Sustainable Snacks in Western New York

Finding Sustainable Snacks in Western New York

Sustainable Snacks in Western New York

How much do Western New York consumers really know about the snacks and beverages they consume? Some attributes like price, convenience and taste are relatively easy to determine, but whether an item was produced in an environmentally sustainable way is a lot harder to figure out.

In addition to taste (86 percent), price (68 percent) and convenience (57 percent), the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey determined that sustainability (54 percent) is an important factor when it comes to making a purchasing decision. 

Unfortunately, those 54 percent of participants have different interpretations about what makes a product environmentally sustainable, creating some confusion. The following list includes the top six interpretations of environmentally sustainable.

Sustainable Snacks in Western New York
  • locally produced products: 51 percent 
  • products labeled as sustainably produced: 47 percent 
  • products labeled as non-GMO/not bio-engineered: 47 percent  
  • products labeled as organic: 44 percent
  • products that have recyclable packaging: 41 percent
  • products that have minimal packaging: 35 percent

With 63 percent of the survey participants also agreeing that it is hard to know if a product is environmentally sustainable, the confusion about the definition of environmentally sustainable makes sense. But a definition does exist. According to the U.N.’s Brundtland Commission on sustainable development, “sustainable development [meets] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

To determine if snacks or beverages are sustainable look for the following certifications: USDA Organic, Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane Raised and Handled, Fair Trade USA Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Another approach is to learn about a brand and the specific types of ingredients that brand uses. If an employee trusts a brand and is familiar with the types of ingredients that a brand uses, they are more likely to purchase that brand’s snacks and beverages. 

Western New York employers can help ensure that environmentally sustainable products are available for their employees by including micro-markets or vending machines with healthy options, a variety of coffees and sustainable paper products in their break room. Sirness Vending Services makes that even easier for local businesses by offering a variety of healthy snacks, beverages, fresh food and delicious coffees. For more information about our menu, please call us at 585-594-9000. 

Healthy Options in Rochester

Encourage Healthy Lunch Habits at Rochester Businesses

Healthy Options in Rochester

How healthy is your heart? February may be best known for Valentine’s Day, but it is also American Heart Month, a time for Rochester individuals to reconsider their diet and exercise habits and the impact those habits have on the health of their heart.

Making good food choices is an important component of developing a healthy lifestyle but expecting to make good food choices all the time is unrealistic. Rochester individuals should instead be aware of the overall picture or pattern of their diet.

What does that mean? It’s being aware of the different types of snacks, food and beverages that are consumed. Is an individual eating a variety of nutritious foods from the different food groups? Are the portion sizes appropriate? It’s also noticing which circumstances like stress, fatigue or eating with friends trigger different types of eating patterns including unhealthy ones.

Lunch time is another event that can impact future food decisions that will be made throughout the rest of the day. A recent survey from the American Heart Association (AHA) and Aramark, a food service company, found that “more than three quarters of those surveyed say they’re more likely to make healthier decisions at other times of the day if they eat healthy at lunch.”

While those numbers are great news for the health of those surveyed, the likelihood that employees will actually eat a healthy lunch is much lower. The same survey also found that “56 percent of employed Americans who typically eat lunch during work struggle to make that meal healthy.” Rochester employers have just been presented with an opportunity to step in and make a difference in the types of snacks, fresh food and beverages available in the break room.

Healthy Options in Rochester

Two additional results from the AHA and Aramark study show that employees are looking for a bit of help; 82 percent of participants believe access to healthy options at work is important, and 68 percent appreciate their employer’s help in becoming healthier. Creating opportunities for regular exercise during the workday is another approach employers can take to help their Rochester employees become healthier.

Regular exercise not only helps maintain or lose weight, it also improves cardiovascular or heart health. If offering a gym membership or an onsite gym isn’t a realistic employee benefit, there are other ways employees can increase their physical activity during the workday. Taking a walk at lunch, parking further away from the building, using the stairs instead of the elevator and holding walking meetings are just a few ways employees can add a bit more movement to their day.

Employees who choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and lean proteins and increase physical activity often have less stress, more energy and improved confidence. Now that sounds like a benefit for everyone.

For more information about updating or redesigning your micro-market, pantry service or vending machine refreshment menu to include healthier options, please call Sirness Vending Services at 585-594-9000. We look forward to working with you.