Vending Shopping Habits in Louisville

Shifting Vending Machine Shopping Habits in Louisville

Vending Shopping Habits in Louisville

What was the last pre-COVID item you purchased from a vending machine? Would your choice change if you were to purchase something today? If it would, you aren’t alone. A recent survey performed by Shorr Packaging revealed insights about how U.S. consumers’ purchasing behavior has shifted since the onset of the pandemic.

In addition to traditional food shopping locations, Louisville employers should also be aware of these shifts as they can also impact how and what employees purchase from break rooms. Even though employers don’t have control over how companies package or label their products, they do have control over which products are offered in break room vending machines. Regularly analyzing purchasing patterns and comparing them to the current break room refreshment menu provides exact data that can be used to create an inviting and engaging break room and keep employees on-site when they need something to eat or drink.

Let’s look at two areas of the survey that are relevant to the break room — COVID related changes and food labels and packaging.

COVID-19 Related Changes

For good or for bad, the pandemic has changed the way Louisville consumers shop. During the three months prior to the survey being completed, 61 percent of participants agreed that pandemic-related purchasing shifts will change how they shop in the future with 66 percent of those individuals saying they would pay more attention to product labels and packaging. 

Survey participants aren’t only paying more attention to packaging and labels; they are changing the products that they buy. For example, over three quarters of those who purchased brands they were unfamiliar with said they would purchase that brand/item again.

Vending Shopping Habits in Louisville

Food Labels and Packaging

So, what do consumers look for when choosing a product? Of the different parts on packaging, the ingredient list is considered the most trustworthy followed by the brand or logo, the price, and popular phrases such as fresh, no sugar added, all-natural, whole grain/multigrain, organic, and good source of fiber.

While almost two-thirds of participants were willing to pay more for a snack or beverage with popular labeling phrases, the remaining one-third consciously chose not to purchase items with the same phrases. The key takeaway is to make sure that any vending machine refreshment menu includes options that appeal to everyone.

Total Vend offers Louisville businesses the opportunity to do just that. We offer a variety of traditional and healthy snacks, cold beverages, and fresh food choices and can customize a vending refreshment menu to fit both your and your employees’ needs. For more information about all our break room services including office coffee service, please give us a call at 502.451.0111.

Food and COVID-19 in Louisville

Food and COVID-19 in Louisville

Food and COVID-19 in Louisville

COVID-19 has had an impact on everything including Louisville individuals’ relationship with food. While many of the changes can be seen anecdotally, a recent study by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) specifically identified how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Americans’ current perceptions about food as well as food-related trends from the past decade.

Three key statistics stand out.

  • “85% of Americans have made at least some change in the food they eat or how they prepare it because of the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • “32% of Americans reported in the survey that they are snacking more.”
  • “More than half (54%) of all consumers say the healthfulness of their food choices matters more now than it did in 2010 [the last time the survey was performed].”

Safety

Understanding these changes and adapting to them is especially important for Louisville employers as non-essential employees head back to their workplaces. Employers have an opportunity to help their employees by providing safely prepared refreshment options on-site. This is important as 27 percent of the 85 percent who have already made changes are thinking about what they are going to eat more than usual. A well-rounded and comprehensive approach to break room and food safety should play an integral part in creating a safe workplace.

Food and COVID-19 in Louisville

Employers can also emphasize the importance of risk-reduction practices (hand washing, minimizing contact with surfaces and using wipes and hand sanitizer) at work, especially when it comes to using the break room to purchase snacks, food, and beverages from vending machines or micro-markets. Break room providers can help by openly conveying their COVID-related policies and procedures. Combining education about risk-reduction practices and break room providers’ practices will help employees feel more comfortable purchasing break room items.

Healthy

Since almost a third of participants were snacking more, employers should consider offering additional healthy options to help employees make healthier choices. Better-for-you products are even more important for those employees who have children as 33 percent of participants who are parents (compared to 16 percent without children) are more likely to “eat their feelings” and then feel less satisfied by eating.

But choosing healthier options isn’t just for those with children. With more than 50 percent of the 1,011 survey participants making dietary choices based on health-related goals, access to better-for-you products is important for all Louisville employees. Of those 50+ percent of survey participants, 47 percent are following a specific diet to lose weight, 40 percent hope to have more energy, 39 percent are changing their physical appearance, 37 percent want to protect long-term health and prevent future health problems, and 36 percent want to prevent weight gain.

Louisville Break Rooms

Whether it’s adding new items to your refreshment menu or updating your break room with new vending machines or a micro-market, Total Vend can help. We offer a wide variety of better-for-you and traditional snacks, fresh food, cold beverages, and office coffee service that can safely meet the refreshment needs of your employees. For more information, please contact us at 502.451.0111. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Healthy Vending Options in Louisville

Healthy Vending Options Help Louisville Employees

Healthy Vending Options in Louisville

Everyone can agree that eating healthy is important, but making it happen every day can be a challenge. According to a recent survey from the American Heart Association and Aramark, a U.S. based food service company, participants expressed that availability of healthy foods (43 percent), “convenience (60%) and taste preference (54%) as having a great deal/quite a bit of impact on choosing an unhealthy lunch.” 

While those numbers aren’t the best, there are two other numbers that are better. “More than 4 in 5 (82%) agree that having healthy food options at work is important to them and more than 2 in 3 (68%) value help from their employer in becoming healthier.” 

Understanding these statistics and taking the next step can help employers determine the best way to provide break room refreshments for their employees. Rather than assuming which products employees would like to have available, employers should survey their employees to find out. Different individuals will have different preferences that develop from a number of factors including upbringing, genetics, culture and individual experiences.

Healthy Vending Options in Louisville

So, what makes a snack better-for-you? The broad definition is a snack that has a high nutritional value or one that is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber but low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. A popular example is nuts. While nuts are high in calories and fat, they have lots of important nutrients. 

The following are three suggestions for choosing healthier snacks.

  • choose a snack that has between 150 and 250 calories. Always check the portion size on the nutrition label. The portion size and the size of the package are often two different amounts.
  • choose items that have about 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per serving. Since fiber and protein can create a feeling of fullness, Louisville employees are likely to stay full longer, decreasing the overall amount eaten.
  • avoid snacks that have more than 12 grams of fat per serving. Consuming too many saturated fats can raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Whether Louisville employees need an unplanned pick-me-up or didn’t have time to fix something at home to bring to work with them, access to healthy vending machine snacks and beverages is a great option.  It also supports what employees are looking for—convenient and tasty choices and help from their employer to become healthier and access to better-for-you choices at work.

We at Total Vend believe in supporting the Louisville area by providing a large selection of better-for-you and traditional snacks and beverages in our vending machines. For more information about our vending solutions, micro-market offerings and coffee service, please contact us at 502.451.0111.

Healthy Options in Louisville

Offer Healthy Snacks and Beverages Year-Round in Louisville

Healthy Options in Louisville

Making healthy decisions is always important, but for some, it is even more important as the days get shorter and darker. Whether it’s rain or snow, fall and winter weather can impact everyone. The decrease in sunlight throughout the fall and the increase in time spent indoors as it gets colder or rainier can cause the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs of SAD include lower energy levels, increased moodiness, oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain and trouble concentrating.

It’s not just the lack of sunshine causing winter blues and poor productivity; what Louisville individuals put in their bodies plays a role too. Sugary quick fixes might provide a short-term energy boost, but in the long run, they are not helpful. 

For many, there is a tool available to help combat SAD; serotonin. Made from the amino acid tryptophan, serotonin is most often found in the digestive system. To maintain a healthy amount serotonin in the body, Louisville individuals must consume tryptophan via their diet. 

Research also supports a decreased risk of experiencing depression when eating a healthy diet. Unfortunately, the western diet isn’t always considered to be a healthy diet. To maintain healthy levels of serotonin (and a healthy diet), it is important to enjoy foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are vital for serotonin production. 

Seven foods to enjoy during the winter to help combat SAD

Avocado: This fruit is rich in vitamin B6 (and other b-vitamins), which is needed for serotonin production. It is also high in fiber, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, which all contain great mood impacting nutrients.

Bananas: Rich in potassium and fiber, bananas also contain vitamins A, B6 and C; phosphorous; iron and tryptophan – the serotonin level boosting amino acid.

Berries: This colorful group of fruits is high in fiber and important antioxidants, which support the nervous system. While fiber does not directly produce serotonin, it plays an important role in the overall production process. Fiber is an important factor for good bacteria production in the gut, and since 90 percent of serotonin is generated in the gut, a healthy gut is very important.

Healthy Options in Louisville

Dark Chocolate: High in nutrients and antioxidants, dark chocolate, made with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa solids, impacts serotonin on two levels. Enjoying any favorite food increases endorphins which in turn boost serotonin levels. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, a necessary nutrient for serotonin production.

Eggs: A great source of amino acids including tryptophan, eggs also contain vitamin D and healthy fats. Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D is important as low levels of vitamin D are connected to depression.

Almonds: As with dark chocolate, almonds are a great source of magnesium. Research has shown that magnesium plays an important role in regulating neurological pathways, and a deficiency can increase the chance of developing depression.

Spinach: Full of plant-based iron and mood-boosting B vitamins such as folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, spinach is a great leafy vegetable that supports serotonin production. Even though most dark leafy greens including spinach are not a favorite snack, they are a great addition to smoothies, egg dishes and soups. 

Some of the above foods may not taste the best when enjoyed on their own, but they can be enjoyed as part of a recipe. 

An easy way to encourage Louisville employees to enjoy healthy foods while at work and increase endorphins is to host a healthy breakfast party in the break room. Instead of letting everyone know ahead of time, make it a surprise party for an additional endorphin boost. Offer healthy options like yogurt parfaits with berries or bananas topped with almonds, acai smoothie bowls, fresh fruit, dark chocolate oatmeal breakfast bars, cocoa banana muffins or a coffee bar. 

Whether you’re interested in modifying your current break room menu or completely redesigning it, Total Vend can help. We offer a variety of break room options including office coffee service, vending options and healthy choices. For more information, please contact us at 502.451.0111.

Vending Options in Louisville

Louisville, Celebrate National Vending Day Every Day

Vending Options in Louisville

March 7, 2019 was NAMA’s inaugural celebration of National Vending Day, a special day set aside to recognize those who make, sell and enjoy vending machines and the products they offer. Whether we realize it or not, the vending industry has played a role in our lives at one point or another, from the vending machines in a break room to the highway rest stop and everywhere in between. In fact, the impact of the Convenience Services industry, which the vending industry is part of, is larger than most of us realize and has had an economic impact of close to $25 billion. Now, that is something worth celebrating.

Instead of waiting until March 7, 2020 for the next celebration, celebrate vending machines and your Louisville employees every day. Consumers know what they want to eat or drink, and they know when they want it. Help them understand that their break room snack, beverage and food vending machines are a great on-site resource.

Below are a few suggestions that can spark employee excitement and share information about the delicious products that are available.

Taste-testing Event

It’s no surprise that humans are known for avoiding change, and that includes trying a new healthy snack or beverage. New flavors or textures can be daunting especially when it comes to spending money. Encourage your Louisville employees to enjoy new flavors and textures by offering a taste-testing event. Whether it’s once a month or once a quarter, it’s a great opportunity for your employees to experience something new, and you can learn which products are more likely to sell.

Trivia Competition

A little friendly competition is fun, and it can increase camaraderie and morale. Consider hosting a special event like a vending trivia competition with vending-related prizes. There are a lot of interesting facts about vending machines out there. Here are a couple questions to get you started.

When did the first reference to a vending machine occur? (answer: 215 BC by Hero of Alexandria, an engineer and mathematician in first-century Roman Egypt. He created a machine that accepted a coin and dispensed holy water.)

When did the U.S. Post Office start using stamp vending machines? (answer: 1905)

Vending Options in Louisville

On-site Events

Host an on-site event celebrating your employees. As part of the celebration include product discounts or food and beverage giveaways and programs where employees can earn currency for products available in the break room. Everyone likes to get something for free or at a discounted price, even in the break room.

The Break Room

Spruce up your Louisville break room or the space where your vending machines are located. Bright, cheery, welcoming spaces are more likely to attract employees than the bleak, gray break rooms of yesterday. If possible, include several separate seating areas that encourage spontaneous conversation, collaboration or a moment of relaxation.

Lastly, consider revamping your current vending machine services or adding new ones to your break room. Total Vend can help you create a customized menu with the right combination of products for your Louisville employees. If you’re looking for additional refreshment services such as office coffee service or micro-markets, we can do that too. For more information, call Total Vend at 502.451.0111.

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Louisville

Emerging Snack and Beverage Trends in Louisville

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Louisville

Changing snack and beverage trends in Louisville are impacting everyone from small, local companies to the largest snack food distributor. To be successful in the long run, both big and small companies need to understand what consumers are looking for.

Meals

Rather than eating three meals per day, more consumers are looking for ways to enjoy six to eight smaller meals or snacks each day. While the nutritional needs of Louisville employees have not changed, how they get those nutrients has. This means that each “mini-meal” consumed while at work needs to be nutritionally solid.

Healthy snack and beverage options need to provide the right type of nutrition to meet those nutritional needs, but in smaller quantities. One way to do that is to offer snacks and beverages with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that will get them to their next consumption occasion.

Plant-based Snacks

While Louisville consumers are gravitating toward snacks with high protein and fibrous plant ingredients, many other consumers are not. Historically, “healthy” plant-based snacks lacked flavor and had unusual textures. Dr. Christine Cioffe, senior vice president of PepsiCo Sustainability and Global Snacks R&D explained it best when she said, “People might change their behavior for something with a functional benefit, but overtime will fall off if it’s not flavorful.” Today, there are many delicious plant-based snacks available.

Determining which plant-based snack and beverage products to offer in the office break room might sound overwhelming, but here are two approaches depending on the situation.

  • Survey employees about which plant-based products they already enjoy outside of work.
  • For new products and especially when people are suspicious about the taste, encourage employees to try new products by creating a trial run period for products at no cost. Then survey everyone to learn which snacks are the most popular.

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Louisville

Organic, Non-GMO, and Socially Good Practices

Consumers want transparency about a number of things from the origins of their prepackaged snacks to how companies are accountable for their environmental footprints and the health of their consumers.

Helping Louisville employees understand both the big picture and the little picture is important. For the little picture, provide information about what each term means, why it is relevant, and where to look for information on each product. Explaining why companies need to invest in socially good business practices and how it benefits the consumer is a great place to start understanding the big picture.

How is your business helping Louisville employees meet their snacking goals? Consider removing the extra noise and offer healthy snacks and beverages in your break room vending machine. We’ve done the hard work and made sure that all-natural and organic snacks and beverages are available.

For more information about adding healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your location, contact Total Vend at 502.451.0111.

Vending Machine Choices in Louisville

Quick and Healthy Snacks in Your Louisville Vending Machine

Vending Machine Choices in Louisville

Are you looking for something to eat that is quick and healthy, and can be found in your Louisville break room vending machine? Whether it’s a quick breakfast, fuel for a lunchtime workout, an afternoon snack, or a sweet treat, a KIND® bar can meet each one of those needs. Each bar is made from nutritionally-dense ingredients and contains no secret ingredients, artificial flavors, preservative or sweeteners. You’ll find nuts, real fruit, chocolate, spicy and savory flavors, and five super grains including oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and quinoa.

And soon, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite KIND® bar with others when you travel around the globe. In a new partnership with Mars, Incorporated, KIND will be able to expand their product offerings and business into international markets while continuing to make healthy and tasty foods available and create a kinder world through meaningful social impact initiatives.  

Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO of KIND, explained it best when he said, “we’re looking forward to continuing on this journey as we empower more people to make healthy eating decisions across the globe. We remain fully committed to our guiding principles, including our commitment to always use a nutritious food as the first and predominant ingredient in every food product.”

Vending Machine Choices in Louisville

Whether enjoying a vending machine snack in Louisville or around the world, it’s nice to know that KIND will continue to fulfill its KIND Promise. Employees can continue to count on

  • snacks made from real food, wholesome ingredients, and sound nutrition;
  • nuts, whole grains, or fruit as the first and predominant ingredient;
  • everyone and everything being treated with integrity and kindness;
  • transparency about everything from ingredients to labeling;
  • low amounts of added sugar and no artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols;
  • and tasty and healthy snacks.

An additional way to offer encouragement and support to your Louisville employees in their quest to be healthy, is to provide a wide range of healthy snacks and beverages in the office break room vending machine. Fresh fruit, unsweetened tea, or bottled water are all great accompaniments to a KIND® bar.

To learn more about adding healthy vending machine options to your office break room, call Total Vend at 502.451.0111. We look forward to hearing from you.