Category Archives: Healthy Vending Machines

Healthy Vending Machine Options in Orlando Can Boost Productivity

Healthy Vending Machine Options in Orlando

Corporate wellness programs including those that offer healthy vending machine options can have a positive impact on both an employee’s health and on the company’s productivity, but only if the wellness program is implemented carefully.

A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, UCLA, and Washington University in St. Louis found that wellness program participation “improved average worker productivity by over 4 percent” which is roughly equivalent “to adding one additional day of productive work per month for each employee” (Gubler, Larkin, & Pierce,2017, p. 2). Taken one step further, researchers determined that by using diet and exercise, sick and healthy employees increased their productivity by 10 percent.  

There are, however, several important caveats to consider.

  • Participation must be voluntary. Researchers found that when participation was required or strongly suggested through social or financial pressure, the participants reacted negatively. Participants perceived the company to be overstepping its bounds and interfering in their health and lifestyle choices.
  • Participants must believe in the program’s merits and safety. Highlighting the differences between the reality of the program versus its perceptions will help employees trust that their health data will remain private and will not be used for employment-related purposes.
  • Long-term productivity gains are unlikely to be sustainable through single or short-term interventions. Employers must consider multiple or long-term wellness support for employees if increased productivity is to be sustainable.

Wellness programs or interventions in can occur in many different forms from fitness activities to healthy food choices in the office break room vending machine. The best choices for your specific organization will likely vary from the organization next door. Ask your Orlando employees for their opinions and preferences. To start the conversation, consider a few of the following options.

Healthy Vending Machine Options in Orlando

Fitness
  • encourage public transportation, walking or biking—arrange for bike racks and provide “bike to work” promotional materials
  • encourage stairwell use by strategically placing posters with information about the physical benefits of using stairs
  • offer corporate discounts for health club memberships in the Orlando area or offer an on-site fitness facility
  • coordinate and market running and walking groups and other monthly and weekly fitness challenges
Corporate Culture
  • Turn sit-down meetings into walking meetings
  • bring in items that will encourage folks to take a break and rejuvenate such as scooters, game rooms, footballs, and hula hoops
  • incorporate plants and other greenery around the office
  • offer a quiet spot to take a nap
Food Choices
  • offer healthy snack, beverage and food choices via vending machines or a micro-market—don’t forget to include non-dairy milk options for those who are vegan or are dairy intolerant
  • offer free or reduced cost refreshments for employees—it’s a great morale booster
  • throw a monthly healthy potluck
  • coordinate with a community supported agriculture (CSA) for local fruit and vegetable deliveries to the office and/or find local farmers markets in Orlando

Whether you are looking to offer Pantry Service, add a new vending machine or create the ultimate break room, Blindster Refreshments can help. We offer a wide variety of products and services that can help boost your employees’ wellness, morale, and productivity. Call us at (407) 446-9896 for more information.   

Reference:

Gubler, T., Larkin, I., and Pierce, L. (2017, June 28). Doing Well by Making Well: The Impact of Corporate Wellness Programs on Employee Productivity. Forthcoming, Management Science. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2811785

Water, Water Everywhere in Orlando…So Why Not Drink It?

Everyone knows that drinking more water and less soda or sugar-sweetened beverages is a good idea in Orlando for supporting a healthy lifestyle, but now a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, tells us just how beneficial this swap may be when trying to improve your health.

beverage vending machines in Orlando and Central Florida

Partially funded by the Drinking Water Research Foundation and authored by researchers from both the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech, this is the first study to use national nutrition surveillance data to report adult beverage intake patterns and predict calorie savings, weight loss benefits and other potential health advantages associated with drinking water instead of sweetened beverages. The study utilized dietary and health data from more than 19,000 adults from National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys conducted between 2008 and 2012.

From this data, researchers were able to determine beverage intake patterns, compare beverage choices to current public health recommendations and identify positive results from drinking more water and less sweetened beverages. The following are some high points from the study:

  • 18 percent of adult calories come from beverages. Current public health recommendations suggest this be less than 15 percent.
  • More than 40 percent of adults reported drinking at least one sugar-sweetened beverage per day. This exceeds public health nutrition guidelines for those trying to improve weight management and reduce the risk for chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Reducing calorie intake to the recommended 15 percent maximum would cut 3.9 billion calories per day from adults’ diets in the U.S. The predicted weight loss from such a move could mean 1.6 million fewer adults classified as “overweight.”
  • Though Americans are drinking less soda, data still shows that calories from beverages is still exceeding public health recommendations.

healthy beverage vending machines in Orlando and Central Florida

From these findings, recommendations were made regarding limiting added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories. Also, it is advised that the more one can replace added sugar beverages with one with no sugar added, like water, the better for overall wellness. Though these conclusions aren’t surprising, the results of compliance are powerful.

“Swapping water for eight ounces of sweetened beverages every day could save people roughly 100 calories,” said Kiyah Duffey, PhD, Virgina Tech and co-author of the study. “If those calories are not replaced by other foods or beverages, that is a meaningful reduction in daily energy intake.”

Looking for a healthy break room solution at your Orlando and Central Florida office? Call Blindster Refreshments today at 407-730-6629 for a no-obligation consultation of your vending needs.

Healthy Snacks: Not Just A Nice Option, An Expectation

Healthy Breakroom Options in Orlando and Central FloridaThink healthier snacking offerings are just important to cater to a remote group of health nuts? Think again. Recent data from a Q1 Consulting study is finding that the groups most likely to buy snacks and foods from convenience stores are not only choosing healthier items in growing numbers, they’re expecting those options when walking through the door. This is significant since stores not offering a robust selection of “better-for-you” products are likely turning away a customer base and potentially losing those customers forever to stores that are catering to a more diverse palate.

How significant are the findings? Of males in the 18 to 24 age group, 68 percent believe finding healthier snacks and food options is very important. Looking deeper still, of Hispanic males – the most frequent patrons of convenience stores – 58 percent consider these options very important. The study also found that these groups associate “better-for-you” options as being more fresh and all natural. As far as what “better-for-you” means, the study participants see items that are low in fat, low in sodium, organic or calorie-free as qualifying.Healthy Vending Snacks in Orlando and Central Florida

All of this is further defining the growing trend toward healthier snacking in Orlando and Central Florida. There have long been assumptions by some that most convenience store customers are those looking for the sugary and/or high-fat snacks, drinks and foods. Now that the younger customer groups are showing they are more health savvy than originally estimated, stores not only need to take notice…they need to take action.

The entire Q1 Consulting study, entitled “Capturing Opportunities in the Convenience Store Prepared Foods Channel,” was released in June 2016. Beyond this initial finding about the typical convenience store patron’s attitude toward healthier choices, the research sheds light on trends with consumers and retailers, identifies the top proprietary prepared-food concepts, and assesses the impact of burgeoning channels on the industry as a whole, such as drug stores, restaurant pop-ups, commissaries and other emerging food service channels.

If you want healthy snacks added to your Orlando and Central Florida breakroom selection contact your vending partner Blindster Refreshments at (407) 730-6629  to discuss your customized break room solution.

Healthy Refreshments Taste Better Than Ever in Orlando and Central Florida: Vending Serves It Up In Spades

Have you noticed how busy the break room is nowadays in Orlando healthy vending machines in Orlando and Central Floridaand Central Florida? The refreshment area plays a more important role in employees’ lives, thanks to the great selections now available that not only taste good, but allow consumers to follow healthy diets.
One reason many consumers are snacking more is that unlike in years past, they know they can get their nutrition in the snacks they eat.
Another reason is that the taste of healthy products has improved considerably in Orlando and Central Florida. Some of us can remember a time when “better for you” had an association with being bland and tasteless. Those of us who have been in the refreshment business a long time are well aware of the change. People are buying “better for you” snacks and beverages because they know they don’t have to sacrifice good taste to follow healthy diets.
A lot of the credit goes to product manufacturers that have focused on developing great-tasting lines of snack mixes, bars, teas and waters.
General Mills Cereals has committed to removing artificial flavors and colors in response to consumers’ changing preferences. Today, more than 60 percent of General Mills Cereals such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Original Cheerios are without artificial flavors and colors.
The company plans to have more than 90 percent of its portfolio free of artificial flavors and colors by the end of the year.
“At General Mills Cereals, we have been upgrading the nutrition and ingredients in our cereals for years to meet people’s needs and desires,” said Jim Murphy, president of the General Mills cereal division. “We’ve continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals.”
Trix and Reese’s Puffs will be among the first of the remaining brands to change. Trix will use ingredients like fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts such as turmeric and annatto to achieve the red, yellow, orange and purple colors. Reese’s Puffs will continue to use peanut butter and cocoa and incorporate natural vanilla flavor to achieve the same great taste that adults and children have always enjoyed.
healthy food vending machines in Orlando and Central FloridaNot only is taste of “better for you” products getting better, but the availability of these items is growing as well. This is where vending plays an important role. The product manufacturers are aware of the role vending plays in consumers’ lives, and they’re packaging their healthy products for vending.
PepsiCo recently revealed its Hello Goodness vending initiative, offering good- and better-for-you product choices from the company’s food and beverage portfolio. It features a thoughtfully-chosen selection of PepsiCo products such as such as Naked Juice, Smartfood Delight popcorn, Lay’s Oven Baked potato chips, Quaker Real Medleys bars, Pure Leaf iced tea, Propel Electrolyte Water, Tropicana Pure Premium and Sabra Ready-to-Eat Hummus cups.
“Consumers want more choice when it comes to what they eat and drink on-the-go, and we’re providing the choices they want,” said Kirk Tanner, chief operating officer at PepsiCo North America Beverages. “For years, PepsiCo has been transforming its portfolio to offer more and better food and beverages. We’re continuing this journey with our new Hello Goodness vending initiative.”
Not only are the food and beverage companies offering healthy items; many are changing their products to fit these shifting consumer preferences. And they’re packaging them so they can make them available in the workplace.
The break room is at the forefront of today’s healthy eating movement throughout Orlando and Central Florida.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available in Orlando and Central Florida, contact your vending partner Blindster Refreshments at (407) 730-6629 to discuss your customized break room solution.

Responding to the 8th Edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans

In response to the recent release of the 2015 U.S. Dietary healthy beverge vending machines in Orlando and Central FloridaGuidelines for Americans, we at Blindster Refreshments would like to reiterate a statement made by the American Beverage Association:
“We appreciate the extensive work in developing the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. We fully support the goal to help Americans achieve and maintain a healthy weight. America’s beverage companies are doing their part to help people manage their calorie and sugar intake by providing a wide range of beverage choices, a variety of package sizes and clear, easy-to-read calorie information – on package and at point of purchase – to help them make the choice that’s right for them. With [their] Balance Calories Initiative, we are working toward a common goal of reducing beverage calories in the American diet. This is a meaningful initiative that will have significant real world impact in helping people reduce their consumption of calories and sugar from beverages.”
At Blindster Refreshments we are proud to work with big beverage companies who are taking great strides to reduce obesity and promote the overall health and well being of consumers in Orlando and Central Florida. Here are a few things that have made us proud to be in alignment with the American Beverage Association and make us feel more confident in the beverages we supply:
• America’s leading beverage companies voluntarily reduced calories from beverages sold in schools by 90 percent through the national School Beverage Guidelines.
• In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, America’s beverage companies announced the Clear on Calories initiative, voluntarily placing clear calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack they produce.
• When it comes to energy drinks, leading energy drink makers voluntarily place advisory statements on energy drink packaging stating that energy drinks are not recommended for children. They also have voluntarily pledged not to market these products to children or sell them in K-12 schools.

food and snack vending machines in Orlando and Central Florida
As we continue to learn more about healthy diets and well balanced lives we are also proud to offer a wide variety of healthy beverages (not just for schools but for offices as well) including: flavored water, sparkling water, fresh fruit smoothies, vitamin enhanced water, still water, kombucha, aloe vera, etc.
In addition to healthy beverages we’ve also significantly increased the amount of healthy alternative snacks that we offer as well as drastically improved upon the quality of taste in our well rounded menu including: baked chips, granola bars, refrigerated bars, and snacks that are gluten free, organic, local, etc.
If you are looking to improve your current snack and beverage program in Orlando and Central Florida to include a larger variety of healthy beverages and snacks look no further than Blindster Refreshments. Call us today at (407) 730-6629 and one of our team members will help create a menu that best fits your needs. Don’t forget to ask about our healthy school programs or including us in your organization’s next wellness fair.

You Are What you Eat in Orlando and Central Florida

Are you emotionally engaged…with your food in Orlando and healthy vending machines in Orlando and Central FloridaCentral Florida? Recent research by the Center for Food Integrity and the Harvard Business Review suggest you are.
In the December 15, 2015 issue of Food Business News, Keith Nunes writes an editorial that draws on the research of both of the above organizations. In his article titled, “The Role of ‘Emotional Engagement’ in Food Marketing” Nunes shares that consumers:
1. Want to be able to engage with a brand (think website Q/A, Twitter and Instagram)
2. Are seeking products that make them feel good about themselves and their decisions
3. Connect emotionally with brands when they resonate with their deepest emotional drives, including the desire to feel secure, to stand out from the crowd or be the person they want to be
4. View what they eat as more than substance
How Does This Affect Your Vending and/or Food and Beverage Program in Orlando and Central Florida?

healthy snack vending machines in Orlando and Central Florida
As more research becomes available on emotional engagement with food and as consumers continue to become more educated on how the food they eat is produced and where it is grown expect to see your favorite snacks with new labels and in some cases new recipes (think no artificial flavors or colors, gluten free, organic, etc.)
And if it is true that snacks and more beverages are now a way to define ourselves; ask yourself not only what does your personal snacking say about you and your priorities, but what does the food you offer your Orlando and Central Florida employees say about your company and your company’s priorities.
In other words, if you are what you eat, what do you want to be? Do you want your Orlando and Central Florida company to prioritize cost, health, choice? Do you want to be known for quality, for offering the best, for being the best, for being on top of trends?
If yes to any of the above and you aren’t a Blindster Refreshments customer we invite you to call us today at (407) 730-6629 to speak to one of our team members about creating a snack and beverage program in Orlando and Central Florida that defines you the way you want to be defined.
If you are already one of our customers but don’t feel like your snack and beverage program is projecting the image you desire call your Blindster Refreshments representative today and we’ll work with you to redefine your program based on new priorities.

Good News For Central Florida and Orlando: Major Food Brands Are Jumping On The Healthy Bandwagon

Central Florida and Orlando consumers, like people everywhere, are healthy woman drinking watercalling for healthier food, and major brands can no longer ignore the call. In the past few months, several major brands – General Mills, Campbell Soup, Kellogg and Nestle – announced they are removing unhealthy additives.
This is good news for Central Florida and Orlando employers who have known for years that employees want to follow healthy lifestyles. As major food brands remove unhealthy additives, Central Florida and Orlando employers will have even more choices to help employees follow a healthy diet.
This month, General Mills Cereals committed to removing artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources from all of its cereals in response to consumers’ changing preferences. More than 60 percent of General Mills cereals are already without artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.
According to a survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of General Mills, 49 percent of households are making an effort to avoid artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.
“At General Mills Cereals, we have been upgrading the nutrition and ingredients in our cereals for years to meet people’s needs and desires,” said Jim Murphy, president of the General Mills cereal division. “We’ve continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals.”
General Mills Cereals plans to have more than 90 percent of its portfolio free of artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources by the end of 2016. Trix will now use ingredients like fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts such as turmeric and annatto to achieve the fun red, yellow, orange and purple colors.
cereal cupsIn August, Kellogg announced Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies will soon be all-natural. Kellogg said it is aiming to stop using artificial colors and flavors in its cereal and snack bars by the end of 2018. The company said 75 percent of its cereals in North America were being made without artificial colors and more than half without artificial flavors.
In July, Campbell Soup said it would stop adding monosodium glutamate to its condensed soups for children and increase its organic offerings as part of a broader strategy to cater to changing consumer tastes.
Campbell also said it would remove artificial colors and flavors from nearly all of its North American products by July 2018, and that it would move away from using high fructose corn syrup in certain products, such as its line of Pepperidge Farm fresh breads, by the end of fiscal 2017. Most new products it is launching in 2016 also will not contain corn syrup.
Additionally, Campbell will launch new organic products, such as purees under its Plum line for kids and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers made with organic wheat.
In June, Nestlé pledged to improve the ingredient quality and nutritional profile of some of its most popular frozen pizza and snack brands without affecting taste. Nestlé announced the improvements, which encompass more than 250 products across six brands in the U.S.
By the end of 2015, Nestlé will have removed artificial flavors from every product within these brands. It will have reduced sodium by 10 percent across the entire portfolio of six pizza and snack brands compared to 2013 levels. It will incorporate guidance tools on packaging across these brands to help educate consumers on choosing appropriate portion sizes and the importance of eating vegetables and fruits as part of a balanced plate.
Blindster Refreshments applauds these companies for listening to consumers and making it easier for Central Florida and Orlando to follow healthy lifestyles.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry, contact your Central Florida and Orlando vending partner, Blindster Refreshments, at (407) 730-6629 to discuss your customized break room solution.

Do You Prefer Drinking Bottled Water in Your Orlando Break Room?

The findings of a November 2014 survey, conducted for the dasani_bottle_home_700International Bottled Water Association suggest that the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) was not far off the mark when they announced that bottled water is on course to become the number one packaged beverage in America by 2016.
Some of the surveys key findings included that:
• 96% of Americans (based on the 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed) believed we should drink more water
• 95% think that bottled water is a healthier alternative to soft drinks
• 92% believe that bottled water should be available wherever other beverages are sold
• 55% listed bottled water as being among their preferred beverages
Girl holding water bottle• 91% listed health considerations (like calorie intake) as at least somewhat important when deciding on a beverage to consume
These numbers although interesting are not as important as these:
• 70% of your body is composed of water and every function, including brain activity is dependent on it
• Your brain is about 85% water
• The average person in the U.S drinks less than 32oz of water a day, even though, according to the Mayo Clinic the average adult loses 80oz of water a day through sweating, breathing and eliminating waste
• Water gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes.
• Water gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused and experience greater clarity and creativity.
So what do all of these numbers mean for your workplace? They mean that your employees are craving healthier drinking options, especially filtered water, and if you make them readily available to them you are not only going to have happier employees but better hydrated more productive employees.
For cost or environmental reasons it may not make sense to offer Bottless Water coolersbottled water but call your Orlando vendor, Blindster Refreshments today  at 407-730-6629 to discuss installing water filtration units (either counter top or stand alone units) in your break rooms. And when you do you need bottled water, for meetings, for guests or for company outings, keep in mind one other trend:  Orlando consumers prefer to purchase bottled water in cost-saving volume. Purchase it from us at a very competitive price and save yourself the heavy lifting.