Food trucks are definitely one of those little things in life that anyone would look forward to. They’re great because they’re fun, affordable, local (usually) and, they’re delicious (most of the time). Believe it or not, recently, one of the largest brands in the world kick started their venture into the food truck arena.
This August, Starbucks announced its plans for their mobile Starbucks stores to hit 3 colleges in the US. These lucky 3 campuses are Arizona State University, James Madison University and Coastal Carolina University. Starbucks and their longtime partner – Aramark, are running the Food Truck project together. Cathy Schlosberg, Vice President of Marketing for Aramark Education said “We believe the Starbucks mobile truck is a perfect opportunity to increase the convenience of our offerings and help meet our student body wherever they are in their busy days.“
We think this is a great opportunity for Starbucks to be exploring as they continue to grow in the ever-so competitive food and beverage markets now. Rumor has it that these are only pilots, and if the project is a success, we’ll soon be seeing more of these Starbucks Food Trucks around more campuses.
From candy bars to fresh apple slices, the options we get at vending machines today are as diversified as ever before. With the increasing trends in health and wellness among individuals nowadays, vendors are beginning to place healthier snack options in their machines. An article in the Des Moines Register the other day caught our eye. It was an interview with Janette Batts, a registered dietitian and license dietitian nutritionist with UnityPoint Health – Des Moines as she shared her tips on how to make healthier choices at a vending machine. We absolutely loved her notes and what she had to say about a lot of our favorite snacks, so we decided to put together a short list of tips to making these healthier choices.
Here are a few tips:
Look out for snacks that have already been labelled as the “Healthier Choice”
Make use of vending machines that provide you with nutritional information of the snacks they carry
Stay away from foods with high trans-fats, MSG and added sugar
Learn the names for different forms of sugar such as fructose, molasses, malt, sucrose
Ingredients that you can’t pronounce can usually be avoided
Use a Food App to get educated on the foods you consume – like MyFitnessPal
Candy bars are great but everything needs to be done in moderation
If you like snacking frequently, then plan for lighter meals and then have wholesome snacks in between
Here are also Janette’s list of Best & Worse snacks from Vending Machines and some other ideas for snacks to pack from home:
Best Snacks from the Vending Machine:
Original Baked SunChips
Special K Cracker Chips
BelVita Breakfast Biscuits
Nabisco Toasted Wheat Thins
Lipton Diet Green Tea
100% Fruit Juices
Worst Snacks from the Vending Machine:
Frito-Lay Corn Chips
Whole Chocolate Milk
Healthy Snack Alternatives to bring from Home
Peanut Butter on Whole-grain Crackers
Raw/Dark Coca powder-dusted Almonds (1 oz or 24nuts)
Single-serve coffee has become a thing of today. While the markets for freshly brewed coffee are still hot, the single-serve market is definitely heating up. According to MarketWatch; which is published by Dow Jones & Co., single-serve coffee still accounted for less than half the volume of regular coffee sales, but they were forecast to rise by 213% to an estimated $3.1 billion in 2012 from 2011. With the quick adoption of single-serve coffee by consumers, many large brands, and even new brands are joining this coffee trend.
Here’s an interesting thought though, with the rising concern for environmental sustainability, how in line is the concept of single-serve coffee with these concerns? Many of the disposable capsules or pods are usually made of plastic or another chemically engineered material that isn’t biodegradable. With people drinking so much coffee every day, week or month, this indefinitely accumulates a ton of waste, and not to mention, requires a large amount of resources to keep producing. Beanarella, a Swiss Coffee Company which was founded in 2011 is one of the players in the single-serve coffee market. Beanarella was granted the “Golden Idea Award 2013” for being the first company to create a compostable coffee capsule worldwide. We think this is a huge step in the right direction and hope to see other brands following in their footsteps in the near future.
How about you? Are you a fan of the Keurig Coffee Brewers or any other single-serve coffee products? The coffee industry is now addressing sustainability concerns, but how willing would you be to pay more to use the more sustainable products?
Frito-Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest in the US was a big hit again this summer with over 14 million submissions. Last year’s winning flavor –Cheesy Garlic Bread– was released to stores just a few weeks after the contest, and this year the contest brought about a whole bunch of new and bizarre flavors to the finals! There are a couple of really interesting ones this year so let’s take a look at them and some of the opinions from Huffington Post.
Finalist #1: Lay’s Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese by Matt Allen
Classic American comfort food with a twist of Bacon – how great does that sound?! We think this flavor will do really well on shelves, even though it’s one of the more ‘normal’ flavors that we’ve seen in the contest.
Finalist #2: Lay’s Cappuccino by Chad Scott
This one is interesting enough! Who would’ve thought of a coffee-flavored potato chip?! Well, Chad did! This flavor probably has the most bizarre take on chips since most people would need to expect it to be more on the sweet end instead of the savory snack that chips are supposed to be.
Finalist #3: Lay’s Kettle Cooked Mango Salsa by Julia Stanley-Metz
Salsa in my chips? Well why not?! This flavor is pretty ingenious just because it’s a flavor that conforms so well to the idea of chips. Hopefully the Mango gives it the extra kick it needs to take it to the next level.
Finalist #4: Lay’s Wavy Wasabi Ginger by Meneko Spigner McBeth
This flavor is pretty exotic – definitely not your average chip flavor. If this bag of chips somehow reminds us of sushi, lay some on us! We just hope that the taste of wasabi and ginger isn’t too overwhelming and spicy.
All 4 of these flavors will be out on shelves in a few weeks and we’re really excited to give them a try! Each of these flavors has their strengths and everyone is going to have their own preference, so it’s going to be a close call! But that Cappuccino flavor is just so intriguing though, it’s definitely at the top of our list anyway. What about you?
Remember to save your favorite flavor at the Official Lay’s Do Us A Flavor site!