Snack options in Montgomery

Montgomery, Have You Tried the New Better-for-You Snacks?

Snack options in Montgomery

If Montgomery employees look closely, they will see that there are new better-for-you chocolate snacks to be enjoyed. This is good news for employees that enjoy chocolate but stay away because of chocolate’s nutritional value. Researchers and analysts have found that consumers prefer better-for-you (BFY) products and are frequently moving away from traditional sweet treats. The chocolate industry has responded by developing a variety of new chocolate snacks such as fruit covered in dark chocolate.

Other new chocolate BFY snacks include chocolate combined with different ingredients to make new textures, chocolate paired with herbs and spices, dark chocolate and sea salt, nuts covered in dark chocolate, chocolate in protein bars, poppable truffle bites made with dark chocolate, chocolate and nut butter dips, chocolate bark with a variety of other ingredients, pulse brownie bites made with chickpea flour, and sweet potato brownies. With so many choices, there is a chocolate snack for almost everyone.

Snack options in Montgomery

For those Montgomery employees who don’t like chocolate, there are a lot of new non-chocolate BFY options available.

Fruity Flavors: Naturally sweetened sweet or sour gummy bears are a fun low-calorie treat made with stevia. Fruit is also a commonly used ingredient to make naturally sweetened treats such as fruit chews and fruit leather.

Brittle: A syrup-based sweet treat, BFY brittle can be naturally sweetened with maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar.  

Other Candy: Hard candy, mints, and lollipops are made from a variety of natural and sometimes organic sweeteners including brown rice syrup, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice,  honey, and maple syrup.

Whether Montgomery employees enjoy something with chocolate or something without chocolate, there are three themes that run through all of the types of sweet treats.

  1. Better-for-you sweet snacks are made with new ingredients and a different type of ingredient. Sweet potatoes, chia seeds, nut flours, chickpea flour, and coconut flour and sugar are rarely found in traditional sweet snacks, but they are frequently used in BFY sweet snacks.
  2. The second theme is that the types of ingredients have changed. Consumers also expect to see organic, non-GMO, minimally processed ingredients.
  3. The amount and type of sugar is the third theme Montgomery consumers expect to see. Regular sugar is no longer an acceptable ingredient. Today’s sweet snacks are made with either sweeteners that are low in calories and fructose and are very sweet such as stevia, xylitol, or yacon; or natural sugar based sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.    

Which better-for-you sweet snacks do your employees wish they could find in the break room? Automatic Food Service can help create a customized list of snacks and beverages that are both better-for-you and a tasty sweet treat. For an even sweeter treat, offer vending machine snacks and beverages for a lower or zero cost. Call us at (334) 264.7336 for more information.

 

Break Room Snacks in Montgomery

Montgomery, Enjoy a Healthy Snack Today

Break Room Snacks in Montgomery

It may be summer outside, but don’t forget to include a bit of dark chocolate in your healthy snack. The key is to use dark chocolate made with a high-cocoa content, low unhealthy-fats, and very little sugar. A few different ways to enjoy a dark chocolate snack in the summer include: dark chocolate ice cubes, fruit dipped in dark chocolate, homemade dark chocolate ice cream, and dark chocolate pudding or mousse in addition to the traditional bar of dark chocolate.

Why dark chocolate? Because dark chocolate contains antioxidants, caffeine, endorphins, and serotonin which offer many health benefits. According to research presented at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting, “consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity” as well as cognition.

Let’s take a look at how caffeine, endorphins, serotonin, and antioxidants play a role.

Caffeine

As many Montgomery employees know, caffeine can provide an energy boost when one is feeling tired. But caffeine does more than just decrease fatigue. Caffeine offers a short-term mental boost, improves memory, and even helps decrease pain sensitivity in some individuals with chronic pain.

Endorphins & Serotonin

While endorphins are a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system, and serotonin is a chemical and neurotransmitter, both have a similar effect. They can both improve a Montgomery employee’s mood. Endorphins create feelings of pleasure, and serotonin elevates one’s mood.  

Break Room Snacks in Montgomery

Antioxidants

Understanding the impact of antioxidants is a bit more complicated. There are many different types of antioxidants. Several of the ones that come into play with dark chocolate include flavonoids (flavanols, flavonols (source of the antioxidant qualities), epicatechin and procyanidins) and polyphenols. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, improve cognitive function, help absorb UV light, increase blood flow to the skin, improve skin texture, increase skin hydration, fight inflammation and oxidative stress—improving blood flow, improve cardiovascular health, reduce insulin resistance, and decrease cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. Those are a lot of benefits!

The benefits from antioxidants are often seen in Montgomery individuals when three to four ounces of dark chocolate made with 70 percent to 80 percent cocoa are enjoyed each day. Don’t forget to avoid dark chocolate made using processing methods such as fermenting, alkalizing, and roasting as they cause important flavonoids to be lost.

Can your Montgomery employees find a healthy dark chocolate snack in their office break room? Offering healthy vending machine or micro-market options is one way that your organization can support your employees’ health. For more information about adding vending services to your place of business, contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. We look forward to working with you.

Break Room Snack Options in Montgomery

Micro-Market Snacks in Montgomery Play Multiple Roles

Break Room Snack Options in Montgomery

The definition of a snack is expanding. It no longer refers only to a small amount of sweet or salty food eaten between meals. A healthy snack can also be a meal replacement that helps Montgomery employees meet their daily caloric and hydration needs. All micro-market snacks, independent of their role, fall into one or more of the three primary snack needs: nourishment, optimization, and pleasure.

Role 1: Sweet or Salty Treat

I have some good news for you. Traditional sweet and salty snacks are not going anywhere. In 2017, the sale of chocolate-based treats produced over $1.8 billion in revenue, or 74.9 percent of the total sales for candy. On the salty side of the aisle, $2.9 billion in revenue came from the sale of chips. That’s 46.6 percent of sales in its category. While sweet and salty snacks are most often consumed as a reward or indulgence, many Montgomery employees also use a trip to the office break room as an opportunity to enjoy new flavors and textures.

Certain snacks have always and will continue to play the role of a sweet or salty treat, but in 2018, many snacks have a new purpose.

Role 2: Healthy Meal Replacement

According to the NPD Group’s tracking of U.S. consumers’ snacking attitudes and behaviors, “snack foods eaten at main meals now represent 24 percent of all snack food eatings, which is up from 21 percent five years ago.”  Not only are Montgomery employees looking for nourishment and optimization, a mental or physical energy boost, they have high expectations about the quality of product labels and the ingredients that they put in their bodies.

Break Room Snack Options in Montgomery

Accurate and clearly written product labels play an important part before snacks and beverages are even consumed. For 39 percent of U.S. consumers, inaccurate or confusing information on a product label will trigger a switch to a product that has clearer and more accurate product information. Additionally, 68 percent of the participants in a Nielson study said they would pay more for snacks, beverages, and prepared food items that weren’t made with “bad” ingredients. Fresh, organic, clean, and Fair Trade are just a few of the terms Montgomery employees are looking for in the office break room.

A micro-market offers your Montgomery employees a wide range of healthy fresh foods, sweet and salty snacks, and beverages that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. 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. To learn more about updating your micro-market selections or learn more about other vending solutions, contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.  

Snack Options in Auburn

Auburn, What Is Your Favorite Breakroom Snack?

Snack Options in Auburn

Everyone has that one favorite “not-so-healthy” snack that they enjoy every now and then. While we’ve all heard that moderation is key, deciding whether to go healthy or not can be quite the dilemma. Often Auburn consumers want to eat healthy, but at the same time, they want to enjoy their favorite sweet or salty guilty pleasure.

Many of Auburn’s favorite sweet and salty snacks have been around for more than 30 years and include:

  • Confections (chocolate, candy, etc.): PEZ (1950), Swedish Fish (late 1950s), Nerds (1983), anything made with chocolate
  • Salty: sunflower seeds, Cheese Balls (1980s), Combos (mid 1970s), Goldfish, Doritos (1974), Pringles (1975), chips, crackers
  • Cookies and Snack Cakes: Famous Amos cookies (1975), animal crackers (1902), rice krispies treats, Oatmeal Cream Pies (1960), Oreos, Pop-tarts (1964)
  • Other snacks: Dippin’ Dots (1987), Fruit Roll-ups (1991) or fruit snacks, granola bars, Milk ‘n’ Cereal Bars or breakfast bars (1990s – early 2000s)

If Auburn employees are looking, however, for something that’s a little healthier, there are a lot of healthy sweet and salty options available too. Healthier snack options include fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, popcorn, squeezable yogurt tubes, yogurt smoothies, pre-packaged organic meal kits, salsa, and hummus. Many of these healthy snacks can also be combined to create a healthy mini-meal when there isn’t enough time for a sit down meal.

Snack Options in Auburn

Whether your Auburn employees are craving something healthy or “not-so-healthy,” many of these snacks can be found all day in the office breakroom micro-market or vending machine. Providing an easily accessible, onsite location where all types of snacks and beverages including office coffee service are available is just one benefit that lets your employees know they are valuable. Another benefit is to offer everything at a reduced or zero cost. Not only will employees welcome onsite snack and beverage options, but they will also appreciate the cash left in their pocket.  

Don’t forget to offer refreshing beverages along with both healthy and not-so-healthy snacks. It’s important to keep your employees hydrated as well as satiated. To learn more about the many different types of breakroom snack and beverage options in Auburn, call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.