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.

Why Being a WBE is Important

workplace-1245776_1920Established in 2002 and certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), National Vending supports the growth of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (MWBE) within the communities we service. But what does it mean to be a WBE?

For National Vending, it means things like supporting entrepreneurial growth and assisting clients in meeting diversity requirements. Statistics show that companies who embrace diversity are more profitable than companies who don’t. MWBE procurement has a direct and positive impact where corporations do business, which builds brand loyalty.

Tier I and II

Companies with supplier diversity programs are also interested in Tier 1 and Tier II supplier classifications. A Tier I supplier has a direct relationship with its client. To qualify under Tier II, a company’s direct supplier, like National Vending, contracts with other MWBEs and reports that spend back to the company.

“The reason diversity works is that on almost every measure, greater racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse workplace teams function more effectively than more homogenous teams. Members from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives avoid “groupthink,” whereas non-diverse teams get mired in it. …In short, the business case for diversity is overwhelming.” [1]

Tax Incentives

The federal government provides tax breaks for companies that utilize minority and women-owned businesses as suppliers.  A second tax incentive reduces tax liability to companies that use minority and women-owned businesses that supply labor or services to a project funded with federal or state grants or loans. State tax incentives may be available as well. Find out more at https://goo.gl/zG8rNa.

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.

Is Diet Soda the True Culprit When it Comes to Health Risks?

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The results are in and it looks like diet soda may not be as bad for you as researchers thought. Recent studies suggests there are more factors to consider when trying to link diet sodas to obesity, increased blood pressure and diabetes. Experts still worry about the chemicals present in diet soda and for some there isn’t even a question on whether or not diet soda is worth the risk. “Just get rid of it,” Keri Glassman, R.D.N advises. “It is filled with unhealthy chemicals, including artificial sweeteners, which actually make you crave more calories later.”

Some experts suggest taking a closer look at other bad habits to see if they play more of a role in decreased health than an occasional indulgence in a can of diet soda. Other bad habits might be to blame, if you are a smoker or live an inactive lifestyle, diet soda may not be the true offender.

“Consumers of diet soda who engage in other lifestyle behaviors associated with poor health outcomes are at a greater risk than those who balance their intake of diet soda with other healthful habits,” says Cara Harbstreet, of Street Smart Nutrition as Women’s Health notes. “The variables make it difficult to pinpoint whether diet soda consumption alone is the cause of negative health outcomes, or whether it’s the culmination of a number of factors…I lean towards the latter, since nothing in nutrition or health exists in a vacuum.”

For those looking to cut down on the amount of sugar or artificial sweeteners added to your drinks, consider switching to a seltzer or removing soda from your home but ordering it at a restaurant or bar.

“Choosing to drink (or eat) any one specific item is always a deeply personal choice,” Harbstreet says, “So I pose the question, which is the lesser of two evils?”

We want to hear from you! Do you think diet soda plays a key role in decreased health status? Or should consumers consider other bad habits before blaming diet soda?

Making Better Choices at the Vending Machine

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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:

  1. Look out for snacks that have already been labelled as the “Healthier Choice”
  2. Make use of vending machines that provide you with nutritional information of the snacks they carry
  3. Stay away from foods with high trans-fats, MSG and added sugar
  4. Learn the names for different forms of sugar such as fructose, molasses, malt, sucrose
  5. Ingredients that you can’t pronounce can usually be avoided
  6. Use a Food App to get educated on the foods you consume – like MyFitnessPal
  7. Candy bars are great but everything needs to be done in moderation
  8. 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:

Healthier Picks at a Vending Machine

Best Snacks from the Vending Machine:

  • Original Baked SunChips
  • Special K Cracker Chips
  • BelVita Breakfast Biscuits
  • Nabisco Toasted Wheat Thins
  • Water
  • Aquafina FlavorSplash
  • Lipton Diet Green Tea
  • 100% Fruit Juices

Unhealthier Picks at a vending machine

Worst Snacks from the Vending Machine:

  • Frito-Lay Corn Chips
  • Grandma’s cookies
  • Skittles
  • Orange Crush
  • Starbucks Frappaccino
  • Whole Chocolate Milk

Snacks from Home

Healthy Snack Alternatives to bring from Home

  • Popcorn
  • String Cheese
  • Hard-cooked Egg
  • Peanut Butter on Whole-grain Crackers
  • Raw/Dark Coca powder-dusted Almonds (1 oz or 24nuts)
  • Milk
  • Nonfat Yogurt
  • Vegetables with Hummus or Greek Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Peanut Butter on Whole-grain Tortilla

Workplace Food Trends Include Snack Bars

Coffee and tea continue to be popular office vending services in almost every workplace.

snack bars Snack bars are also growing in popularity as quick snacks and complete meals. Vending machine companies benefit from understanding these trends as they stock machines and plan growth.

Demand for Versatile and Convenient Options

Employees appreciate the versatility and convenience bars provide. In addition to fitting easily into a purse, briefcase or desk drawer, bars can be eaten quickly between meetings or projects.

Desire for Healthy Snack and Meal Foods

Healthy snacks and meals fuel productivity and help consumers meet personal health goals. Many snack bars contain healthy ingredients like nuts and fruit, and up to 18 percent of vending services snack bars include high fiber claims. These healthy ingredients propel snack bar sales and meet consumers’ needs.

Increase in Employee Productivity

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 2013 employee productivity rose 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter because of increased worker output and hours worked. Snack bars play a role in this productivity as up to 40 percent of workers eat lunch at their desk and many others use bars to manage hunger and forgo breaks during long work days.

Snack bar sales grow each year by as much as 15 percent. A vending network benefits from understanding and taking advantage of this workplace trend when deciding which items to stock.

Wake Up Vending Sales with Coffee

office vending servicesHot and iced coffees increase productivity, health and happiness in the office. Now, stocking coffee for employees and clients is easier than ever. Increased crop yields and lowered prices make coffee an increasingly profitable option for office vending services.

Increased Crop Yields

Because global yields are on the rise for the fourth year in a row, excess coffee inventory is expected to reach 36.33 million bags or close to 8.8 billion pounds. That is the highest surplus since 2009. Brazil alone will produce 49.2 million bags, and the Asian surplus will most likely peak at 6.04 million bags.

Lower Prices

While inventories rise, coffee prices fall for the third straight year. The average Arabica price per pound sits close to $1.107. That’s a 54 percent drop since 2010. At 27.95 cents per pound, Robusta prices are the lowest since October 2008.

Vending Services See Increased Profits

These high coffee inventories and low prices contribute to an affordable and plentiful coffee supply for consumers. Setting National Vending coffee makers and hot beverage dispensers in offices and other public locations is more profitable now that ever. From providing hot comfort on cold days to serving refreshing iced options, vending service sales wake up thanks to coffee.