Healthy Snacks in Rockville, MD

Healthy Snacks in Rockville, MD Break Rooms

Healthy Snacks in Rockville, MD

Choices. Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, everyone is faced with multiple choices every day. A University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) graduate student helped her fellow classmates and professors by making the choice to snack healthy easier. As part of her thesis, she set out to learn if students and faculty would purchase healthy vending machine options. After taste testing one of the three snacks—licorice, chocolate chip cookies, or chili cheese flavored pop chips—each tester was asked if they would buy the item if it were available in one of the university’s vending machines. The positive outcome led UNK to replace some of the previous vending choices with healthier options.

Regardless of an individual’s age, eating healthy is important. Not only does a healthy diet impact physical health, but it also affects a Rockville, MD individual’s ability to be productive and produce quality work. Easy access to healthy snacks at work makes choosing healthy snacks easier. Unfortunately, access to healthy snacks at work isn’t always simple. To change that, it is important to involve everyone in the process including coworkers and bosses when deciding how to increase the amount and types of nutritious snacks and beverages available.

For example, break room decision makers should understand that Rockville, MD consumers consider the following when choosing a snack:  

  • quality and type of ingredients
  • origin of ingredients
  • how a brand contributes to society
  • types of flavors and experiences

Popular snacks that fall into at least one of the above categories include beef jerky, popcorn, greek yogurt, roasted seaweed, string cheese, bean chips, vegetable chips, fruit or vegetable crisps, and nuts. And don’t forget to offer individually packaged snacks. It helps snackers with portion control.   

Healthy Snacks in Rockville, MDBut will offering more healthy choices really have a positive impact? According to recent research in the British Journal of Health Psychology, the answer is yes. As part of the study, participants recorded their food consumption, mood, and behaviors during a 13-day period. Researchers examined how food choices impacted daily experiences and found that the more fruits and vegetables participants consumed, the happier, more engaged, and more creative the participants tended to be. Additionally, a separate review of 30 publications in Perspectives in Public Health found that when there were well thought out and efficiently implemented diet-related interventions in the workplace, productivity increased by 1%-2%.

If your Rockville, MD organization doesn’t offer snacks or beverages in the office break room or is looking to switch from traditional vending snacks and beverages to healthy ones, we can help. By switching to healthy options, the dilemma of making a healthy choice is removed. For more information about how to make the switch, contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731.

Coffee in Columbia, MD

Benefits for Columbia, MD Coffee Drinkers

Coffee in Columbia, MD

Coffee seems to be transforming its reputation. It’s no longer seen as the harmful beverage it once was. Just this year, the International Journal of Cancer published the results of a study examining “the effect of Italian-style coffee consumption on prostate cancer risk” in almost 7,000 men in the Molise region of Italy (Pounis, et al., 2017, p. 72). The researchers determined that the men who consumed more than three cups of Italian-style coffee per day had a 53 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who drank zero to two cups per day. That is great news!

But, wait a minute—what is Italian-style coffee? Is it the same as American coffee? Turns out, it isn’t. Italian-style coffee is prepared in high-pressure hot water (over 1600 degrees Fahrenheit) without using filters. Most Columbia, MD employees know it as espresso, not coffee.

This isn’t to say that coffee doesn’t have any health benefits. In fact, the results of two studies that were published in 2016 show that coffee does more than offer an energy boost and decrease the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. The International Agency for Research on Cancer determined, after reviewing 1000 previously completed studies, that coffee cannot be classified as a cause of cancer anymore. At the same time, a different group of researchers was performing a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between coffee and different cancer types. They found that coffee intake was associated with reduced risk of oral, pharynx, liver, colon, prostate, endometrial cancer, and melanoma. More good news.

Coffee in Columbia, MD

There is one concern, however, that researchers discovered while studying coffee. Drinking hot or very hot beverages, whether coffee, tea, or something else, can contribute to an increased risk of esophageal cancer or cancer of the esophagus when compared to lower temperature beverages. To help avoid that, remember to give your coffee a few minutes to cool before drinking it. Columbia, MD consumers also have a variety of cold beverages such as iced tea or water to choose from if they are looking for something at a lower temperature.

With such a variety of benefits and coffee’s improved reputation, it’s time to consider either updating your current Columbia, MD office coffee service or offering a new benefit to your employees—the gourmet coffeehouse experience in your break room. Uniquely sourced and locally roasted beans are the foundation for a great cup of coffee and a relaxing mid-afternoon break. To learn more, contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731 for more information.

Reference:

Pounis, G., Tabolacci, C., Costanzo, S., Cordella, M., Bonaccio, M., Rago, L., D’Arcangelo, D., Castelnuovo, A. F., Gaetano, G., Donati, M. B., Iacoviello, L., & Facchiano, F. (2017). Reduction by coffee consumption of prostate cancer risk: Evidence from the Moli-sani cohort and cellular models. International Journal of Cancer, 141(1), 72–82.    DOI: 10.1002/ijc.30720

Snacks in Gaithersburg, MD

Snacking in Gaithersburg, MD

Snacks in Gaithersburg, MD

How do snacks fit into your day? Do they replace a meal or help you survive until your next one? Or, maybe they’re an energy boost? What about a reward or something to satisfy a craving? You aren’t alone if your snacks function as just one of those, or if they are all three at the same time. According to Tamara Barnett, VP of strategic insights for Bellevue, Wash.-based Hartman Group, “How we go about planning, acquiring and consuming food has been disrupted, and the result has been the displacement of meals and variations in when, how and what gets consumed.”

To help the Gaithersburg, MD consumer adjust to these changes and see value in a snack or beverage, it is important to understand what the three primary snack needs are.

Snacking for Nourishment

  • helps to meet daily caloric needs and to stay hydrated
  • keeps energy levels stable and up
  • helps to manage health and diet
  • stops hunger between meals
  • examples: yogurt, granola bars, whole fruits and vegetables, water, and smoothies

Snacking for Optimization

  • helps to meet mental and physical performance goals
  • offers an energy boost
  • helps with recovery after exertion (loss of nutrients, fluids & energy levels)
  • increases mental focus
  • examples: coffee, whole fruits, popcorn, nuts, and higher protein bars or smoothies

Snacking for Pleasure

  • offers comfort and stops cravings, at least momentarily
  • can be either an indulgence or a reward
  • creates a time to eat different flavors and textures
  • is an opportunity to discover and try new foods
  • examples: cookies, candy, chips, wasabi peas, salted nuts, and flavored milk

Snacks in Gaithersburg, MD

Each of these snack needs can function independently or in combination with each other. In most situations, the Gaithersburg, MD consumer unconsciously requires that the snack be pleasurable even if the primary goal is nourishment or optimization.

Understanding the different snack needs of your employees is important as snack consumption in the workplace is up 10 percentage points to 16% compared to five years ago. 16% of the individuals looking for a snack find it at work (cafeteria or catering) and another 14% find their snacks in vending machines. One way to increase those numbers and have a positive impact on your employees is to reconsider the types of healthy snacks and beverages offered in your office break room. Barnett suggests optimizing break room layouts and product assortments to inspire snacking occasions and to meet your employees’ needs. Not only is it good for your employees’ health and well-being, but it’s also good for company morale and productivity.

To learn more about the wide variety snacks and beverages we offer and our vending options including traditional vending and free vend, contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731.  

Updated Break Room in Baltimore

Make Your Baltimore, MD Break Room New Again

Updated Break Room in Baltimore

In Gulfport, Mississippi, high school students in the National Technical Honor Society built a vending machine that, from a distance, appears to be a normal vending machine. After taking a closer look, however, it is clear that this vending machine is unique and special. It is an older vending machine that has been turned into a solar-powered vending machine that dispenses free personal hygiene products to the homeless in the community.

While researching project ideas for a device that blended STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) research with a community need, the students realized that there was a gap between when shelters and soup kitchens were open, and when homeless individuals needed help. To fill that need, they took an item that had a specific purpose, was no longer being used, and melded it into something new to meet a current need. Their approach is not new and can be adopted by anyone including Baltimore, MD organizations that need to change up their office break room to provide important benefits for their employees.

The older office break room or office kitchen, as it was known, is usually an unloved space located in an out-of-the-way location. Often it included poor lighting, a basic table and chairs, minimal amenities, and a traditional vending machine. Employees, especially Millennials, are looking for something different and have changed the way office break rooms are viewed. They are now seen as an important space that should inspire creativity and productivity, provide a spot to relax and interact with coworkers, and enjoy a meal or healthy snack.

To encourage your Baltimore, MD employees to stay on site to enjoy that meal or snack, consider offering free vend or specialty coffee service as a benefit in your office break room. Below are a few important points to know about each option.

Free Vend

  • Employees pay part of none of the cost for beverages, snacks, or meals while they are at work
  • Free Vend’s perceived value by employees is higher than the actual cost to the employer
  • Employees are less likely to leave the office for a meal or break, which can increase overall productivity

Updated Office Break Room in Baltimore

Specialty Coffee Service

  • Many specialty coffee services use sourced coffee beans and locally roasted coffees creating a unique coffee experience
  • In addition to specialty hot coffees, many vendors now offer cold brew coffees as well
  • Encourages employees to enjoy a well-made cup of joe without leaving the office

Have you considered adding one of these great benefits to your Baltimore, MD office break room? We’d love to help you determine which one fits your needs best. If you already offer specialty coffee service or free-vend and are looking to change-up your offerings, we can help you with that too. Contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731 to learn more.

Bottled Water in Fairfax, VA

Bottled Water in Fairfax, VA is Here to Stay

Bottled Water in Fairfax, VA

Have you ever wondered who purchases bottled water? As it turns out, just about everyone does. According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMS), “Americans are drinking more bottled water than any other packaged beverage” for the first time in American history. A recent Harris poll conducted for the IBWA found that 86 percent of people polled purchase bottled water. Additionally, the BMS recently released numbers for 2016 bottled water sales. They found that there was a 10 percent increase in sales and an 8.6 percent increase in bottled water consumption. Now, that’s a lot of bottled water.

So, what makes bottled water so popular? The answer depends on who you talk to. Bottled water offers many benefits and has the potential to meet a wide variety of Fairfax, VA consumer needs. The following are just a few of the features that have made bottled water popular.

Bottled water is versatile.

  • Bottled Water in Fairfax, VAIt can be consumed at any time of the day.
  • Water mixes well with many other types of beverages.
  • You can drink it cold or hot.
  • It can be found with carbonation or without, and flavored or plain.

Bottled water is healthy.

  • It contains zero calories.
  • It keeps the body hydrated.
  • It can improve one’s mood and focus.
  • It can help replenish lost electrolytes.

Bottled water is portable.

  • It is convenient when one is on-the-go.
  • It is easy to carry it with you.
  • Bottled water is available in many locations.
  • Disposal of the bottle is relatively simple.

Bottled water is safe.

  • It is regulated as a food product by the Food & Drug Administration.
  • Bottled water has a long shelf life.
  • An extra supply should be kept for an emergency or disaster situation.
  • It can help prevent illness when traveling outside of the U.S.

With the great demand for bottled water, it is important to make sure that your Fairfax, VA employees have access to a variety of bottled water choices during their work day. Not only will you help your employees remain hydrated during the day but their mood and focus are likely to improve if they are hydrated. A large selection of low or no sugar, flavored carbonated waters can also be a refreshing treat during a work break.

What bottled water options do you offer in your office break room? SunDun Office Refreshments can help you determine the best combination of flat and carbonated bottled waters as well as other beverages to offer in your office break room. To learn more, contact us at 800.466.2731.

Ingredients and Nutrition Labels in Alexandria, VA

Alexandria, VA, How Do You Feel About Your Diet?

Ingredients and Nutrition Labels in Alexandria, VA

Is it healthy, not so healthy, or somewhere in between? If it’s not so healthy, you are part of a large number of Americans who feel that their diet is unhealthy. Recent research by Mintel, a market intelligence agency, found that “less than half (42 percent) of Americans consider their diet to be healthy.” Yikes!

While negative dietary influences vary greatly from person to person, there is one thing that impacts the majority of Alexandria, VA consumers—being able to determine the validity of health-related claims on food packaging. As a consumer, how can you combat the uncertainty that often comes with reading food packaging?

Before looking at the packaging issue, it is important to understand what a food or health-related claim is. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) describes a health claim as “a relationship between a food substance (a food, food component, or dietary supplement ingredient), and reduced risk of a disease or health-related condition.” An example of an FDA-approved health claim that explains the benefit of calcium on the risk of osteoporosis is, “Adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.” For a manufacturer to be able to include this claim on the packaging of one of their products, the product must meet a list of specific requirements.

Given that it is often difficult to know those requirements while reading different packaging, the nutrition label and ingredient list are a great resource. Ingredient lists and nutrition labels often contain a large amount of information. To better understand that information, here are a few strategies for reading them.

Ingredients and Nutrition Labels in Alexandria, VANutrition Labels

  • Determine how big or small the serving size is for each packaged item. Often the serving size is different than the amount of food or drink in the package. To correctly understand the other information on the nutrition label, knowing the correct serving size is key.
  • Understand that the “percentage daily value” listed on the nutrition label is not the same for everyone. Most nutrition labels are based on a 2000 calorie per day diet. If you are taller or shorter or male or female or 17 or 39 or 82 or super active or a couch potato, it is likely that your caloric needs are different. Use the amount listed, 2000 calories per day, and adjust it up or down based on your own needs.
  • Pay special attention to the amount of sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium that are in a serving as those are ingredients that many individuals need to limit.

Ingredient Lists

  • Look for recognizable ingredients. If it is an item that you have never heard of or cannot pronounce, look it up or ask someone what it is.
  • Consider which ingredients are listed first or early in the list of ingredients. The earlier the ingredient is listed, the larger the amount is of that ingredient.
  • If choosing a food that doesn’t come in a labeled package such as fruits or vegetables isn’t an option, choose products that have shorter ingredient lists. (See previous tip)

Now that you are armed with a few strategies for understanding the information on packaged foods and beverages, you are ready to head out and make healthy snack and beverage choices.

We at SunDun Office Refreshments would like to help make things a little easier for everyone by offering a selection of snacks and beverages in your Alexandria, VA office break room. For more information about our products and service options, call us at 800.466.2731.

Sustainable break room options in Arlington VA

Sustainable Options in Arlington, VA

Sustainable break room options in Arlington VA

In 2017, there are many different ways to practice sustainable living at home. Individuals often use less water, think twice about who they are purchasing goods from, and reuse as many things as possible. Recycling at home also falls under the sustainable living umbrella, and is a relatively easy thing to do. Most communities offer their residents different ways to recycle paper, plastics, metals and used electronics, and many individuals actively use those resources.

Recycling

Recycling at home is an easy way to contribute to creating an environmentally sustainable community. However, if you were at an Arlington, VA local park, it wouldn’t be so easy as your recycling options would be extremely limited. Keep America Beautiful (KAB), a nonprofit organization that educates and encourages individuals to take care of their local environment, found that “only 12 percent of surveyed public locations had recycling infrastructure in place to recover the containers.”

KAB and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) have developed a partnership that offers grants to local governments and community organizations to help them purchase new recycling bins. In its fifth year, the program has awarded 3,400 recycling bins to organizations in 38 states. Vicki Draughn, vice president of corporate affairs for DPS, explained that “providing choices and options is central to our commitment to our consumers. That not only means making and selling a wide range of the brands they love but also increasing the convenient recycling options available to them in their favorite parks and community spaces.”

Placing additional recycling bins in public spaces such as parks, stadiums, airports, building lobbies and office break rooms is a great way to keep building sustainable communities in Arlington, VA.

Energy

Sustainable break room options in Arlington VAA different, but just as important, approach to reducing the use of important resources is to consider different ways to decrease energy consumption, especially in the office environment. Reevaluating the different types of equipment and appliances, such as computer monitors, copy machines, and vending machines, from an energy usage point-of-view will provide a more complete picture of the cost of each item. Choosing equipment that meets Energy Star ratings will not only lower electricity costs over the life of the machine, but it will also use less energy. That’s a plus for both the company’s bottom-line and the environment.

Another way to decrease energy usage is to determine which type of light bulbs are currently being used. Switching away from incandescent and fluorescent bulbs to light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs will not only decrease energy consumption but will also likely decrease energy costs. Unlike most lighting features that turn off when not in use, lighting in vending equipment remains on. Compared to other types of light bulbs in vending machines, LED light bulbs emit light in a specific direction without substantial loss of light, and emit less overall heat—two positive features. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “today’s LED bulbs can be six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.” Regardless of how you look at it, that’s a positive impact.

Whether you offer your Arlington, VA employees recycling bins throughout the office, or healthy snacks and beverages from Energy Star vending machines in the break room, your organization is helping to create a more sustainable community. To learn more about our state-of-the-art vending equipment and product offerings, contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731.

Healthy Ingredients in McLean, VA

Tools for Better Health in McLean, VA

Healthy Ingredients in McLean, VA

What are the ingredients in your favorite vending machine snack or beverage? Do you know? If you do, you belong to a growing group of consumers who not only know which ingredients are in their food but also know the number of ingredients. According to Andrew Mandyz, Director of Strategic Insights at Nielsen, “There’s a shift in how people are thinking about ‘better for you.’ People are looking for back-to-basics, simpler ingredients.”

Ingredient Labels

Seeing the recipe for your snack or beverage would be the best way to learn about what is in it, and how much of each thing was used. But since that is rarely an option, there is another way for McLean, VA consumers to learn about what is in their food and drink—by reading ingredient labels. Ingredients are listed in a very specific order. The largest ingredient is listed first, followed by each ingredient until the smallest ingredient. For example, a ready-to-drink cold tea that lists the ingredients tea (water, tea), sugar, and lemon is letting the consumer know that there is more tea than sugar, and more sugar than lemon in the beverage. Nielsen found that “about 61 percent [of consumers] said that the shorter the ingredients’ list, the healthier the product.”

Online Resources

In addition to reading ingredient labels, consumers are researching health information online. Mandzy found that the number of consumers who went online for information went from 48% in 2014 up to 68% in 2016, a 20% increase. With the large amount of health information available online, and more McLean, VA consumers using the internet, it is important to know how to determine if a website contains reliable information. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center offers some tips:

  • Don’t search the entire Internet. Start with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library [or other hospital website] or MedlinePlus.gov.
  • Evaluate commercial (“dot com”) sites carefully for bias and conflict of interest.
  • Check to see if the information is current (less than three years old).
  • Look for the credentials of the author (i.e. doctor, nurse, psychologist) to make sure the information is written by a health professional.

Healthy Ingredients in McLean, VATechnology as a Tool

Using technology to track health-related activities and numbers are also on the rise. There are apps that are worn during activities such as running or walking, ones that track the number of hours slept and the quality of sleep, ones that track what an individual has eaten and count calories, and others that track heart health or healthy habits. With so many apps available, it can be challenging to find one that meets a McLean, VA user’s needs. Harvard Health Publications recommends several things to consider when looking for the right app.

  • Have realistic expectations of the technology and watch out for unrealistic claims.
  • Read reviews. Try out a few different ones.
  • Read the fine print.
  • Ask for recommendations.
  • Look for ones “sponsored or created by established health advocacy groups, medical organizations, or universities”

Reading ingredient labels, researching health information and monitoring one’s own health-related activities are just a few of the many ways that consumers can become more knowledgeable. Sharon Allison-Ottey, MD and health educator, recently expressed that “the overall trend of a more-educated consumer is excellent” especially when it comes to a person’s diet. Which snack and beverage ingredients do your consumers want to see in their McLean, VA healthy vending machines?

Contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731 to learn more about our vending options.

Breakroom Options in Washington D.C.

What Will Washington D.C. Consumers Ask for in 2017?

Breakroom Options in Washington D.C.

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Were you able to reflect on the past, create new goals, and make a few positive changes since January 1?

According to activepause.com:

  • 40-45% of American adults make resolutions each year.
  • the top 3 resolutions are eating better, losing weight and quitting smoking.
  • only 46% of all the resolutions made will be kept after 6 months.

Health.us.news.com also states that 80% of New Year’s resolutions will fail.

The bottom line—change is hard. If it weren’t so difficult, more people would keep their resolutions, and maybe more businesses would still be, well…in business. Take Blockbuster for example.

Blockbuster was created in 1985, and for a while, it had a monopoly on the video renting business. In 2000, Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, flew to Blockbuster headquarters to meet with Blockbuster CEO John Antioco to propose a partnership with the multi-million-dollar company. Hastings wanted Netflix to run Blockbuster’s brand online and in exchange, wanted Netflix to be advertised in Blockbuster’s brick-and-mortar stores.

Antioco and his team turned down the deal. After all, they were the leaders of their industry.

In 2004, Antioco realized his mistake. Seeing Netflix as a competitor, he tried to compete with them. Antioco removed late fees and invested heavily in Blockbuster’s online platform. But in 2005, he was fired. His replacement, only seeing the $200 million dollars the company lost when Antioco banished them, reinstated the late fees.

In 2010, Blockbuster went bankrupt. As of February 2017, Netflix was worth over $61 billion.

Breakroom Options in Washington D.C.A few lessons we could learn from Blockbuster are:

  1. Be open to new ideas
  2. Invest time, money, etc. in exploring those new ideas
  3. Maintain a healthy online presence

SunDun Office Refreshments isn’t afraid to change with the needs of our Washington D.C. customers. We offer multiple ways to purchase items including credit/debit cards and mobile payment options; a variety of services including office coffee service; and a large selection of products including healthy snacks and beverages.

Contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731 to learn more about the options available.

Alternative Beverages in Washington D.C.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Washington D.C. with some Bubbly!

Alternative Beverages in Washington D.C.

If your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and/or eat healthier, keep your commitment to yourself and choose “bubbly” sparkling water instead of champagne or soda for your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Why make sparkling water your beverage of choice in 2017?

  • It’s Healthier – Many leading brands, such as LaCroix, don’t have any calories, sweeteners, sodium or anything artificial.
  • It’s Cheaper – With many cities and counties across the country imposing extra taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, it’s better for your budget to stay away from sodas.
  • It’s Trending – According to the Wall Street Journal’s article LaCroix Bubbles Up in Water Brand Competition, sparkling water consumption grew 26% from 2015-2016. And according to an article from Huffington Post, Sparkling Water is the New Soda, between 2009 and 2014, the volume of carbonated bottled water sold in the U.S. increased by 56.4%.
  • It’s Diverse – Sparkling water offers a large variety of flavors not commonly found in soda. Think black cherry dragon fruit, orange grapefruit, and kiwi watermelon.

Alternative Beverages in Washington D.C.This year as you work to improve your own drinking habits don’t forget to help your Washington D.C. employees do the same.

Whether you offer traditional vending or healthy vending benefits to your employees, your local vendor can stock your healthy break room with sparkling water options.

Some of our favorites include:

ICE – Started in the early 1990s in the Pacific Northwest, the ICE line now includes sparkling teas and lemonades in addition to their twelve succulent varieties of sparkling water.

Dasani Sparkling – All 6 varieties of Dasani Sparkling water are unsweetened and have no artificial flavor. They also are juice free.

LaCroix – Originating in the 1980s LaCroix has made a serious comeback complete with a whole new look. Today they are easily the leading name in sparkling water.

For more sparkling water options call SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731 today. We’ll be happy to add some healthy carbonated beverages to your Washington D.C. energy star rated vending machines with your next refill.