healthy snacks in montgomery break rooms

Montgomery, Enjoy a Healthy Snack Straight from Nature

healthy snacks in montgomery break rooms

Blueberries are a delicious healthy snack that are often enjoyed by themselves or as an ingredient in something else. This time of year, blueberries can be found almost everywhere from farmer’s markets to pick-your-own farms to the grocery store. July is especially important for blueberry lovers; it’s National Blueberry Month!

Some blueberry related healthy snacks or mini meals that Montgomery employees might enjoy during their day include blueberry breakfast bars, blueberry muffins, blueberry yogurt or parfait, blueberry smoothies, a fruit salad with blueberries or a dark green salad with blueberries and nuts. Choosing to eat multiple mini meals or snacks during the day can help employees meet nutritional requirements, control blood sugar, and maintain metabolism. 

And that is true whether or not Montgomery employees choose to enjoy blueberries. It is important for everyone to consume enough fruit in their diet. According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, the recommended number of fruit servings per day depends on the individual, but the CDC “federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit.”   

Reading the ingredient list on the packaging of a healthy snack is a great way to see if that snack contains any fruit. If blueberries are a primary ingredient, they will be listed toward the front of the list as ingredients with the largest amounts are listed first followed by the others in descending order. The nutrition panel on the package is another place to find information about a snack. It lists the serving size, how many servings in the package, calories per serving and other nutrients.  

healthy snacks in montgomery break rooms

For blueberries, 1 cup (148 grams) of fresh blueberries contains 84 calories, 0.3 g fat, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 1.0 mg sodium, 21.5 g total carbohydrates, 14.7 g sugar, 3.6 g fiber and 1.1 g protein. There is also 9 mg of calcium, 9 mg of magnesium, 0.4 mg of iron, 18 mg of phosphorus, 114 mg of potassium, 14.4 mg of vitamin c, 9 µg of folate, 80 IU of vitamin a, and 28.6 µg of vitamin k.

Learning about nutrients is important. Some – like saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium – can be very unhealthy when consumed because they increase the risk of developing certain diseases. Healthy nutrients do the opposite; they can help reduce the risk of developing some diseases, and healthy employees are much better for Montgomery businesses.

Employers have the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellness of their employees by offering healthy snacks, food and beverages in their break room vending machines or micro-markets. Employees only need to take a quick trip to the break room instead of going off-site to find a healthy option.  What healthy choices does your Montgomery break room offer? To learn more about healthy refreshment options, and how you can turn your break room into a great employee benefit, call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. 

bottled water in montgomery break rooms

Bottled Water Options in Montgomery

bottled water in montgomery break rooms

Bottled water has done it again. “For a third year in a row, bottled water is the No. 1 packaged beverage in the United States,” according to Jill Culora, IBWAs vice president of communications. Bottled still and/or sparkling water is also 72 percent of Americans’ preferred non-alcoholic beverage, an increase of nine percent over 2018. For those who prefer bottled water, taste is the most important feature (98 percent) followed by quality (98 percent), and safety (90 percent).

With 84 percent of Montgomery residents trying to drink more water, and the hot summer season upon us, let’s take a step back and look at fun summer beverages that often began as flat or carbonated water.

  • lemonade: water, lemon juice, and a sweetener, to taste
  • iced tea: water, tea, and a sweetener, if desired
  • fruit/veggie/herb-infused water: water plus any combination such as strawberry & lime, lemon & basil, strawberry & basil, lemon & raspberry, and cherry & lime

If none of those flavor combinations sound appealing, consider choosing one or more of the following fruits and vegetables that are in-season in the Montgomery area: mint, blueberries, apricots, kiwi, cherries, cucumbers and peaches. There are also a number of different ways to infuse the water with the flavors of your choice. 

bottled water in montgomery break rooms

You might try squeezing a bit of the juice from citrus fruit (ex. lime, lemon or orange) into a glass or pitcher of water and enjoying. Depending on the size of the container, sliced or chopped fruit can be placed at the bottom of a pitcher or glass and soaked overnight (pitcher) or for a couple hours (glass). Berries can be mashed and placed at the bottom of a glass, and the glass filled with water. For herbs, such as mint leaves, tear up the leaves, cover them in water, and let the water steep. 

The number of flavor combinations and preparation methods are limitless, but not everyone will have the option or want to prepare a water-based beverage. 

While almost three-quarters of Americans voted bottled water as their first choice, don’t forget about other popular beverages. Sixty-one percent of those polled ranked coffee in second place and soft drinks in third with 59 percent. In 2019, Montgomery employees have a lot of healthier options available including natural and organic sodas and carbonated juices. 

Automatic Food Service would like to help Montgomery employers provide their employees with healthy beverages and snacks in their break room vending machine. Hydrated and satiated individuals have more energy and are more focused. For more information or to schedule a product sampling today, call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.

office beverages in auburn

5 Popular Beverages in Auburn

office beverages in auburn

Auburn residents and employees are on the hunt for new beverages that meet a variety of wellness-related needs. To stay current and keep up with growing demand, beverage manufacturers are continually offering consumers new and exciting options to explore. 

Functional beverages, as a group, are a segment within the rapidly growing nonalcoholic beverage market, which is expected to grow to $1.6 trillion in sales by 2025. The fastest growing category in the nonalcoholic beverage market, functional beverages, includes ready-to-drink (RTD) coffees and teas, and relaxation, hydration or energy drinks.

Christina Wood, Sales and Marketing Director at OptiBiotix Health Plc, recently spoke about the expected demand. “Whether vitamin or ‘enhanced’ water to fend off illness, energy drinks to combat fatigue or sports drinks to aid exercise, they [functional beverages] provide the multipurpose value expected by today’s informed [consumers].”

And those consumers also expect to be able to easily purchase their preferred choice at any time of the day.  it’s easy to make sure that Auburn employees can access different functional beverages in their break room vending machine or micro-market

RTD Cold Teas

Enjoy a variety of healthy and organic teas made with Fair Trade ingredients. There is an option for everyone from unsweetened to sweetened teas made with organic sweeteners and tea with or without fruit flavors.

office beverages in auburn

Enhanced Fruit Drinks

The term ‘juice’ takes on a new meaning when it comes to enhanced fruit drinks. Today, these beverages are made from unique ingredients like the coffee fruit and have no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

Fruit Infused Flat or Carbonated Bottled Water

Bottled flat or carbonated water with fruit infused flavors offer the benefits of plain bottled water without any diet sweeteners or sugars. They are zero calorie, zero preservative, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.

Sparkling or Flat Mineral Water

Mineral water offers additional health benefits when compared to traditional bottled water. As mineral water’s name suggests, there are extra minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water that Auburn individuals need. 

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a new, healthy choice for staying hydrated. It’s naturally gluten-free, lactose-free, and dairy-free beverage with potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus that hydrates.

Not sure which functional beverages your Auburn employees might enjoy? Try offering a beverage taste testing event. If everyone knows a bit more about what is available and how it tastes, they are likely to be more comfortable purchasing it. 

And don’t forget to pair your beverage offerings with a variety of snack options. Make it easier to grab a bite to eat or drink without having to go off-site. Hydrated and satiated employees are likely to be more productive and creative. For more information or to schedule a product sampling, please contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.

Bottled water options in montgomery

Montgomery Consumers Learn About Bottled Water

Bottled water options in montgomery

Did you know that there’s a podcast about bottled water? The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) recently launched the podcast titled H2O In The Know. Each episode focuses on different water related topics including the current science on hydration, how to increase recycling rates, standards and regulations, and the taste of different types of waters. 

Jull Culora, IBWA Vice President of Communication, recently shared that “H2O In The Know offers consumers a great new way to learn interesting facts and stories about water, especially bottled water.” Let’s take a quick look at some of the questions that were discussed in the first episode. 

Before we get to the first question, you might be wondering what any of this has to do with you, a Montgomery consumer. The answer is…a lot. 

Humans need water to survive. Research has shown that humans can last three maybe four days without consuming any water. But, that doesn’t mean that every bit of water on the earth is safe to be consumed. To understand if a certain type of water is good for human consumption, it is important to know more about that type of water. For the bottled water industry, specifically, the answers to the following questions will help Montgomery consumers learn more about what they are drinking, and when it comes to things we consume, more knowledge is definitely better.

Are there regulations for bottled water?

The short answer is yes, there are. Bottled water is regulated at both the federal and state level and is considered a packaged food product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, the FDA regulations governing the safety and quality of bottled water are as stringent as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations that govern tap water.  

bottled water options in montgomery

Are there standards that pertain to only bottled water?

Again, the answer is yes. For the standards that focus on bottled water, the FDA has divided them into the following groups.

  • Standards of Identity: regulations that define the different types of bottled water
  • Standards of Quality: regulations that set maximum levels for contaminants that are allowed
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP): regulations that set manufacturing parameters to ensure that food, including snack and beverages, is healthy to consume.

What  types of bottled water are available?

Per the FDA, there are six different types available. They are spring water, purified water, mineral water, sparkling bottled water, artesian water or artesian well water, and well water. To help Montgomery consumers know which type of water they have, the FDA also requires that each type of water be clearly printed on the label of each bottle of water.

Now that you’re aware of some of the regulations and standards, use this information to help your Montgomery employees by removing a potential concern that they shouldn’t have to think about during their day. Provide them with healthy vending machine beverages and snacks in their break room. For an extra bonus for your employees, offer snacks and beverages at a reduced or zero cost. Not only will they be hydrated and satiated, but morale will get a boost too.

For more information about offering healthy snacks and beverages in your workplace break room, contact Automatic Food Services at 650-322-8363. We’ll help you create a customized, healthy menu that is sure to please everyone.

Snack options in Auburn

Auburn Employees Look for Their Next “Snack Meal”

Snack options in Auburn

Even if you haven’t heard of the term “snack meal,” you’ve likely experienced it with the 86 percent of Americans who already have. A snack meal is a healthy snack eaten in place of a traditional meal, and more and more people are incorporating them into their diet. For example, according to a recent survey performed for Farm Rich, the average Auburn employee consumes five snack meals each week and is likely to eat their snack meals instead of lunch.

Shannon Gilreath, Director of Marketing at Farm Rich, shared that “People are no longer feeling bound to the traditional three meals a day, which gives them more variety and time back to do the things they enjoy most, and for many, that doesn’t involve a ton of time in the kitchen, especially on busy days.”

Of the different generations of Auburn employees, Millennials are the most likely to believe that “three standard meals a day is a thing of the past.” Unlike older generations who look at snacks as a way to curb cravings, Millennials use snacks as way to refuel without needing a lot of time to grocery shop, prepare a meal, and then sit down to eat it. Snack meals need to be easy and quick to prepare and portable.

Snack options in Auburn

Farm Rich’s survey found that the top healthy choices are cheese, crackers, fruit, chips, nuts, veggies, yogurt, and pretzels. The right combination of these healthy options will enable employees to create small meals that meet their own unique nutritional needs.

One way Auburn employers can help their employees meet their meal/snacking needs is to offer healthy snack meals (with beverages) in their break room vending machines or micro-market. Access to healthy, onsite options will not only save time, but it also provides employees with the fuel they need to recharge, giving them the energy to have a productive day.

If you’d really like to give your Auburn employees a boost, consider offering Pantry Service – their wallets will thank you. Pantry Service provides snacks, food and drinks to employees at no cost to the employee and is a valuable employee benefit.

For more information about customizing the right healthy vending machine or micro-market menu for your employees, contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. 

Healthy options in Auburn

Healthy Tips for Auburn’s Hearts

Healthy options in Auburn

Give yourself the gift of a healthy heart this holiday season and celebrate with some delicious dark chocolate — yes, dark chocolate.

We know that diet plays an important role in one’s overall health including the health of the heart. New research has confirmed, yet again, that dark chocolate can be part of a Auburn individual’s healthy diet. Study participants who enjoyed chocolate bars three times per month reduced their risk of heart failure by 13 percent when compared to those who ate no chocolate.

Let’s celebrate!

But don’t go overboard. The same study found that participants who ate chocolate everyday appeared to increase their risk for heart failure by 17 percent. Yikes!

Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, lead researcher of the study, said, “I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol…However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health.”

Chocolate is made from different combinations of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, cocoa bean powder, sugar, and milk powder. For dark chocolate, the first ingredient should be cocoa or chocolate liquor followed by any combination of cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and cocoa butter. Sugar, a necessary ingredient, is then used to balance the bitter taste of the chocolate. For healthier dark chocolate, sugar should be listed toward the end of the ingredients’ list and always after the cocoa. Cocoa is beneficial for the heart while sugar and any unnecessary fats are damaging.

High quality cocoa, which is found in some dark chocolate, contains flavonoids (flavanols, flavonols (source of the antioxidant qualities), epicatechin and procyanidins) and polyphenols. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, improve cognitive function, fight inflammation and oxidative stress — improving blood flow, boost blood vessel health, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

healthy options in Auburn

Other ways to help keep your heart healthy include

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • select whole grains
  • limit unhealthy fats
  • reduce the amount of sodium in your food

Maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season isn’t always the easiest for Auburn employees or students. Between work or school, social gatherings, and errands, finding a healthy snack or beverage can be challenging. One way to help them is to provide healthy snack vending machines in visible locations such as the break room or school lunchroom. Our healthy snack vending machines offer

  • controlled portion sizes (weight impacts your heart’s health),
  • the ability to see the ingredient list and nutrition information for each product and to determine the type and amount of grains, fats, sodium,
  • the occasional treat such as dark chocolate, and
  • a healthy option when away from home; whether the stop at the vending machine is planned or not.

Do you have a plan to help your Auburn employees or students stay healthy this holiday season and through the new year? We’d like to help you customize a solution that meets your and their needs. For more information, please contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. We look forward to hearing from you.

Break room options in Montgomery

Break Room Perks in Montgomery Change With Each Generation

Break room options in MontgomeryWhich break room benefits do your Montgomery employees value the most? The answer might surprise you. It depends on which generation the majority of your employees is from. As of 2017, the Pew Research Center determined that 35 percent of the U.S. labor force were Millennials followed by Generation X at 33 percent. To be a sought after perk in 2018, a break room has to offer what current and potential employees are looking for, and that means understanding what Montgomery Millennials want.

While the age difference between Millennials and Gen Xers may not be very far apart, many Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) came of age during the recession. For a variety reasons, the recession had a strong impact on Millennials and triggered the need to find value in what they purchase. Words that describe a product or brand that convey value to Millennials include “well-priced given the quality,” “reliable,” “high quality,” “trustworthy,” and “loyal to customers.” Next in line are words that indicate social responsibility like “fair-minded,” “ethical,” “moral,” and “transparent.”

Whether the product in question is a piece of clothing, a smartphone, or a snack or beverage purchased from a vending machine or micro-market, value matters. So, how does this generational shift impact your Montgomery break room? Unfortunately, there is no single answer for all break rooms. To figure out what matters in your break room, consider the following questions.

Who was your current break room designed for, and what did they value? What do your current employees value? Does that match what Millennials value?

Break room options in Montgomery

Depending on the age of your organization, your current employees might be those who the space was designed for. But if that’s not the case, what do your current employees value? Are they looking for healthy snacks, beverages, or food that have a functional purpose? Does that snack need to be organic or be made with as few ingredients as possible?

The next step in this process is to compare those answers to what Montgomery Millennials are looking for in the break room. Based on the results of the Pew Research Center study, most Millennials will look for a welcoming, comfortable space that offers snacks, beverages, and food that are well-priced and made with high-quality ingredients by companies that are trustworthy, transparent, and care about their customers. And that sounds like something everyone would enjoy.

Take the first step toward a high-value break room by designing a customized menu full of delicious and healthy snacks, beverages, and meals. Consider increasing the value by offering the same options to your Montgomery employees at zero or a subsidized cost or by adding a cafe-style office coffee service. For more information about increasing the value of an important employee perk, contact Automatic Food Services at (334) 264.7336. We look forward to hearing from you.

healthy options in Auburn

Healthy Vending Choices Take Over Auburn Break Rooms

healthy options in AuburnHave you ever considered what might happen if you were to offer healthy vending machine options in your Auburn break room? Would your break room turn into a space that everyone avoids or will it attract employees and become a welcoming gathering place. The results might be surprising as both employees and employers would benefit.

“Healthy” no longer means super expensive and weird tasting. Rather, competitively priced, all-natural and tasty snacks and beverages help turn your break room into an inviting space that encourages collaboration and creativity. Employees no longer have to overcome previous obstacles such as needing to find a corner store to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. Now, all it takes is a trip to your Auburn break room to find a better-for-you snack or beverage.

Snack and beverage vending machines in the break room are also important resources that help employees avoid the negative effects of hunger and dehydration. Hunger increases impulsiveness and the likelihood of experiencing lightheadedness, and decreases one’s ability to make long-term decisions and concentrate. As dehydration increases, the negative impact on cognitive and physical functions, such as short-term memory, arithmetic efficiency, and visuomotor tracking; motor speed and attention increases. None of those effects lead to positive outcomes, but without them, employee productivity and morale increases.

snacks in AuburnTo provide your employees’ with an extra perk and boost your break room’s appeal, offer pantry service where all products are available to your employees for free. Instead, each month, your company pays for the full amount of products consumed. It’s a great way to help take care of your employees’ financial and physical health. (It’s also an enticing perk for potential new employees.)  

Whether you are interested in healthy vending machine options or a combination of healthy and traditional choices for your Auburn break room, we can help. You’ll find a wide variety of traditional and all-natural snacks and beverages in vending machines and micro-markets that are healthy for everyone as well as coffee service which provides an energizing boost. For more information, please call Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.

Bottled water in Montgomery

Montgomery, Enjoy Bottled Water at Any Time of the Year

Bottled water in Montgomery

Bottled water continues to be a popular choice for both refreshment and rehydration in Montgomery. As the seasons change and summer comes to an end, Montgomery employees are getting ready for all that the fall and winter have to bring. Even though the temperature may be slowly dropping, it is important to remember to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can happen to anyone when there “is a lack of water in the body resulting from inadequate intake of fluids.” Even a small amount of dehydration can cause headaches, poor concentration, tiredness, and lightheadedness — all symptoms that can make it harder for employees to be productive. An easy way to stay hydrated is to always have low or no-sugar beverages like bottled water available in the office break room vending machine.

Bottled water choices in the United States (U.S.) have expanded to include domestic non-sparkling water (5.5 percent increase), domestic sparking water (27.5 percent increase), imported sparkling and non-sparkling water (9.2 percent increase), and home and office delivery of 3 to 5-gallon size bottles (1.3 percent increase). The switch from other packaged drinks to bottled water has been so strong that, according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), “bottled water is the number one beverage product in the U.S., by volume, for a second year in a row.”

Bottled Water in Montgomery

And that list of beverages includes carbonated soft drinks whose sales have continued to decline over the past 13 years as consumers have shifted away from sugar-sweetened beverages. Some of the reasons why Montgomery employees have made the switch include the following. Bottled water

  • is a healthy choice,
  • tastes great and is refreshing,
  • is convenient and available any time of day, and
  • Is portable.

Another way to help boost productivity is to keep hunger at bay by offering healthy snacks in office break room vending machines or micro-market. Eating healthy snacks regularly throughout the day keeps energy levels up and blood sugar stable. A satiated and hydrated employee is a winning combination. For more information about adding a micro-market or healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your place of business, contact Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336. We look forward to working with you.

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Montgomery

Emerging Snack and Beverage Trends in Montgomery

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in Montgomery

Changing snack and beverage trends in Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery

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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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 Automatic Food Service at (334) 264.7336.