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.

Balance Vending with Café Service

vending solutions cafe vendingVending machines are an ideal way to provide a quick snack or small meal to employees, students and others, and modern vending solutions offer more options than ever so you can satisfy lots of tastes. But they still don’t offer as many solutions as a café service. Because they have so many people – with so many different food preferences – offices and schools are especially good sites for a combination of vending machines and café services.

Think about it: Both employees and students spend long hours on site; having a variety of meal options, including more comprehensive café options, is a great way to increase customer loyalty as well as your vending profits.

National Vending works with local operators across the country to provide café services for businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes. That kind of flexibility means we can help you make sure café areas are always stocked with the fresh, delicious options your customers like the most.

When it’s time to review your vending machine management program, consider adding café services to increase revenues and improve loyalty. No matter what combination of services you’re interested in, we can help you tailor a program to meet your needs and those of your customers.

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.

Why Customizing Your Product Offering Matters

Vending SolutionsKeeping the body and mind fueled during work hours improves focus and elevates mood, benefits that translate directly into higher production (and a healthier bottom line). Likewise, keeping the metabolism chugging along at a steady rate helps employees avoid the dips in mood and periods of fatigue that often occur during the long hours of the afternoon.

While adding healthy alternatives is an important part of any vending plan, one of the best ways to make sure your vending system helps build employee loyalty and improve production and creativity is to offer snacks and vending services that your employees actually want. Few things let an employee know they’re valued like asking for suggestions – and then following through on those suggestions. Providing snacks that your employees request is a great way to show you’re listening and responsive.

To avoid requests for snacks or other products that aren’t readily available or just can’t be provided through a vending system, National Vending recommends offering a list of products you know are available and asking employees to rate them in order of preference. Another tip: Offer new products on a regular basis and ask for employees to rate them – would they like the item to become a regular offering?

By using it as a tool for building employee morale instead of simply considering it a vehicle for snacks,your vending system can help you improve employee loyalty and satisfaction, and can help your company achieve new levels of productivity.

Used Car Vending Machines?

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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!

Bike Helmet Vending Machines to Debut in Boston

Vending Solutions

Source: www.bostonherald.com

Boston’s bike sharing service is adding a new service for their patrons in hopes of increasing rider safety and convenience. Most bike share riders do not carry a helmet around with them, especially if it is a spur of the moment decision to rent a bike. The HelmetHub service will provide riders a way to rent bike helmets and return them at the end of their ride at vending machines attached to the bike rental stations.

This new service is a good example of listening to customers’ needs and wants and finding ways to improve your service and product offering to meet those needs and wants. National Vending makes it easy for vending patrons to communicate their ideas and needs through improved technology, including QR codes. Adding QR codes to our vending services is one of the easy to use methods we can increase patron interaction and make the vending services in your facility stand out and succeed.

Vending Services Evolving With Demand

Vending ServicesToday marked the end of an era for a company that many of us welcomed into our homes over the past 20 years. It was officially announced that the video rental giant, Blockbuster, will be closing the doors of its 300 remaining retail locations and ending its video by mail service. A main reason for the end to the Blockbuster story is an ever-evolving industry that did not have a need for their services any more.

As a vending management company, National Vending works with facility managers and other professionals to ensure that your vending services keep on pace with the needs and demands of your vending patrons. Tailoring services, product offerings and utilizing new technology are all taken care of by National Vending, making the advantages of vending services at your location easy!

Happy Halloween from National Vending!

Vending ManagementHalloween is all about costumes, monsters, pumpkins, and of course, candy and treats. In the spooky spirit of the holiday, we wanted to tell you about how National Vending works with facility managers to customize their product offering for each vending location!

With vending machine management from National Vending, you only have one point of contact which makes it very easy to discuss strategies and analyze reports that will help you make decisions on what types of products to offer in each of your vending locations. This level of customization with your product selection will help your machines reach their maximum profit potential.

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