Healthy options in McLean, VA

Healthy Tips for McLean, VA’s Hearts

Healthy options in McLean, VA

Give yourself the gift of a healthy heart this holiday season and celebrate with some delicious dark chocolate — yes, dark chocolate.

We know that diet plays an important role in one’s overall health including the health of the heart. New research has confirmed, yet again, that dark chocolate can be part of a McLean, VA individual’s healthy diet. Study participants who enjoyed chocolate bars three times per month reduced their risk of heart failure by 13 percent when compared to those who ate no chocolate.

Let’s celebrate!

But don’t go overboard. The same study found that participants who ate chocolate everyday appeared to increase their risk for heart failure by 17 percent. Yikes!

Dr Chayakrit Krittanawong, lead researcher of the study, said, “I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol…However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health.”

Chocolate is made from different combinations of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, cocoa bean powder, sugar, and milk powder. For dark chocolate, the first ingredient should be cocoa or chocolate liquor followed by any combination of cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and cocoa butter. Sugar, a necessary ingredient, is then used to balance the bitter taste of the chocolate. For healthier dark chocolate, sugar should be listed toward the end of the ingredients’ list and always after the cocoa. Cocoa is beneficial for the heart while sugar and any unnecessary fats are damaging.

High quality cocoa, which is found in some dark chocolate, contains flavonoids (flavanols, flavonols (source of the antioxidant qualities), epicatechin and procyanidins) and polyphenols. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, improve cognitive function, fight inflammation and oxidative stress — improving blood flow, boost blood vessel health, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Healthy options in McLean, VA

Other ways to help keep your heart healthy include

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • select whole grains
  • limit unhealthy fats
  • reduce the amount of sodium in your food

Maintaining a healthy diet during the holiday season isn’t always the easiest for McLean, VA employees or students. Between work or school, social gatherings, and errands, finding a healthy snack or beverage can be challenging. One way to help them is to provide healthy snack vending machines in visible locations such as the break room or school lunchroom. Our healthy snack vending machines offer

  • controlled portion sizes (weight impacts your heart’s health),
  • the ability to see the ingredient list and nutrition information for each product and to determine the type and amount of grains, fats, sodium,
  • the occasional treat such as dark chocolate, and
  • a healthy option when away from home; whether the stop at the vending machine is planned or not.

Do you have a plan to help your McLean, VA employees or students stay healthy this holiday season and through the new year? We’d like to help you customize a solution that meets your and their needs. For more information, please contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731. We look forward to hearing from you.

Vending machine options in Washington DC

Washington, DC, Do You Have A Unique Vending Machine Story?

Vending machine options in Washington DC

Cabbage, lobster, clothing, gold bars, and champagne are a few of the random items that can be purchased in a vending machine somewhere in the world. In the 150+ years since the first fully automatic vending machine was invented, there have been a wide range of products, some practical and others pretty crazy, sold in different iterations of the machine known as a vending machine.

Let’s take a look at a few super-fun products that are found around the United States today.

Art

Dalton High School in Dalton, GA has come up with a new and innovative way to raise funds for it’s art department’s supplies and materials. Students in the art program design letters, pocket-sized cards, and other artwork that is sold in a vending machine. Placing it in a prominent place, next to beverage and snack vending machines, has helped increase awareness and curiosity. Eventually, the school hopes to place a second machine out in the community.

Soft-Serve Ice Cream

Soft-serve ice cream is usually associated with hot summer days and the beach, but New Yorkers can now buy it anytime of the year. Moxy Times Square, a Marriott Hotels subsidiary, has installed an on-demand soft serve vending machine with a touchscreen video display. The draw? Customers can choose from a variety of traditional and unique flavors such as the spicy Hot Honey Vanilla and top it with just as many unique toppings like the Greek yogurt chips.

Vending machine options in Washington DC

Runners’ Gear

Did you happen to run the New York City or Chicago Marathon this past year? If so, you might have seen the digital vending machines that Lululemon, an athletic apparel company, put in their New York City and Chicago stores during the marathons. Each machine offered bottled water, electrolyte-enhanced tablets, bars and energy gels, and emergency supplies such as first-aid kits, sunscreen, and face wipes all for free. That’s right; it didn’t cost a thing!

Candy Converter

This past Halloween, only the lucky few got to experience something we all wished we had as children – a way to swap out the lame candy we got while trick-or-treating for more of the “good stuff.” Anomaly, a New York City advertising agency, developed the Reese’s Halloween Candy Converter, a vending machine that accepts lame candy as currency and swaps the lame candy for peanut butter treats, or the “good stuff.” Now if we could only get one in Washington, DC.

While most of us don’t have access to those vending machines, Washington, DC has a great alternative. Healthy snack, beverage, and fresh food vending machines from SunDun Office Refreshments. Keep those employees hydrated and satiated and increase productivity and morale. And don’t forget to offer office coffee service. Whether it’s a traditional coffee service or a cafe-style experience, a delicious cup of coffee or hot tea will brighten almost anyone’s day.

For more information about customizing your Washington, DC break room, contact us at 800.466.2731. We look forward to hearing from you.

coffee options in Rockville, MD

It’s Time to Celebrate Coffee Rockville, MD

coffee options in Rockville, MDNo matter the time of day or year, Americans love coffee in all of its many forms. Whether it’s the traditional version with cream and sugar, an espresso-based beverage, or an iced coffee, every Rockville, MD resident has their favorite one. There are multiple reasons why coffee is so important to everyone, but the following one might surprise you.

A recent study performed by Wakefield Research, a global, full-service market research firm, found that coffee’s caffeine boost and health benefits aren’t the only reasons why so many Rockville, MD individuals drink it daily. There’s one more really important reason; coffee, in its many forms, makes the survey participants feel good or happy. For example,

  • 47 percent of survey participants said that consuming that morning cup of Joe played an integral part in having a good start to the day.
  • 60 percent of those questioned consume additional cups of coffee after the lunch hour.
  • 43 percent would choose an iced coffee for a “pick-me-up” during the day, and 26 percent would choose to drink iced coffee year-round, regardless of the season or weather.
  • Here’s a jaw-dropper — 38 percent of participants would be more willing to spend a day without their smartphone than not drink any form of coffee for 24 hours.
  • But this one isn’t a surprise — participants who are parents said they were more likely to grab an iced coffee to brighten their day than those who are not parents (53% vs. 38%).

Coffee options in Rockville, MDWith so many benefits and ways that coffee can boost Rockville, MD residents’ moods, let’s look at five fun activities that employees can participate in to celebrate the beverage.

  • Invite a colleague who you haven’t spoken to recently to meet for a cup of java and mid-morning or late-afternoon snack in the break room
  • Try something different; maybe it’s adding a nut-milk instead of cow’s milk to your hot beverage or trying something that is completely the opposite of what you’d usually drink — always go for hot, then try iced
  • Decrease the impact on the environment by bringing a reusable mug to work and keep it there instead of always using a cup that gets thrown away
  • Learn about different types of coffee and their beans; where are the beans grown? why are they grown in that particular region or climate? and how or why are they roasted in the way that they were?
  • Have an at-work tasting party; it’s a great way to bring everyone together in the break room for a few laughs and boost company morale

An increase in employee morale does more than just increase overall productivity. It can also improve collaboration, self-esteem, and job satisfaction as well as reduce employee absenteeism and the costs associated with employee turnover. Survey participants confirmed that there’s one more reason why coffee boosts morale. 47 percent of participants compared to 17 percent of participants shared that office coffee service (OCS) in the break room at work boosts their mood more than a compliment from their boss. Now that is truly magical.

Whether you’re interested in adding a few perks to your current OCS or creating a new service from the beginning, SunDun Office Refreshments can help. We offer a variety of flavors, roasts, equipment, and complementary products such as sweeteners, creamers, and paper products that, when combined, will create a highly-valued employee perk. For more information about all of our vending services including OCS, contact us at 800.466.2731. We look forward to hearing from you.

break room options in Columbia, MD

Break Room Perks in Columbia, MD Change With Each Generation

break room options in Columbia, MDWhich break room benefit do your Columbia, MD employees value the most? The answer might surprise you. It depends on which generation the majority of your employees is from. As of 2017, the Pew Research Center determined that 35 percent of the U.S. labor force were Millennials followed by Generation X at 33 percent. To be a sought after perk in 2018, a break room has to offer what current and potential employees are looking for, and that means understanding what Columbia, MD Millennials want.

While the age difference between Millennials and Gen Xers may not be very far apart, many Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) came of age during the recession. For a variety reasons, the recession had a strong impact on Millennials and triggered the need to find value in what they purchase. Words that describe a product or brand that convey value to Millennials include “well-priced given the quality,” “reliable,” “high quality,” “trustworthy,” and “loyal to customers.” Next in line are words that indicate social responsibility like “fair-minded,” “ethical,” “moral,” and “transparent.”

Whether the product in question is a piece of clothing, a smartphone, or a snack or beverage purchased from a vending machine or micro-market, value matters. So, how does this generational shift impact your Columbia, MD break room? Unfortunately, there is no single answer for all break rooms. To figure out what matters in your break room, consider the following questions.

break room options in Columbia, MDWho was your current break room designed for, and what did they value? What do your current employees value? Does that match what Millennials value?

Depending on the age of your organization, your current employees might be those who the space was designed for. But if that’s not the case, what do your current employees value? Are they looking for healthy snacks, beverages, or food that have a functional purpose? Does that snack need to be organic or be made with as few ingredients as possible?

The next step in this process is to compare those answers to what Columbia, MD Millennials are looking for in the break room. Based on the results of the Pew Research Center study, most Millennials will look for a welcoming, comfortable space that offers snacks, beverages, and food that are well-priced and made with high-quality ingredients by companies that are trustworthy, transparent, and care about their customers. And that sounds like something everyone would enjoy.

Take the first step toward a high-value break room by designing a customized menu full of delicious and healthy snacks, beverages, and meals. Consider increasing the value by offering the same options to your Columbia, MD employees at no cost via pantry service or by adding a cafe-style office coffee service. For more information about increasing the value of an important employee perk, contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731. We look forward to hearing from you.

Healthy options in Gaithersburg, MD

Healthy Vending Choices Take Over Gaithersburg, MD Break Rooms

Healthy options in Gaithersburg, MDHave you ever considered what might happen if you were to offer healthy vending machine options in your Gaithersburg, MD break room? Would your break room turn into a space that everyone avoids or will it attract employees and become a welcoming gathering place. The results might be surprising as both employees and employers would benefit.

“Healthy” no longer means super expensive and weird tasting. Rather, competitively priced, all-natural and tasty snacks and beverages help turn your break room into an inviting space that encourages collaboration and creativity. Employees no longer have to overcome previous obstacles such as needing to find a corner store to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. Now, all it takes is a trip to your Gaithersburg, MD break room to find a better-for-you snack or beverage.

Snack and beverage vending machines in the break room are also important resources that help employees avoid the negative effects of hunger and dehydration. Hunger increases impulsiveness and the likelihood of experiencing lightheadedness, and decreases one’s ability to make long-term decisions and concentrate. As dehydration increases, the negative impact on cognitive and physical functions, such as short-term memory, arithmetic efficiency, and visuomotor tracking; motor speed and attention increases. None of those effects lead to positive outcomes, but without them, employee productivity and morale increases.

Healthy options in Gaithersburg, MDTo provide your employees’ with an extra perk and boost your break room’s appeal, offer free vend where all products are available to your employees for free. Instead, each month, your company pays for the full amount of products consumed. It’s a great way to help take care of your employees’ financial and physical health. (It’s also an enticing perk for potential new employees.)  

Whether you are interested in healthy vending machine options or a combination of healthy and traditional choices for your Gaithersburg, MD break room, we can help. You’ll find a wide variety of traditional and all-natural snacks and beverages in vending machines that are healthy for everyone as well as coffee service which provides an energizing boost. For more information, please call SunDun Office Refreshments  at 800.466.2731.

Water options in Baltimore, MD

Water, Vending Machines, and Hydration in Baltimore, MD

Water options in Baltimore, MD

Do you drink enough water on a daily basis to meet your health needs? If you’re like 77 percent of a group of recently surveyed, employed Americans, you don’t. The reason given by 43 percent of those individuals was lack of thirst. Before going any further, it is important to make a necessary statement.

If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Staying hydrated is crucial. Hydration not only plays an important role in an individual’s health, but it also impacts how that individual functions. Because dehydration has already occurred before a Baltimore, MD employee realizes that they are thirsty, the negative impact of dehydration has also likely happened.

Mild dehydration has been known to have a negative impact on productivity, energy levels, and alertness. Hydrated employees can also have an impact on workplace productivity. Tony Ibarguen, CEO of Quench recently said, “One inexpensive way to boost productivity is to encourage hydration. Companies that make it easy and convenient for their people to access and drink more water throughout the day may see their employees’ energy levels, engagement and work capacity increase.”

Unfortunately, there are several obstacles that must first be removed if Baltimore, MD employees are going to consume more: lack of time to get water; have to pay for it; and dislike the taste of it at work.

Let’s look at three ways to overcome those obstacles and help employees stay hydrated.

Lack of time to get it

Consider the placement of beverage vending machines throughout your office or facility. In addition to placing vending machines in the break room, also consider placing beverage vending machines in highly trafficked areas. By creating opportunities to get bottled water in areas where employees naturally traverse, those employees are more likely to stop and grab a bottle.

This approach is also backed by science. Researchers at the University College of London found that study participants were more likely to take the path of least resistance when it came to accomplishing a task. So in other words, it’s important to place as few obstacles as possible along the way to get a bottle of water.

Water options in Baltimore, MD

Have to pay for it

While bottleless water coolers that connect directly to the building’s water supply or a filtration system can sometimes be a solution, there are many other situations when that is not an option. A great way to provide bottled water and overcome employees needing to pay for it is to offer it at a reduced cost or for free. Baltimore, MD employees see subsidized vending or free vend as a high-value benefit, but for employers, the cost is much lower than the perceived value.

Dislike the taste of it at work

Yes, it is true. Water has a taste. Recent research published in a monthly scientific journal about neuroscience found that water has a flavor. While researchers believe water’s flavor should be in its own category, they discovered that its flavor is most closely related to the sour flavor category. Given this information, it is important to offer a variety of options from ‘normal’ bottled water to bottled flavored sparkling water. Each one of these will have a unique taste that reflects its specific mineral content or any natural flavors such as fresh fruit that might have been added.

SunDun Office Refreshments  can help Baltimore, MD employers overcome all three of these obstacles, and help employees stay hydrated by offering a variety of healthy beverages in vending machines. And don’t forget to offer healthy snacks to go with your employees’ preferred beverage choice. Hydrated and satiated employees are a win for everyone. For more information about adding healthy options to your Baltimore, MD break room, contact us at 800.466.2731. We look forward to helping your employees stay hydrated.

beverages in Arlington, VA

Arlington, VA, Watch Out for Caffeine Lurking in Your Beverages and Snacks

beverages in Arlington, VAIn 2018, the number of beverages, snacks, and food that contain caffeine has skyrocketed. Whether it’s espresso, coffee, decaffeinated coffee, hot or iced tea, caffeinated soda (cola and non-cola varieties), chocolate and anything made with chocolate or coffee, energy drinks including energy water, caffeinated snacks such as  granola bars and energy bars, or gum, everything contains caffeine. The challenge for Arlington, VA employees is to figure out how much caffeine is too much since everyone experiences and is impacted by caffeine differently.

Recent research by Dr. J.W. Langer, a clinical pharmacology lecturer at Copenhagen University, found that “each person’s unique genetic makeup determines to what degree a given amount of caffeine will affect the individual. Some [individuals] will metabolise caffeine quickly, while others will metabolise it more slowly. Some will show greater sensitivity to the stimulating effects of caffeine, while others need higher amounts to feel an effect.”

Arlington, VA’s employees’ genetic makeup is only one of the reasons why each person responds differently to caffeine. That genetically-caused response usually triggers a unique self-regulating reaction that can affect a person’s regular intake of caffeine. Either a person will be able to consume more caffeine before they have a negative response, or they will recognize that they need to consume less because the response is too strong.

So how can this information improve your Arlington, VA break room? The answer is by encouraging organizations and facility managers to look closely at their employees’ refreshment needs and to realize that a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated snacks and beverages should be offered in the break room. Below is a chart that shows which beverages have the most caffeine per eight ounces of liquid.

There are several important responses that can occur when caffeinated snacks and beverages are available in the break room.

  • Spontaneous conversations and problem solving are more likely to happen when employees remain on-site for meals, snacks, and coffee breaks.
  • Morale levels often get a boost when there is an inviting break room space with sought-after snacks and beverages.
  • Productivity levels increase as consuming caffeine is known to boost energy levels.

If an increase in spontaneous conversations, problem solving, and morale and productivity levels sounds appealing, it’s time to change up your Arlington, VA break room. Come collaborate with SunDun Office Refreshments and design a customized menu offering a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated snacks and beverages. For more information about elevating your break room, contact us at 800.466.2731.  

Bottled water options in Alexandria, VA

Alexandria, VA, Enjoy Bottled Water at Any Time of the Year

Bottled water options in Alexandria, VA

Bottled water continues to be a popular choice for both refreshment and rehydration in Alexandria, VA. As the seasons change and summer comes to an end, Alexandria, VA employees are getting ready for all that the fall and winter have to bring. Even though the temperature may be slowly dropping, it is important to remember to stay hydrated.

Dehydration can happen to anyone when there “is a lack of water in the body resulting from inadequate intake of fluids.” Even a small amount of dehydration can cause headaches, poor concentration, tiredness, and lightheadedness — all symptoms that can make it harder for employees to be productive. An easy way to stay hydrated is to always have low or no-sugar beverages like bottled water available in the office break room vending machine.

Bottled water choices in the United States (U.S.) have expanded to include domestic non-sparkling water (5.5 percent increase), domestic sparking water (27.5 percent increase), imported sparkling and non-sparkling water (9.2 percent increase), and home and office delivery of 3 to 5-gallon size bottles (1.3 percent increase). The switch from other packaged drinks to bottled water has been so strong that, according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), “bottled water is the number one beverage product in the U.S., by volume, for a second year in a row.”

Bottled Water options in Alexandria, VA

And that list of beverages includes carbonated soft drinks whose sales have continued to decline over the past 13 years as consumers have shifted away from sugar-sweetened beverages. Some of the reasons why Alexandria, VA employees have made the switch include the following. Bottled water

  • is a healthy choice,
  • tastes great and is refreshing,
  • is convenient and available any time of day, and
  • Is portable.

Another way to help boost productivity is to keep hunger at bay by offering healthy snacks in office break room vending machines or micro-market. Eating healthy snacks regularly throughout the day keeps energy levels up and blood sugar stable. A satiated and hydrated employee is a winning combination. For more information about adding a micro-market or healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your place of business, contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731. We look forward to working with you.

coffee option in Arlington, VA

Finding Coffee in Arlington, VA

coffee option in Arlington, VA

Enjoying coffee continues to be a daily experience for 64 percent of Americans. That number is important because it means that, according to research performed by the National Coffee Association (NCA), 5 percent more Americans are drinking it daily than there were in 2016. Unfortunately, not all of the results in the study were positive as out-of-home coffee consumption decreased from 40 percent in 2017 to 36 percent in 2018, and those who claimed to have a workplace coffee area decreased by 3 percent.

While these new findings might sound negative, they create an opportunity for Arlington, VA beans are considered to be gourmet beans. They are more expensive to grow because they need very specific growing conditions, must be carefully handled and roasted to perfection. All of this combined creates a gourmet cup of java.

Traditional coffee is made with beans that are not considered gourmet and was preferred by 31 percent of the participants. This type of brew is usually made from Robusta beans or a mix of Robusta and Arabica beans. Robusta beans are cheaper to grow and easier to handle, but have an inferior taste.

While it appears that the study participants preferred traditional beans over gourmet ones, it is important to compare the demographics of the study to the demographics of your Arlington, VA employees before making a decision. For example, only 19 percent of the 18 to 24 year-olds in the study drank traditional coffee while over 30 percent of the same cohort preferred the gourmet version. In older demographics, the traditional variety does better, but gourmet beans still draws in more than 30 percent of that age group.

Coffee options in Arlington, VA

At Home or At Work

The second step is to understand where employees are getting their caffeine fix. For the majority,  coffee-based beverages are still consumed at breakfast in Arlington, VA homes, but there has also been an increase in enjoying coffee between breakfast and lunch or when employees are at work. This second block of time is when an office coffee service can have an impact.

Rather than having to go offsite to find either an espresso-based beverage or a cup of coffee, employees can find what they are looking for in an onsite break room with a cafe-style service. It’s a benefit with a highly perceived value that outweighs the actual cost. Increasing the perceived value is easily accomplished by offering snacks via a micro-market or vending machine. A healthy mid-morning snack with a cup of Joe is a great way to boost your employees’ energy levels.

For more information about adding office coffee service or another vending service option to your Arlington, VA break room, contact SunDun Office Refreshments at 800.466.2731. We look forward to hearing from you.

Snack Options in McLean, VA

McLean, VA, Have You Tried the New Better-for-You Snacks?

Snack Options in McLean, VA

If McLean, VA employees look closely, they will see that there are new better-for-you chocolate snacks to be enjoyed. This is good news for employees that enjoy chocolate but stay away because of chocolate’s nutritional value. Researchers and analysts have found that consumers prefer better-for-you (BFY) products and are frequently moving away from traditional sweet treats. The chocolate industry has responded by developing a variety of new chocolate snacks such as fruit covered in dark chocolate.

Other new chocolate BFY snacks include chocolate combined with different ingredients to make new textures, chocolate paired with herbs and spices, dark chocolate and sea salt, nuts covered in dark chocolate, chocolate in protein bars, poppable truffle bites made with dark chocolate, chocolate and nut butter dips, chocolate bark with a variety of other ingredients, pulse brownie bites made with chickpea flour, and sweet potato brownies. With so many choices, there is a chocolate snack for almost everyone.

For those McLean, VA employees who don’t like chocolate, there are a lot of new non-chocolate BFY options available.

Snack option in McLean, VA

Fruity Flavors: Naturally sweetened sweet or sour gummy bears are a fun low-calorie treat made with stevia. Fruit is also a commonly used ingredient to make naturally sweetened treats such as fruit chews and fruit leather.

Brittle: A syrup-based sweet treat, BFY brittle can be naturally sweetened with maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar.  

Other Candy: Hard candy, mints, and lollipops are made from a variety of natural and sometimes organic sweeteners including brown rice syrup, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice,  honey, and maple syrup.

Whether McLean, VA employees enjoy something with chocolate or something without chocolate, there are three themes that run through all of the types of sweet treats.

  1. Better-for-you sweet snacks are made with new ingredients and a different type of ingredient. Sweet potatoes, chia seeds, nut flours, chickpea flour, and coconut flour and sugar are rarely found in traditional sweet snacks, but they are frequently used in BFY sweet snacks.
  2. The second theme is that the types of ingredients have changed. Consumers also expect to see organic, non-GMO, minimally
    processed ingredients.
  3. The amount and type of sugar is the third theme McLean, VA consumers expect to see. Regular sugar is no longer an acceptable ingredient. Today’s sweet snacks are made with either sweeteners that are low in calories and fructose and are very sweet such as stevia, xylitol, or yacon; or natural sugar based sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.    

Which better-for-you sweet snacks do your employees wish they could find in the break room? SunDun Office Refreshments can help create a customized list of snacks and beverages that are both better-for-you and a tasty sweet treat. For an even sweeter treat, offer vending machine snacks and beverages for a lower or zero cost. Call us at 800.466.2731 more information.