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.

CandyInfographicWP

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?

DietSodaWP

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?

Quality Control in Vending

When your items do not vend properly, it can not only cost you repeat business. It can result in costly repairs if customers decide to take matters into their own hands to try angry vending machineto get an item that misvends.

In recent news, a man damaged a vending machine by dropping it from a forklift when it failed to dispense the candy bar he’d purchased. In many other cases, customers have shaken machines, tipped them or made other unsafe attempts to get stuck snacks. To maintain a healthy relationship with your customers, craft a good vending management program that includes the following:

  • Regularly clean machines in your vending network to remove sticky residue that can cause items to get stuck.
  • Only place properly sized items in your vending machines. Trying to fit an oversized snack, for instance, can cause bags to get caught up and not vend properly.
  • Test your machines regularly to make sure snacks are vending correctly. This should be checked every time you visit to restock.

Good maintenance helps you preserve your vending services contracts. This sort of conscientiousness is what distinguishes successful vending machine companies.

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.

Health Benefits of Coffee

vending servicesFrom the first mug of the day to an afternoon pick-me-up, coffee boosts productivity in the office. Recent studies also suggest that this aromatic beverage provides numerous health benefits, making it the perfect addition to office vending services.

Improved Heart Health

While coffee intake causes a temporary increase in heart rate, the beverage improves blood flow and blood vessel performance. Harvard also found a link between drinking two cups a day and reduced heart disease.

Improved Brain Function

Studies have found that drinking coffee reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and caffeinated versions protect the brain from developing dementia.

Improved Overall Health

Moderate coffee intake provided by vending services prolongs a person’s life. Drinking coffee has been shown to reduce type 2 diabetes and liver, uterine and prostate cancer.

Improved Happiness

Every coffee drinker in the office will feel happier thanks to the dopamine and serotonin boost the caffeine provides. The beverage also lowers the risk of depression.

With these health benefits, successful vending solutions should include a coffee machine from National Vending. Creamy lattes, dark espressos, sweet cappuccino and plain black coffees increase productivity and health of employees while providing financial returns for vending machine owners.

Self-Checkout Kiosks v. Full-Service Cafeteria

vending servicesNext to a paycheck, the quickest way to an employee’s heart is through the stomach, and having food options that satisfy your workers is a great way to boost both morale and productivity. Two of the most popular on-site food service options are self-checkout micro markets and full service cafeterias, and both vending services have their benefits and disadvantages.

Self-checkout micro markets use less staff, which means fewer management headaches, lower costs and often, less paperwork. Employees may find this type of vending service a faster, more convenient option than having to wait in line at a full-service cafeteria.

Café food service typically provides employees with more hot food options and the changing menu can make it a popular choice for employees who might otherwise go off-site for meals. A full-service cafeteria with an eating area also provides a place for employee interactions and relaxation, both of which can boost mood during an otherwise busy workday.

The ideal solution: If you have the space for it, consider adding both options. National Vending offers an array of vending services including cafeteria and self-service micro market options as well as coffee service, making it easy to develop a comprehensive vending network designed to appeal to the widest variety of tastes.

Most Desired Workplace Improvements

Vending Machine ManagementMany studies have shown that feeling happy and relaxed at work leads directly to improved performance and productivity. Want some ideas for your own workplace? National Vending has a few to get you started:

  • Take advantage of natural light. Moving desks and cubicles to maximize exposure to outside light can help elevate mood and increase performance. Establishing an outdoor area with picnic tables or other seating allows employees to enjoy the outdoors and soak up some natural rays during lunch or break times.
  • Add some color and texture. There’s no reason for walls or corridors to be drab. Adding colorful graphics with paint or posters and incorporating different textures like cork, wood or natural materials adds warmth to the workspace and helps employees feel more relaxed and less stressed.
  • Make the break room inviting. Show your employees you value their contribution by providing a bright and comfortable place to eat or relax during breaks. Offering comfortable seating, colorful paint or accessories and adequate lighting makes break rooms brighter and friendlier.
  • Don’t forget food. Many dietary studies have shown that the human mind and body work best when supplied with multiple small meals or snacks throughout the day rather than just three larger meals. Adding on-site coffee service or a vending services area stocked with a variety of snacks keeps employees sated and focused. Make it even more convenient for employees by offering onsite café food service so they can enjoy a delicious lunch without having to go out.

Used Car Vending Machines?

Vending Solutions

Photo from FoxNews.com

An Atlanta-based car dealer, Carvana,has turned a few heads with the opening of their latest retail option. Consumers looking to purchase a certified used vehicle now have the option of browsing, selecting and paying for their new vehicle at a vending machine.

The new “machine” is located in Atlanta and achieves the main goal of Carvana by cutting out the dealership and salespeople. Carvana says that their people-less car selling translates to at least $1,500 of savings on each vehicle. The location features three separate bays, or garages, that hold a wide selection of cars that users can get access to in two different ways. First, if you use Carvana’s main service and purchase your vehicle online, you can pick it up at this new vending machine. Secondly, there are fully digital screens at each bay that will display the inventory currently available at that location. Purchasing a vehicle from this machine means you can drive away in your new vehicle without ever having to speak to a salesperson.

National Vending knows that the rise in self-service shopping is growing in popularity and vending services play an important role in creating physical retail and interaction locations for online businesses.

Nationally Certified Women’s Business Enterprise

National Vending has become a Nationally Certified WBE through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council! While National Vending has been a certified WBE at the state level for several years, this new certification gives us the legitimacy to provide services for companies that are concerned with supplier diversity all around the country. Find out more about National Vending’s National Certification in this article from Vending Market Watch!

Being certified by the WBENC validates that a business is 51 percent owned, controlled, managed and operated by a woman or women. The certification also gives women owned business like National Vending the ability to compete for real-time business opportunities provided by WBENC Corporate Members and government agencies. To find out more about certified WBEs and WBENC, check out their website!