Traditional and Healthy Snacks in Western New York

Snacks and 3 Important Characteristics in Western New York

Traditional and Healthy Snacks in Western New York

Snacks have many different purposes. For some Western New York individuals, they are a meal replacement while for other individuals they are a treat or a reason to gather with colleagues or friends. Just as there are different characteristics that make people unique, there are many reasons why individuals choose to snack.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic triggered drastic changes in how Western New York employees live and work, snacks have become even more essential for many individuals. According to a recent U.S. Snack Index survey “85% of respondents said eating their favorite snack makes them feel normal.” Some of those favorites are potato chips, popcorn, and corn chips. In this time of great change, small things that create a sense of normalcy are important since they can positively impact mental health. 

But snacking on one’s favorites isn’t the only thing survey participants want. They still prefer easily accessible snacks over ones that are harder to acquire, and they want variety or the option to try new products. In fact, 86 percent of survey participants said that the most important factor in deciding about what to snack on is convenience while 83 percent said sticking with a favorite ranks at the top.

Convenience

Many Western New York employers have been presented with a new opportunity to make sure their snack and beverage menus offer what their employees want. It’s worthwhile to take the time to ask employees about their preferences. Considering your employees’ opinions sends them a message that says, “We value you.” 

Traditional and Healthy Snacks in Western New York

With only 47 percent of survey participants saying they could locate all the snacks they wanted while shopping, employers have been presented with a new opportunity to increase convenience and customize their break room benefits. Offering on-site refreshments not only ups the convenience factor but they also encourage employees to stay on-site during breaks and meals. 

Less time spent off-site increases employee productivity and hopefully decreases the risk of infection. Gathering on-site in small groups during breaks also creates essential moments that can be used to rebuild morale and the office community that has been missing with fewer employees in the office.

Something New

Even though survey participants placed a heavy focus on snacking on their favorites, they are still interested in trying new snacks. In the survey, Millennials and Gen Z represented the largest and most adventurous demographic. A few things to consider, in addition to convenience, when thinking about what Millennials and Gen Z are looking for with new choices are healthy options, high-protein, low calorie snacks, options with a low environmental footprint, and trustworthy brands.  

How successfully does your Western New York break room menu meet your employees’ refreshment needs? Whether you need to make a complete overhaul or just a few changes, Sirness Vending Services is available to help. We offer a wide variety of traditional and healthy snacks and beverages as well as contactless payment options to help keep everyone safe. For more information, please call us at 585-594-9000. We look forward to hearing from you.

Keep Employees Hydrated in Rochester

Keep Employees Hydrated in Rochester

Keep Employees Hydrated in Rochester

With warmer weather on its way, Rochester employees need to make sure they stay cool and hydrated. Being dehydrated especially when it’s warm out can have a wide range of adverse effects from having trouble concentrating at work to other more serious heat-related illnesses. 

To remind everyone to remember to stay hydrated, June 23 is National Hydration Day. Created in honor of the inventor, Victor Hawkins, who developed a hydrating mouthguard, National Hydration Day focuses on encouraging everyone to drink plenty of hydrating beverages. Staying properly hydrated means that more water is going into the body than the amount of water that is leaving. Dehydration is the opposite. 

Thinking about staying hydrated isn’t just for employees who work outside, although it is especially important for them. Those who work indoors need to plan out how they are going to consume enough water too. Working in an air-conditioned environment can cause moisture to evaporate from the skin and lungs faster than it would otherwise. Drinking enough water is important for all Rochester individuals.

Severe dehydration is dangerous and can cause life-threatening medical conditions, but most Rochester employees only need to contend with a much milder form. For example, workplace productivity can be negatively impacted by dehydration because of a decrease in cognitive abilities, reduction in concentration and alertness, and slower reaction times, both mentally and physically.

Keep Employees Hydrated in Rochester

An easy way to decrease dehydration during the workday is to consume more water. If your employees are not a fan of plain water, try offering a slice of lemon or lime to add to their water, a favorite brand of flavored sparkling water or a cold glass of iced coffee or tea. Consuming water doesn’t always have to happen via a beverage. Many fruits and vegetables including watermelon, strawberries, peaches, cantaloupe, lettuce, celery, cucumber, and tomatoes boost hydration because they contain higher amounts of water. They make great healthy snacks too.

Employers can help their employees stay hydrated year-round by offering a variety of sought-after cold beverages like water, iced or herbal tea or naturally flavored sparkling water in the break room. Whether there are vending machines, a micro-market, or a cashless pantry in your Rochester break room, it’s easy to customize your beverage menu to offer the refreshing and hydrating options your employees want. For more information about refreshment options including snacks, fresh food, and healthy options as well as office coffee service, please contact Sirness Vending Services at 585-594-9000.

Healthy Vending Options in Western New York

Healthy Vending Options Help Western New York Employees

Healthy Vending Options in Western New York

Everyone can agree that eating healthy is important, but making it happen every day can be a challenge. According to a recent survey from the American Heart Association and Aramark, a U.S. based food service company, participants expressed that availability of healthy foods (43 percent), “convenience (60%) and taste preference (54%) as having a great deal/quite a bit of impact on choosing an unhealthy lunch.” 

While those numbers aren’t the best, there are two other numbers that are better. “More than 4 in 5 (82%) agree that having healthy food options at work is important to them and more than 2 in 3 (68%) value help from their employer in becoming healthier.” 

Understanding these statistics and taking the next step can help employers determine the best way to provide break room refreshments for their employees. Rather than assuming which products employees would like to have available, employers should survey their employees to find out. Different individuals will have different preferences that develop from a number of factors including upbringing, genetics, culture and individual experiences.

So, what makes a snack better-for-you? The broad definition is a snack that has a high nutritional value or one that is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber but low in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. A popular example is nuts. While nuts are high in calories and fat, they have lots of important nutrients. 

Healthy Vending Options in Western New York

The following are three suggestions for choosing healthier snacks.

  • choose a snack that has between 150 and 250 calories. Always check the portion size on the nutrition label. The portion size and the size of the package are often two different amounts.
  • choose items that have about 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per serving. Since fiber and protein can create a feeling of fullness, Western New York employees are likely to stay full longer, decreasing the overall amount eaten.
  • avoid snacks that have more than 12 grams of fat per serving. Consuming too many saturated fats can raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Whether Western New York employees need an unplanned pick-me-up or didn’t have time to fix something at home to bring to work with them, access to healthy vending machine snacks and beverages is a great option.  It also supports what employees are looking for—convenient and tasty choices and help from their employer to become healthier and access to better-for-you choices at work.

We at Sirness Vending Services believe in supporting the Western New York area by providing a large selection of better-for-you and traditional snacks and beverages in our vending machines. For more information about our vending solutions, micro-market offerings and coffee service, please contact us at 585-594-9000.

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

Rochester, Build a Healthy Lifestyle One Step at a Time

Healthy Options in Rochester

Staying healthy usually means something different to everyone whether it’s eating a certain way or participating in a favorite physical activity. As 2020 gets into full swing, let’s consider a super important but often forgotten organ that plays a huge role in everyone’s health – the lungs.

When a Rochester individual’s lungs don’t work properly, it can impact their health, and as a result, there can be a negative impact on all parts of their life including their job. One way to keep the lungs healthy is to exercise.

Exercise

The American Lung Association, a nonprofit organization that works to improve lung health and prevent lung disease, sponsors an annual event that not only helps raise funds for the organization but also highlights the importance of exercise for lung health. It’s called the Fight For Air Climb, and it honors National Take the Stairs Day.

During the stair-climbing event, participants, from running and fitness enthusiasts to people of all abilities, take the stairs instead of the elevator to get to the top floor in the event. Often, the buildings used for Fight For Air Climb are tall skyscrapers with many flights of stairs.

If attending an event like the Fight for Air Climb isn’t an option for Rochester employees, there are other ways to add small steps of exercise into one’s day such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the door, going on a walk during a lunch break and taking a stretch break during the workday. Regular exercise has other benefits as well. It boosts energy levels, improves muscle strength and increases the immune system’s ability to fight infections.

Healthy Options in Rochester

Diet

The type of food and beverages that a Rochester employee consumes can also have an impact on lung health. In addition to improving productivity and alertness, staying hydrated keeps the lungs working more effectively by thinning out linings located in the lungs. 

Portion size is another factor that can affect how well the lungs work. Not only can consistently eating portions that are too big cause weight gain, but they can also cause the stomach to be too full, decreasing the amount of space that the lungs have to expand. Healthy options to consider adding to one’s diet include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.

Consuming water and other hydrating beverages plus healthy snacks provides a lot of benefits that many individuals never need to consider. In 2020, Rochester employers have an opportunity to help their employees make healthier decisions by considering the types of snacks, beverages and fresh food that are offered in the break room. 

For more information about updating your refreshment menu to include healthier options, please contact Sirness Vending Services at 585-594-9000.

Healthy Options in Rochester

Offer Healthy Snacks and Beverages Year-Round in Rochester

Healthy Options in Rochester

Making healthy decisions is always important, but for some, it is even more important as the days get shorter and darker. Whether it’s rain or snow, fall and winter weather can impact everyone. The decrease in sunlight throughout the fall and the increase in time spent indoors as it gets colder or rainier can cause the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Mayo Clinic, common signs of SAD include lower energy levels, increased moodiness, oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain and trouble concentrating.  

It’s not just the lack of sunshine causing winter blues and poor productivity; what Rochester individuals put in their bodies plays a role too. Sugary quick fixes might provide a short-term energy boost, but in the long run, they are not helpful. 

For many, there is a tool available to help combat SAD; serotonin. Made from the amino acid tryptophan, serotonin is most often found in the digestive system. To maintain a healthy amount serotonin in the body, Rochester individuals must consume tryptophan via their diet. 

Research also supports a decreased risk of experiencing depression when eating a healthy diet. Unfortunately, the western diet isn’t always considered to be a healthy diet. To maintain healthy levels of serotonin (and a healthy diet), it is important to enjoy foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are vital for serotonin production. 

Seven foods to enjoy during the winter to help combat SAD

Avocado: This fruit is rich in vitamin B6 (and other b-vitamins), which is needed for serotonin production. It is also high in fiber, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, which all contain great mood impacting nutrients.

Bananas: Rich in potassium and fiber, bananas also contain vitamins A, B6 and C; phosphorous; iron and tryptophan – the serotonin level boosting amino acid.

Berries: This colorful group of fruits is high in fiber and important antioxidants, which support the nervous system. While fiber does not directly produce serotonin, it plays an important role in the overall production process. Fiber is an important factor for good bacteria production in the gut, and since 90 percent of serotonin is generated in the gut, a healthy gut is very important.

Healthy Options in Rochester

Dark Chocolate: High in nutrients and antioxidants, dark chocolate, made with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa solids, impacts serotonin on two levels. Enjoying any favorite food increases endorphins which in turn boost serotonin levels. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, a necessary nutrient for serotonin production.

Eggs: A great source of amino acids including tryptophan, eggs also contain vitamin D and healthy fats. Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D is important as low levels of vitamin D are connected to depression.

Almonds: As with dark chocolate, almonds are a great source of magnesium. Research has shown that magnesium plays an important role in regulating neurological pathways, and a deficiency can increase the chance of developing depression.

Spinach: Full of plant-based iron and mood-boosting B vitamins such as folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, spinach is a great leafy vegetable that supports serotonin production. Even though most dark leafy greens including spinach are not a favorite snack, they are a great addition to smoothies, egg dishes and soups. 

Some of the above foods may not taste the best when enjoyed on their own, but they can be enjoyed as part of a recipe. 

An easy way to encourage Rochester employees to enjoy healthy foods while at work and increase endorphins is to host a healthy breakfast party in the break room. Instead of letting everyone know ahead of time, make it a surprise party for an additional endorphin boost. Offer healthy options like yogurt parfaits with berries or bananas topped with almonds, acai smoothie bowls, fresh fruit, dark chocolate oatmeal breakfast bars, cocoa banana muffins or a coffee bar. 

Whether you’re interested in modifying your current break room menu or completely redesigning it, Sirness Vending Services can help. We offer a variety of break room options including office coffee service, vending options and healthy choices. For more information, please contact us at 585-594-9000.

Bottled Water in Buffalo

Bottled Water Causes Hydration in Buffalo

Bottled Water in Buffalo

Bottled water is a healthy choice. Refreshing and great tasting, it is also convenient and portable. PepsiCo is upping their game and recently announced that they are taking bottled water and hydration to a new level with their Beyond the Bottle program. “The new system makes it easier for people to stay hydrated with great-tasting beverages, digitally track their hydration, and help meet the growing consumer demand for more sustainable packaging.” 

PepsiCo’s new program is an innovative ecosystem that addresses consumer desire for low-and-no-sugar beverages, the human need for hydration and the environmental impact of plastics on the earth. Each part plays an important role in both Buffalo’s consumers’ daily lives as well as the overall health of the environment. For this post, let’s focus on the individual.

Most Buffalo employees do not consume enough water. Unfortunately, that often means that they are not as hydrated as they could be. Staying properly hydrated means that more water is going into the body than the amount of water that is leaving. Dehydration is the opposite. 

If you’re thinking that just because summer is gone, and we’re heading toward much colder weather, you don’t have to think about staying hydrated, you’d be wrong. The effects of heating systems and the cold, itself, tend to draw moisture out of the body. Drinking enough water is important for all Buffalo individuals year-round.

Bottled Water in Buffalo

Severe dehydration is dangerous and can cause life-threatening medical conditions, but most Buffalo employees usually contend with a milder form that still affects their day. Employee dehydration negatively impact workplace productivity because of a decrease in cognitive abilities, a reduction in concentration and alertness, and slower mental and physical reaction times. At work, it might be easy to overcome one or two coworkers who are dehydrated, but when about 75 percent of Americans are dehydrated, it is a real problem.

An easy way to decrease dehydration during the workday is to drink more water. 

Even though bottled water is often a favorite packaged beverage, when it comes to hydration, water is water. It doesn’t matter if it’s a glass of filtered water or bottled water from the office break room vending machine.  

Not a fan of plain water? Try adding a slice of lemon or lime or enjoying your favorite brand of flavored sparkling water. 

Bottled flat or carbonated water with fruit infused flavors offer the benefits of plain bottled water without any diet sweeteners or sugars. They are zero calorie, zero preservative, vegan, gluten-free and kosher. Mineral water offers additional health benefits when compared to traditional bottled water. As mineral water’s name suggests, there are extra minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water that Buffalo employees need. 

It’s time to take the first step. We are here to help your organization customize the perfect refreshment menu for your Buffalo employees. Don’t forget to offer healthy snacks with a variety of bottled water choices as well as other healthy, cold beverages. For more information, please call Sirness Vending Services at 585-594-9000.