variety of bottled water choices during their work day. Not only will you help your employees remain hydrated during the day but their mood and focus are likely to improve if they are hydrated. A large selection of low or no sugar, flavored carbonated waters can also be a refreshing treat during a work break.

What bottled water options do you offer in your micro-market or office break room? Blindster Refreshments can help you determine the best combination of flat and carbonated bottled waters as well as other beverages to offer in your office break room. To learn more, contact us at (407) 446-9896.