What you need to know about vending management

Vending ManagementIs vending management right for you?

You’ve just been handed the task of finding a new vending service for your company and you don’t know where to begin. A quick Google search leaves you with a few leads, but on top of coordinating the new vending you still have your job responsibilities to complete. More stress has been added to your day!

That’s where National Vending comes in. National Vending is a vending management company that specializes in coordinating all your refreshment needs, from office coffee and vending to micro markets and cafes for companies with multiple regional or national locations. We coordinate a seamless transition at each location, but our services don’t stop there. National Vending serves as the main contact for all customer service calls, provides a detailed account of revenue for each machine and negotiates the terms of your refreshment services program in accordance with your needs. We also work to bring you the latest in vending innovation and energy efficiencies.

Our full service vending management program takes care of everything. Each property has different employee and traffic counts and regional taste preferences, so we tailor a vending and refreshment service program that meets the needs of each facility.

Many businesses such as offices, schools, hospitals and other locations make great spots for our vending machines. We can also consolidate your refreshment services program to include office coffee and filtered water systems. With National Vending you won’t have to worry about screening service providers, coordinating site visits or negotiating an agreement. We provide your staff with more time to do the job they were hired for. You can trust the vending details to us!

Questions about vending management? Reach out to us here.

 

How to Boost Productivity with Office Coffee Setup

Coffee, ProductivityUpgrade your work productivity with a new office coffee setup.

We’ve all been there, it’s the early afternoon and you’re slumped over your desk trying to stay focused on the report due by the end of the day. Yet it feels impossible to keep your eyes open, so instead you walk to the nearest pot of coffee only to be disappointed by the selection. The lack of real creamer, coffee options and the two packets of sugar left won’t be enough to turn this nonproductive afternoon around.

Office coffee systems (OCS) have been a key dynamic in the work force but now most employers can’t get by with just a single pot of dark roast for the office. With more people finding an appreciation for specialty blend coffees or espresso drinks throughout the day, it makes sense why coffee systems are getting a reboot in the office. The introduction of the Keurig and single pot brewers has helped diversify coffee selections, especially when it comes to switching up the office coffee.

On average, 22 percent of employees will leave the office for coffee and tea for an average of 14-20 minutes a day. This can lead to a potential loss of productivity of more than $15,000 a year for an office of 50 people. Why not consider keeping your employees in house by upgrading your office coffee system?

How does coffee play into the productivity of your employees?

Coffee is a great way to jumpstart your mornings and help with those afternoon slumps. While caffeine in coffee doesn’t wake you up, it can block the main compound in your brain that makes you sleepy. Roughly 43 percent of workers experienced a positive effect on work productivity when drinking coffee, while 85 percent of employees believe quality coffee and tea can contribute to increased productivity and morale in the office.

When employers take the time to provide quality coffee options in the office, it helps save employees time, money and makes them feel appreciated. There is even a “perfect” time for a coffee break, which is around 2:15 in the afternoon.

Want to upgrade your system?

Looking to add an office coffee system or upgrade your current set up? Great! We at National Vending are able to provide the perfect blend of popular coffee brands, flavored coffees, teas, and condiments through office coffee makers or hot beverage vending machines to keep your office running without the hassle.

Celebrate National Candy Day with These Fun Facts

Candy has become an everyday treat readily accessible everywhere from checkout lines at the grocery store to vending machines at work so we’ve got a few fun facts listed below that you can share with your friends on November 4 for #NationalCandyDay!

The first form of candy to make its way to America was rock candy. As one of the simplest types of candy, it was a luxury only the wealthy could afford. The first American vending machine was introduced in 1888 and dispensed Tutti Fruity Gum, but that wasn’t even the beginning of America’s love affair with candy.

Chocolate started in 1847 in Britain when Joseph Fry and his son mixed cocoa powder and sugar to make a candy bar. After the idea traveled across the ocean in 1875, Henry Nestle decided to add milk to the concoction, making the chocolate taste less bitter. From there Milton Hershey had his eyes on chocolate-making machines he found at the Chicago World’s Fair. After already making caramel, he couldn’t resist the opportunity and one year later, the world got the first chocolate bar from Hershey.

After that, chocolate bars took off as a special treat! Starting with the Clark bar in 1916, Oh Henry! Bar in 1920, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in 1922, and Baby Ruth and Milky Way in 1923. With more and more chocolate delights being added to the industry, it makes sense why the United States consumes roughly $18.27 billion dollars’ worth a year.

We’ve got even more fun candy facts listed below! Be sure to tell us your favorite candy by leaving a comment or reach out to us on our Twitter and Facebook.

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11 Fun Facts about Pumpkins for National Pumpkin Day

PumpkinDayWP02October is coming to a close and with it is National Pumpkin Day! But how much do we really know about these large gourds? We did the digging and came up with 11 fun facts about pumpkins that might surprise you!

  1. Pumpkins were considered a last resort food amongst the colonial settlers.
  2. They can be grown on every continent except Antarctica.
  3. The United States produces 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin each year, and 80 percent of the pumpkin crop is available in October.
  4. The largest pumpkin weighed in at 2,624 pounds and took home the Giant Pumpkin European Championship in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
  5. Every single part of a pumpkin is edible, even the stem.
  6. Morton, Illinois is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world due to Libby’s pumpkin processing plant, owned by Nestle Food Company. Libby’s cans more than 85 percent of the world’s pumpkin each year.
  7. Each pumpkin has about 500 seeds, which can be roasted to eat.
  8. The largest pumpkin pie weighed in 3,699 pounds and was 20 feet in diameter.
  9. There are more than 45 different varieties of pumpkins.
  10. The oldest pumpkin seeds date back 8,000 to 10,000 years.
  11. According to the American Pie Council, pumpkin pie is America’s second favorite kind of pie. Nineteen percent report preferring apple pie compared to the 13 percent who picked pumpkin.

Vending Outside the Box

MicroMarkets

The world of vending is expanding beyond the typical machines found in your office break room. Self-checkout (also known as micro markets) is new on the scene and a great way for employers to provide vending solutions in a non-traditional format. Most often found at larger workplace locations, self-checkout markets are growing rapidly with no plans to stop.

The concept of a self-checkout market resembles a small convenience store without a cashier and allows patrons to select snacks, meals and drinks from a variety of racks and coolers. The patrons would then bring purchases to a self-checkout touch screen kiosk. This allows the consumer the convenience to pick up items and check nutrition labels before purchasing them.

These markets also allow for more customization when it comes to products and allow for promotional integration with employer health and wellness programs. In vending, fresh food selections are limited, but fresh is what sells in self-checkout markets. More than 25 percent of micro market sales are from fresh food, which allows for more healthy products to be added. Self-checkout customers were asked what they like most about the new market and a majority, 79.8 percent, like the variety.

It’s like having a convenience store in your own facility; each layout is customizable to the needs of your facility and food preferences. If your company is interested in expanding your vending options, let us know by giving us a call at (888)-795-8363.

Photographing Your Food

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Did you know that posting your food on Instagram is scientifically proven to have benefits? According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, there are benefits that come with taking pictures of the food we eat. By taking a picture of your food it forces you to have to wait before eating and this gives you delayed gratification, making you feel that the food actually tastes better. This is the case for indulgent or fancier meals, but not necessarily the case for simple meals such as cereal or toast. Food photographs can also increase excitement for a meal by sharing it with your friends and family.

People tend to take pictures of their food for a variety of reasons but some common reasons include:

  • To remember a special event
  • To share a meal you are proud  that you made yourself  (Most common reason)
  • To share a meal to show that someone important made for you
  • It’s a special treat or unique meal
  • It looks beautiful or like art
  • To show that you are eating healthy meals

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According to a web psychologist, Digital Blonde, the most common food dishes to be posted are: art dish, steak, and Christmas dinner. In terms of treats, the most common desserts that people post are cake, chocolate pudding, and fruit dessert. Some people don’t just consider the finished product on a plate of the people eating it, but also the ingredients used to make the product.

Some popular food photography include:

  • The lonely food item – Bloggers have embraced melancholic food by taking a picture of a single food item against a plain background with soft window light.
  • The Flash – Some people use flash in food photography to add color to the image. This trend is often used in advertisements and commercials. When using flash for food photography, it’s important to use caution to ensure that the images show the real qualities of the food.
  • #struggleplate – This is a funny food trend that has become popular over the past year to show food failures, but if this is a trend you
  • #foodporn – This is a popular hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to share delicious food and meals. This has been included in advertisements, cooking shows, blogs, and all over social media.

The trend of taking pictures of food is especially important for restaurant owners. People are taking photographs of their food before they even eat the meal. If the meal is displayed attractively, the consumer is more likely to snap a picture and share it with their friends. The challenge is to create savory dishes and meals that have the greatest create discussions and food photography.

Let us know in the comments if you ever take pictures of your food. If so, what types of food do you tend to take pictures of and do you share the pictures with your friends?

Food Delivery by Drones

How cool would it be to have a drone deliver your food? Well, this fantasy is becoming a reality! Companies have tested drone deliveries during the past couple of years to find ways to deliver food quickly to customers. Just think of it – drones will be able to deliver food within 20 minutes and restaurants will no longer have to worry about deliveries being delayed in traffic.

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With today’s technology, drones have already carried a wide variety of food including:

  • Pizza
  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Alcohol (Beer, champagne, bottle service, etc.)
  • Coca Cola

Check out the video of a Francesco’s Pizza Delivery in Mumbai

The logistics of food delivery has always been difficult for restaurant owners due to the high costs and variable workload, but drones may be the answer restaurants are looking for to solve these problems. Drones need to be able to carry the required amount of weight without a human controller in order to be cost effective. An issue associated with drones is weather capacity. Drones are currently limited to good weather, but as technology improves, companies will continue to solve this issue.

According to Ralf Wenzel, drone technology will be introduced throughout all 24 markets covered by Foodpanda, including Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, and Malaysia. Foodpanda will be the first to deliver and Amazon is predicted to follow with consumer products. Google’s goal is to have the commercial business of drone delivery up and running in 2017.

Let us know if you’re excited for your food to be delivered by drones! What’s the first thing you want a drone to bring you?

Best Ways to Spice Up Your Typical PB&J Sandwich

Do you ever get tired of your typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Are you looking for new, easy lunch ideas for your kids? If you answered yes to either of these questions, check out some easy ways to make your typical peanut butter and jelly more exciting. Some combinations seem unusual, but you might be surprised to find a new favorite to spice up your PB&J sandwich.

  • Peanut butter and pickle sandwich – Peanut butter and pickles may seem like an unusual combination, but the slightly sweet and salty flavors bring out a unique result. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think!

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  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich – By adding slices of banana to your peanut butter sandwich, you can easily Bananas are full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, fiber, biotin, and copper, so you are sure to get many more nutrients in this simple meal. For extra flavor, you can add a little honey!

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  • Apple peanut butter sandwich – Cut an apple into horizontal sections then put peanut butter, chocolate chips, and nuts on top. As they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is a nutritional and delicious meal that you won’t want to miss out on.

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  • French toast peanut butter and jelly sandwich – To switch things up, you can make French toast then apply your peanut butter and jelly. If you are making lunch for your kids, this is one you will definitely want to try!

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  • Waffle/pancake peanut butter and jelly sandwich – Another easy recipe is to switch out your bread for waffles or pancakes. This is another one that kids will definitely love!

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  • Peanut butter and Nutella sandwich – For all the chocolate lovers, this sandwich is for you. Put peanut butter and Nutella on your sandwich to add a little sweetness to your meal!

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  • Peanut butter and bacon sandwich – If you love bacon, try this unique combination. You can even add some bananas to the sandwich to make an Elvis sandwich!

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  • Cinnamon raisin peanut butter sandwich – Use cinnamon raisin bread to add a little sweetness to your sandwich. Another alternative is to add some cinnamon and raisins to your peanut butter bread.

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  • Peanut butter, cheese, and grilled bacon sandwich – This is another unique sandwich that you don’t want to miss. This one is called Elvis’ grilled cheese sandwich. With melty cheese and gooey peanut butter, you might be surprised to find a new favorite.

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Let us know below if you’ve tried any of these sandwiches before or if you see any that you want to try!

Snacking around the World

The variety of snacks you can get just by walking into your average grocery store can be pretty mesmerizing. You can get chips that come in a plethora of flavors; you can get pretzels (sweet or salty); you can get candy or chocolate bars; you can get cookies or crackers; you can get nuts or seeds, and the list really goes on endlessly. In the US, chips and cookies are the staple snack, but around the world, palates and flavors differ entirely.

We brought in some unusual snacks from around the world to the office and had everyone give them a try. Then we had everyone guess which country the snacks originated from. It was a blast seeing everyone’s amusement with the kinds of snacks we laid out. Here’s what went down.

We managed to get some of the snacks from local ethnic markets in Des Moines, but had to order the rest online because they were too difficult to find.

Boxes from Amazon

Country-labeled PlatesCountry-labeled Plates 2

First up, they tried some Dela Rosa, a sweet marzipan peanut candy from Mexico. They came individually packed in little round pieces, and it was a powdery consistency that pretty much broke once we opened the little wrappers. No one could guess where this was from, but we definitely weren’t expecting that level of sweetness from it.

De La Rosa box De La Rosa open box

Next, everyone had a go at TimTams. I think these were the safest looking food on the table, and everyone just loved them. We even had people asking for seconds. This Australian chocolate cookie snack is a definite must-try :) They are available on Amazon in the US!

Tim Tam Tim Tam Open

These little burgers are the cutest thing you’ll ever eat, AND they are delicious! At first, they seemed a little curious, but when everyone had one, we were very much immediate fans of Every Burger! This Japanese snack is actually a rich chocolate sandwiched between mini wheat cookies. Who else would come up with little chocolate burger snacks, other than the Japanese :)

Every Burger Every Burger PacketEvery Burger Opened

Dried cuttlefish is actually a pretty typical Asian snack, especially in China. It is very much just plain dried cuttlefish, and it has quite a sweet tang. Unfortunately. it also packs in a heavy fishy smell that had everyone on their feet before trying a tiny piece of this. As it turns out, most Americans probably will have a hard time overcoming that smell long enough to enjoy this interesting snack, although there were one or two people at the office who actually enjoyed this one!

Dried Cuttle Fish Dried Cuttle Fish packaging

These squid-flavored peanuts are common on Korea (although this packet is from Japan). They seemed a little peculiar at first, but everyone seemed to enjoy them. In fact, they were really addictive and the bag was gone before we could get proper pictures of the little squid-peanut balls :)

Roasted Squid-flavored Peanuts

Next on the menu, Muruku from India! This was the easiest to guess which country it came from, and everyone got it right. It has a distinct spice and curry taste and is a common savory, crunchy snack in India. Definitely a simple, but flavor-packed snack to try if you ever get the chance !

Muruku Muruku pieces

This last snack is a fun walk down memory lane for 90s kids in Malaysia and Singapore. No one got this guess right, but they were very much amused with its ramen-ness.

Mamee Monster Mamee Monster Opened

That was a real fun activity to have in the office. What other interesting snacks have you tried from around the world? Let us know, and maybe we’ll try them in the next round :)

Country Flags Country Flags Country Flags Country Flags

All Hallows’ Eve and Pumpkin Festivities!

Happy Halloween!

What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
PUMPKIN PI!

That’s right, it’s that time of the year again where we stock up candy inventories, plan out costumes, show off makeup skills and start to see pumpkin everywhere. And when we say “everywhere”, we really mean everywhere! We all know about the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Pumpkin Oreos, but there are a couple of other interesting Halloween-themed products out there every year! Let’s take a look at some of them!

Cheetos Bag of Bones

What do you think of this first one? Cheetos Bag of Bones – they’re not exactly pumpkin-flavored, but they are definitely Halloween-themed! We bet they taste just as good as regular Cheetos and are extra fun to assemble!

Trident Pumpkin Spice LayersThe next one is Trident gum, what about these? Not sure what pumpkin gum is going to taste like and we haven’t seen these around, but we’re sure it’s going to be real interesting.

Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows

Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows! These have been around for a few years now and come out around this season every year. They’re pretty great actually – they make really interesting s’mores if you like pumpkin :)

TruMoo Halloween Milk

Orange Cream-Flavored Milk by TruMoo.This is new to us and is definitely a change from the usual full-cream milk or chocolate/strawberry milk. The color is very much appealing though! This will do great at the side with some pumpkin pie 😛

Disney Parks Pumpkin Fritters

Even the Disney Parks are getting into this holiday mood! Check out their menu add-ons and changes to fit in with this pumpkin-filled season here! These pumpkin fritters look amazing!

Ever wondered how pumpkins became associated with Halloween? It was brought to the US by the Irish; who had been carving “Jack-o’-Lanterns” for centuries. They say that the practice actually originated from an Irish myth about a man named “Stingy Jack”. If you’d like you learn more about Stingy Jack, click here. Don’t forget to share with us what other crazy Halloween snacks you’ve come across!

Have a Happy Halloween everyone!