Healthy Snacks in Plymouth

Plymouth Employees Crave Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks in Plymouth

The increase in demand for healthy snacks is not only about which ingredients are in a snack; it is also about the ingredients that aren’t there. According to Mintel, a global market research firm, 84 percent of consumers want to reduce the amount of natural sugar and artificial sweetener in their diets. Participants indicated that weight management and future health concerns were the top reasons to cut sugar. In fact, 31 percent of participants agreed that removing sugar from their diet causes more weight loss than cutting out fat. Millennials or 18 to 34 year olds had additional concerns about sugar and its negative impact on dental health and the appearance of their skin. 

Decreasing the amount of sugar consumed has many more positive effects on a Plymouth individual’s health than the few previously mentioned. Some additional health benefits of eating less sugar are

  • lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels,
  • decrease risk of fatty liver disease, diabetes, and heart attack,
  • Lower chances of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia,
  • improved cognitive function, memory, and responsiveness,
  • increased energy levels.

Avoiding sugar isn’t always as easy as it sounds though. Sugar is frequently hidden in products that aren’t usually associated with sugar. It is also referred to by other names and found in many different forms including molasses, organic cane sugar, fruit juice concentrate, malt sugar, corn syrup, honey, syrup, and words ending in “ose” dextrose, lactose, maltose, fructose, glucose, and sucrose. The following suggestions are a few ways that can help Plymouth employees and students choose healthy snacks and reduce sugar consumption:

  • check the ingredient list for hidden sugarHealthy Snacks in Plymouth
  • eat as close to natural as possible
  • check the nutrition label to see how much sugar is actually in the product
  • gradually lower your sugar intake
  • eat more protein and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives
  • drink naturally flavored seltzer water as an alternative to sugary beverages

The increase in demand for snacks and beverages with less sugar has led to new, easy-to-find, healthier choices including kombucha teas and drinking vinegars. Since Plymouth employees are looking for a wide variety of flavors and sweetness levels, there are many new opportunities to offer healthy snacks and beverages at all sweetness levels in the office break room.

Consider offering all of your Plymouth employees the chance to enjoy a healthy snack or beverage while at work. Whether enjoying a can of flavored carbonated water or a healthy snack from the vending machine, there is an option for everyone. For more information about adding healthy snacks and beverages to your office break room or updating your current vending machine options, call Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711.

Office Coffee Service in Brockton

A New Coffee Service Benefit for Brockton Employees

Office Coffee Service in Brockton

Enjoying coffee and tea from the office coffee service may provide Brockton employees with additional health benefits. Scientists from Boston Children’s Hospital recently found that consuming caffeine may help decrease pain sensitivity in those with chronic pain. The consumed caffeine caused dopamine, a carrier of messages between nerve cells in the brain, to flood the brain’s pleasure center resulting in decreased pain sensitivity, a huge benefit for chronic pain suffers.

Healthy levels of dopamine help regulate emotions, cognition, food intake, and the endocrine system. Chronic pain, on the other hand, often causes endocrine, cardiovascular, immune, neurological, and musculo-skeletal system problems resulting in decreased immune health, spikes in blood pressure, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, and disruptions of daily activities. It appears that caffeine causes a boost in dopamine which works against some of the negative effects of chronic pain.

This new information is great news for the 25.3+ million adults who live with chronic pain. But caffeine has other benefits that can improve workplace productivity too. Caffeine has been known to decrease fatigue, offer short term mental boost, and improve memory. Coffee, tea, and chocolate are a few of the more familiar sources of caffeine. The different levels of caffeine in caffeinated beverages is a result of different places of origin, varying processing and preparation methods (including brewing time), and the amount of milk or cream added.

Office Coffee Service in Brockton

Typical levels of caffeine in tea and coffee include:

  • Coffee: 8 fl oz. mug includes 95 mg to 165 mg
  • Espresso: 1 fl oz. shot includes 47 mg to 64 mg
  • Black Tea: 8 fl oz. mug includes 25 mg to 48 mg
  • Green Tea: 8 fl oz. mug includes 25 mg to 29 mg
  • Ready-to-Drink Bottled Tea: 8 fl oz. bottle includes 5 mg to 40 mg

If coffee and tea have too much caffeine or are too acidic for your Brockton employee, enjoying a bar of dark chocolate or a mug of hot cocoa from the office break room is another option. Both dark chocolate and hot cocoa have less caffeine than the traditional office coffee service choices.

Typical levels of caffeine in chocolate include:

  • Hot Cocoa: 8 fl oz. mug includes 9 mg
  • Dark Chocolate: 3.5 oz. bar with 70% to 80% cocoa includes 80mg
  • Dark Chocolate: 3.5 oz. bar with 50% to 69% cocoa includes 70mg
  • Milk Chocolate: 3.5 oz. bar includes 20 mg

Consider offering all of your Brockton employees the chance to enjoy a caffeine pick-me-up while at work. Whether enjoying coffee or tea from the office coffee service or a bar of dark chocolate from the vending machine, there is an option for everyone. For more information about adding coffee service or updating your micro-market options, call Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711.

Vending Machine Technology in Worcester

Technology and the Worcester Vending Machine Experience

Vending Machine Technology in Worcester

Get ready to meet the new vending machine. In the not so distant future, vending machines will communicate with consumers through an application (app) on their smartphone that includes artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The app will learn the Worcester customer’s preferences in order to improve and personalize the experience. Customers will also be notified via the app about future promotions and new ways to use the app such as placing a single order for multiple beverages.

Wireless Technology

While this technology is not available everywhere, most vending machines use other recently developed technology to improve the Worcester customer experience. Gone are the days when coins were needed to purchase a snack or beverage from a vending machine. Today, credit cards and debit cards can be used on almost all machines to make cashless payments over wireless technology. Many locations also offer the option of making mobile payments on a smartphone via Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Wireless technology also offers additional benefits for both the consumer and the vending provider. Because of the constant wireless connection, real-time sales data moves between the vending machine and the vendor helping control inventory, track products, and forecast product demand.

Vending Machine Technology in Worcester

Environmentally-Friendly Technology

New technology has also positively impacted the environment. Vending machines that meet Energy Star ratings cost less to operate and use less overall energy. Installing light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs further decreases energy consumption and energy costs. Unlike most lighting that turns off when not in use, lighting in vending equipment remains on. Compared to other types of light bulbs in vending machines, LED light bulbs emit light in a specific direction without substantial loss of light, and emit less overall heat. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “today’s LED bulbs can be six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.”

Delivering vending machine snacks and beverages to office break rooms in Worcester has also been positively impacted by environmentally-friendly technology. There are fewer and lighter trucks on the road because real-time sales data and inventory tracking provide more accurate information about the products that need to be delivered. When combined with changes in vehicle emissions’ requirements, the trucks that are on the road use fewer natural resources and produce fewer vehicle emissions.

Overall, new technologies have had a positive impact. How have new technologies improved your Worcester employees’ experiences in the office break room? Whether you want to install vending machines that have up-to-date technologies for the first time, or if you need to upgrade your current machines, we can help. Call Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711 for more information.

Caffeine Snacks and Beverages in Quincy

Quincy Employees Enjoy Caffeine’s Benefits

Caffeine Snacks and Beverages in Quincy

 

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 Quincy 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. Quincy 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 QuincySources

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 naturally occurring caffeine 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 Quincy, 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 Quincy 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 or micro-market options, call Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711. We can help you determine the best caffeinated options for your employees.

Healthy Snacks in Boston

The New Meal in Boston

Healthy Snacks in Boston

By previous standards, it wouldn’t be considered a meal. It isn’t always consumed at traditional meal times or eaten at a table. But according to those between the ages of 18 and 35 (Millennials), it contributes to their daily nutritional needs and functions as a meal.

What is it?

It is a healthy snack. Millennials are eating a lot of snacks. 92 percent of individuals recently surveyed by Surveygoo said they replace a meal with a snack at least once a week. 50 percent do it four times a week and 26 percent, do it seven times per week. That is a lot of snacking.

Since Millennials are now the largest segment of the population in the U.S. workforce, Boston employers need to reexamine their break room snack, beverage, and food options. At the top of the list of preferred ingredients for healthy snacks are whole grains, real fruit pieces, and nuts. These healthy ingredients are not just beneficial for Millennials. They are better for everyone. When researching different healthy snack options for your employees, here are three things to consider:

Nutritional Needs

  • Will it stop hunger between meals?
  • Will it help me to stay hydrated?Healthy Snacks in Boston
  • Will it help me to manage my health and diet?

Refuel or Energy Pick-Me-Up

  • Will it give me an energy boost?
  • Will it increase my mental focus?
  • Will it help decrease stress?

Ingredients

  • Whole Grains (oats, brown rice, millet, and quinoa)
  • Plant-Based Proteins (legumes, nuts, and seeds)
  • Fruits and Vegetables (berries, apple, and sweet potato)
  • Low in Sugar

Each of these areas can offer benefits when considered on their own. However, when they are considered as a group, the benefits can reach even further. A snack with healthy ingredients that fulfills nutritional needs, keeps an employee hydrated, and improves mental focus positively impacts that individual’s health as well as increases creativity and productivity. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Have you considered including healthy snacks in your Boston office break room? Whether you are just beginning your office break room journey or would like to update your vending machine or micro-market selections, we can help you with that.  Contact Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711 for more information.

Office Coffee Service in South Shore

South Shore, How Do You Drink Your Coffee?

Office Coffee Service in South Shore

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.

 Coffee & Sugar Trends

  • Dairy and Non-Dairy Additives
    • 35% of coffee drinkers add a non-dairy creamer (or coffee whitener, as it is known in some regions)
    • 14% of coffee drinkers use half and half
    • 13% of coffee drinkers prefer whole milk
    • 5% of coffee drinkers enjoy a non-dairy milk alternative
  • Coffee Flavoring Preferences
    • 21% of coffee drinkers prefer the flavor to be in a powder or liquid creamer
    • 5% of coffee drinkers 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% of coffee drinkers use sugar
    • 12% of coffee drinkers 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.  

Cafe-Style Coffee Service

Offering cafe-style office coffee service in the office break room is a cost-effective way to help encourage South Shore 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:

Office Coffee Service in South Shore

  • 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 South Shore 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, Foley FoodService can help. For more information, contact us at 781.551.0711.

Micro-Markets in Cape Cod

When Is a Cape Cod Vending Machine not a Vending Machine?

Micro-Markets in Cape Cod

When it’s a micro-market!

At first glance, a Cape Cod consumer might see a micro-market and think it is just a decorated space with vending machines, but that is not the case. A micro-market is a cafe-style break room that offers a wide variety of healthy fresh foods as well as snacks and beverages. Not only is it a place to grab a bite to eat, but it is also a relaxing environment to catch up with colleagues during the workday. The micro-market experience is not the only thing that separates a micro-market from a vending machine. How the micro-market is run behind the scenes is a key differentiator.

Since the vending industry’s inception, vending operators have developed multiple best practices that are used to help drive success including inventory placement, tracking, and analysis. Successful micro-markets have caused operators to realize that what it takes to create a successful micro-market is quite different from a successful vending situation. Two important areas to consider are product placement and the size of the SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) count.

Product Placement

Location, location, location isn’t only a phrase used in real estate. It also influences how a Cape Cod consumer sees products in a vending machine and how that same consumer makes a decision about which product to purchase. To cause an individual to look at all of the products in the vending machine, snacks are placed in strategic spots by color. Items in micro-markets, on the other hand, should be placed in a way that is similar to a convenience store—top sellers placed high and low, and promotional products placed at eye level. Grouping like items, such as healthy snacks, together is also recommended so consumers know where to find them.

SKU Counts

Micro-Markets in Cape CodGenerically, a SKU is a unique number assigned to a product that identifies the price, product options, and manufacturer. SKUs help a retailer track inventory, perform stock-takes, identify shrinkage, replenish inventory, and identify profits. Vending operators traditionally kept small SKU counts and worked toward eliminating unnecessary SKUs. Micro-markets, on the other hand, require larger SKU counts to be able to offer Cape Cod consumers different choices in flavor, size, texture, type, etc. Micro-market operators, for example, have been able to determine that fresh food is in demand by tracking SKU counts. Results from a recent survey support those observations as more than 25% of micro-market sales are from fresh food.

Both the behind the scenes’ activities and the consumer’s’ experience with a micro-market are very different when compared to the same activities and experiences with a vending machine. The micro-market experience is about more than what is placed where; it’s the ultimate employee perk. The micro-market is a unique break room created for your employees to enjoy a healthy snack or freshly prepared meal any time of day. Addressing food preferences, diet restrictions, and requested food selections are just a few of the ways that Foley FoodService tailors the micro-market to your organization’s needs.

For more information about the benefits of a micro-market or how to transform your Cape Cod office break room into the ultimate break room, call us at 781.551.0711.

Gluten Free Snacks in Woonsocket

Woonsocket, Meet the Gluten-Free Snack

Gluten Free Snacks in Woonsocket

With the number of Woonsocket 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 Woonsocket 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 Woonsocket

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 Woonsocket 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? Foley FoodService 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 Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711.

Mobile Payments in Warwick

Mobile Payments and Growth Spurts in Warwick

Mobile Payments in Warwick

“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 Warwick 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.

Mobile Payments in Warwick

For mobile payments to be successful in the long run, there must be additional Warwick 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

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 Warwick 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 Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711.  

Coffee in Providence

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

Coffee in Providence

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 Providence 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 Providence

And 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 Providence 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 Foley FoodService at 781.551.0711 to make the next step.