Coffee Trends Benefit Atlanta

Adapt 2020 Coffee Trends to Benefit Atlanta

Coffee Trends Benefit Atlanta

COVID-19 may have disrupted almost all aspects of life, but it hasn’t stopped Atlanta individuals from enjoying their daily coffee. In fact, consumption has increased during the past several months. One thing that is different is that many individuals are purchasing their caffeinated beverages online or via a mobile app while trips to the local cafe have dramatically decreased.

As Atlanta employees head back to work, not considering or adapting your office coffee service (OCS) is a missed opportunity to rebuild your workplace community, boost morale, and increase productivity. Why is that you ask? The short answer is that the majority of adults in American drink coffee and all its related beverages each day, and yet only 63 percent of employees who work outside of their home have access to coffee at work.

According to the recently released 2020 National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) Report, 62 percent of Americans 18 and older drink coffee daily, up five percent from 2015, and the average number of cups consumed by each individual is 3.1 cups—that’s almost 25 ounces per day. But the number of employers who offer OCS in the break room has decreased by five percent compared to 2019.

Coffee Trends Benefit Atlanta

To compete with off-site menus that offer a wide variety of options which can be ordered via an app or delivered directly to an employee by a food delivery service, facility managers should understand 2020 coffee trends. (One caveat—while these numbers were collected before COVID-19 changed how and where Atlanta employees work, the results can still be used to help plan for post-COVID break room services.)

  • 56 percent consume gourmet coffee or beverages that are brewed from premium beans
  • 53 percent looked for brands that are focused on sustainable farming and Fair Trade practices
  • 40 percent of individuals add milk/creamer (any type) plus a sweetener
  • 20 percent prefer their coffee black
  • Four percent use alternative milks such as soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk etc.
  • Demand for espresso-based beverages including cappuccino, latte, frozen blended, espresso, mocha, macchiato, Americano, and flat white continues to grow

In addition to what Americans want to drink, it is also important to consider what types of beverages each generation prefers especially if your organization employs a variety of individuals. Espresso-based beverages are preferred by 27.5 percent of Americans under the age of 40, while those aged 60+ prefer traditional, non-gourmet coffee. Consumption of coffee was also found to increase as individuals aged. For example, consumption is up 40 percent since 2015 among drinkers age 18 – 24. Whether that is a change in lifestyle or just a desire for more, it’s something to be aware of.  

Now’s the time to reassess your OCS and other break room refreshment options. PB&J Vending can help by creating a customized menu and safely providing your Atlanta employees fresh food, snacks and beverages via a micro-market or vending machines. For more information about our refreshment services, please contact us at (877) 820.8363. We look forward to helping support your organization.

Food and COVID-19 in Atlanta

Food and COVID-19 in Atlanta

Food and COVID-19 in Atlanta

COVID-19 has had an impact on everything including Atlanta individuals’ relationship with food. While many of the changes can be seen anecdotally, a recent study by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) specifically identified how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Americans’ current perceptions about food as well as food-related trends from the past decade.

Three key statistics stand out.

  • “85% of Americans have made at least some change in the food they eat or how they prepare it because of the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • “32% of Americans reported in the survey that they are snacking more.”
  • “More than half (54%) of all consumers say the healthfulness of their food choices matters more now than it did in 2010 [the last time the survey was performed].”

Safety

Understanding these changes and adapting to them is especially important for Atlanta employers as non-essential employees head back to their workplaces. Employers have an opportunity to help their employees by providing safely prepared refreshment options on-site. This is important as 27 percent of the 85 percent who have already made changes are thinking about what they are going to eat more than usual. A well-rounded and comprehensive approach to break room and food safety should play an integral part in creating a safe workplace.

Food and COVID-19 in Atlanta

Employers can also emphasize the importance of risk-reduction practices (hand washing, minimizing contact with surfaces and using wipes and hand sanitizer) at work, especially when it comes to using the break room to purchase snacks, food, and beverages from vending machines or micro-markets. Break room providers can help by openly conveying their COVID-related policies and procedures. Combining education about risk-reduction practices and break room providers’ practices will help employees feel more comfortable purchasing break room items.

Healthy

Since almost a third of participants were snacking more, employers should consider offering additional healthy options to help employees make healthier choices. Better-for-you products are even more important for those employees who have children as 33 percent of participants who are parents (compared to 16 percent without children) are more likely to “eat their feelings” and then feel less satisfied by eating.

But choosing healthier options isn’t just for those with children. With more than 50 percent of the 1,011 survey participants making dietary choices based on health-related goals, access to better-for-you products is important for all Atlanta employees. Of those 50+ percent of survey participants, 47 percent are following a specific diet to lose weight, 40 percent hope to have more energy, 39 percent are changing their physical appearance, 37 percent want to protect long-term health and prevent future health problems, and 36 percent want to prevent weight gain.

Atlanta Break Rooms

Whether it’s adding new items to your refreshment menu or updating your break room with new vending machines or a micro-market, PB&J Vending can help. We offer a wide variety of better-for-you and traditional snacks, fresh food, cold beverages, and office coffee service that can safely meet the refreshment needs of your employees. For more information, please contact us at (877) 820.8363. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Break Room Service in Atlanta

Break Room Service Providers Lead the Way in Atlanta

Break Room Service in Atlanta

Workstations, desks, and the break room are just a few of the physical spaces that businesses have to consider as they begin the process of reopening. In addition, Atlanta employers are developing new procedures and accommodations to ensure employee safety amidst ongoing concerns about COVID-19. Decisions made regarding the break room should be an important part of the plan.

Last week, members of the refreshment services industry gathered virtually to send a heartfelt and reassuring message to everyone. Shot in isolation from each individual’s home or business, the message is an inspiring 2-minute video. The takeaway is clear: break room service providers everywhere are here to support companies as they transition toward a new work environment.

PB&J Vending is responding appropriately and following the state’s COVID-19 re-opening schedules and guidelines as well as adopting stricter health and safety procedures for our employees.

In addition to maintaining social distancing practices, our route drivers are washing their hands or changing into a new pair of gloves before each visit. They are also sanitizing all contact surfaces and high touch areas at the end of every service call. Their goal is to leave Atlanta break rooms cleaner than when they arrived. Additionally, we have implemented social distancing policies in our offices and distribution centers and are closely monitoring our employees’ health.

Break Room Service in Atlanta

Before COVID-19, break rooms were an important resource, but today, they have become an even more valuable benefit for Atlanta employees. Micro-markets and vending machines provide a safer way for employees to access fresh foods, snacks, and beverages. Products available in micro-markets and vending machines are individually wrapped in secure packaging for a quick, grab-and-go experience. Vending machines and micro-markets also offer cashless payment options, limiting contact even further. 

Providing employees with plenty of fresh foods, snacks, and beverages in the break room not only encourages employees to stay on-site but also limits potential exposure to viruses that can occur during off-site trips. Let’s work together to keep everyone safe.

For more information about customizing a refreshment menu or our safety procedures, please contact us at (877) 820.8363.

Healthy Lunch Habits in Atlanta

Encourage Healthy Lunch Habits at Atlanta Businesses

Healthy Lunch Habits in Atlanta

How healthy is your heart? February may be best known for Valentine’s Day, but it is also American Heart Month, a time for Atlanta 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. Atlanta 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.” Atlanta 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 Lunch Habits in Atlanta

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 Atlanta 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 PB&J Vending at (877) 820.8363. We look forward to working with you.

Pantry Service in Atlanta

Pantry Service in Atlanta Offers Multiple Benefits

Pantry Service in Atlanta

Everyone needs to feel appreciated, including Atlanta employees. Providing pantry service in the workplace break room is just one way to express employee appreciation. While each organization in Atlanta has a different culture, there are several things that create a universal feeling of appreciation and are enjoyed by almost everyone.

How to Show Appreciation

The first one applies specifically to the break room. Ask for your employees’ opinions about which snacks, beverages and fresh food they would like to have available in the pantry service. 

Also connected to the break room, would be to survey everyone about the type of environment or vibe they want in their break room. The right combination of refreshments at no cost plus a welcoming environment is sure to encourage employees to stay on-site when they need to re-hydrate or grab a bite to eat. 

The next three ways to show appreciation don’t have to be connected to the break room, but they can be. Offer employees special treats or meals that aren’t usually available in the break room such as ‘Waffle Wednesday’ or ‘Freshly Baked Cookie Friday.’ Donuts from a favorite bakery or popular pizza are also great options.

In the non-food arena, giving employees who have gone above what was expected extra time off acknowledges their effort and time. Not acknowledging their time and effort can silently convey to everyone that they, the employees and their coworkers, receive no benefit for putting in the extra work.

Pantry Service in Atlanta

Another way to express appreciation is to perform random acts of kindness. Everyone has heard the story about one person in line purchasing a coffee for the person behind them. To the person who received the coffee, the experience was a random act of kindness. The same can be done for your Atlanta employees. A simple thank you note or someone’s favorite snack are acts of kindness that show appreciation.

Why Show Appreciation

At the surface, expressing appreciation for your Atlanta employees improves engagement, retention and motivation, especially during the holiday season. But dig a bit deeper and see a positive impact on employee work/life balance. 

In a recent article published by O.C. Tanner, “Showing gratitude can increase a person’s wellness, increase better sleep habits, increase metabolism and lessen stress. This directly impacts work results and employee interaction. With employee appreciation, you’re not only boosting performance and engagement, but the employee’s well-being and health.”

Drill down a bit further to the core and find that increased appreciation causes more positive interactions which then has even more positive ripple effects moving outward. That sounds like a good thing for everyone.

While PB&J Vending can’t perform random acts of kindness directly for your Atlanta employees, we can help you customize the perfect break room. Whether it’s pantry service, a micro-market or coffee service, your employees will know that you appreciate all that they do. For more information, please call PB&J Vending at (877) 820.8363.

herbal tea options in atlanta offices

Tea Delights Atlanta Employees Year Round

herbal tea options in atlanta offices

“Just like eating fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods, regular tea consumption has been shown to have significant health benefits.”

– Peter Goggi, President of the Tea Council of the USA.”

The weather may be warm outside, but that doesn’t mean Atlanta employees can’t enjoy a delicious cup of hot or cold tea during their workday or on the weekend. With so many different types available, it can feel overwhelming when trying to choose one. Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning.

Tea starts as a single plant, the Camellia sinensis. How the leaves are cared for, plucked and dried or oxidized will determine the end result. The five main types are black, white, green, oolong and puerh (or dark). 

Black tea is the most commonly consumed type in the world. In the United States, over 80 percent of the tea consumed is black. The key is to make sure that the leaves are fully fermented or oxidized.

Green tea is known to have many health benefits including stress reduction and improved memory, attention and brain function. To make green tea, the leaves are heated after being plucked to prevent oxidation.

Oolong tea is made by only partially fermenting the leaves. Once the plucked leaves have withered, they are then fermented before beginning the drying process.

White tea is one of the most unique types. It can only be produced by following strict harvesting and processing guidelines developed in the Fujian Province in China. A simple description of the process includes the following steps. The leaves are hand-picked, delicately handled, steamed and then dried. 

herbal tea options in atlanta offices

Puerh or “dark” tea is also unique because it is aged for decades before it is consumed. By storing it for so many years after processing, the microbes on the leaves are able to ferment to create a distinct beverage.

To brew an excellent hot beverage, the Tea Council of the USA recommends following the Four Golden Rules:

  • “use a teapot 
  • bring fresh, cold tap water to a full boil (Note: If your water is heavily chlorinated or contains other objectionable odors, filter before boiling) 
  • use one teaspoon or one tea bag per cup 
  • pour boiling water over bag and brew by the clock 3 to 5 minutes and serve”

The following times are recommended steep times for creating the perfect cup: white for 1-3 minutes, green for 3 minutes and black, oolong and dark for 3-5 minutes.  To make smaller quantities of iced tea, pour the hot beverage over ice, and enjoy. (Be careful when pouring hot water into a glass glass. Hot water can cause the glass to crack.)

Whether Atlanta employees choose black, green or herbal tea will depend on their taste preferences and the health benefits they are looking for. The best approach to meet a variety of needs is to offer a wide selection of different hot beverages as part of your break room’s office coffee service. And don’t forget to offer cream, including a dairy-free option, and sugar for those who don’t drink their tea or coffee black. 

For more information about customizing your coffee service or other break room refreshment services, PB&J Vending can help. We offer comprehensive vending services including snack, cold beverage and fresh food vending machines, micro-markets and pantry service. To schedule a product sampling, call us today at 877-820-8363.

vending options in atlanta

NAMA Presents Growth Opportunities to the Vending Industry

vending options in atlanta

Growth is a common theme found throughout the vending industry in 2019. This past April, 4,500 convenience services professionals converged at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV for The NAMA Show 2019. The show is an annual event sponsored by the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), a group representing the $25 billion convenience service industry in the United States. 

With over 360 exhibitors including some of the world’s most popular brands, 100 new exhibitors and 125 new products for visitors to learn about, there was something for everyone to explore. Advancements in vending machines, coffee service, micro-markets, and pantry services were on display. Vending service providers, customers and industry providers gathered to see and learn about up and coming consumer and industry trends including new business and career growth strategies, educational opportunities, new products and brands, healthy choices, going green and new technologies. 

Two key areas with a large amount of growth at the show were healthy products and new technology trends and solutions

Healthy is still in.

Even after the organizers increased the size of the footprint for the healthy or better-for-you pavilion to 3,300 square-feet, the pavilion was sold out. It’s clear that healthy snacks and beverages continue to represent an area with growth potential.  

Manufacturers are listening to consumers and developing new products to meet consumer demand. Vending providers are also listening to their customers. In addition to healthy products with attributes from responsibly sourced to lower calories to reduced sugar and non-GMO, new approaches to eating healthier were also on display. Those trends included on-the-go nutrition, functional choices that support a specific lifestyle, occasion-based eating, and providing fresh fruit at the office.

Technology keeps evolving.

And the vending and refreshment industry is no different. Innovations in technology are improving both the front-end (consumer) and back-end (vending provider) experiences. For example, social media communities, personalized web-portals, and live chat enable back-and-forth communication between consumer and vending provider. To appeal to consumers, vending providers offer self-checkout technology that processes quick, cashless payments and fast, seamless product delivery systems. 

Vending providers, on the other hand, look for back-office management tools that will improve warehouse organization and order fulfillment. Innovative systems on display at the 2019 NAMA Show included technology that optimized up-to-the-minute sales data, maximized delivery routes; increased efficiencies, and minimized out-of-stock occurrences.

Whether an organization would like to update their current break room vending machine menu or create a customized micro-market or pantry service, PB&J Vending can help. We provide our Atlanta customers with the newest technologies and healthy snack, beverage, and fresh food choices to create a space that could only be called “the ultimate break room.” For more information about our refreshment services or to schedule a taste test, please call us at 877-820-8363. We look forward to hearing from you.

Vending Machine Options in Atlanta

Atlanta, Did You See the Bacon Vending Machine?

Vending Machine Options in Atlanta

Students at Ohio State University proved once again that anything can be sold in a vending machine. In December of 2018, the meat science program at Ohio State and the Ohio Pork Council partnered to sell students packets of ready-to-eat bacon for $1 from a vending machine during finals week.

Unexpectedly successful, the students of the meat science program had to restock the machine four to five times per day just to keep up with demand. The fundraiser sold over 275 pounds of bacon in the eight-day period. 

So, how does a stand-alone machine that sells bacon end up on a college campus? Ohio State senior and part-time employee at the Ohio Pork Council, Meghann Winters, suggested it as a way to promote Ohio pork. Since the concept of offering cooked bacon via a vending machine was unheard of, Winters had to purchase an old vending machine and “baconify” it. 

Retrofitting the machine proved to be a challenging process. Per Winters, “Most vending machines are made for candy bars, not necessarily bacon. We had to make sure the packaging didn’t get caught as it was falling out. We also had to find shelf-friendly bacon.”

Vending Machine Options in Atlanta

While a bacon vending machine is definitely unique, and the bacon delicious, that doesn’t mean “traditional” vending machines are boring. In fact, there are a variety of healthy and traditional snacks and beverages as well as fresh food in Atlanta break room vending machines that will satisfy any palate. 

A frequent challenge is drawing attention to the snacks, beverages and fresh food, and encouraging employees to try something new. One way to overcome that hurdle is to host a taste-testing event. Atlanta employees are more likely to try something they’ve never consumed if that item is free. A side benefit of satiated and happier employees is often increased morale and increased productivity. That sounds like a win for everyone.

Whether your break room needs a complete overhaul or just a few updates, PB&J Vending can help. We offer a variety of refreshment services including sought-after, brand name snacks and beverages as well as fresh food in state-of-the-art vending machines. For more information, please contact PB&J Vending at (877) 820.8363.

healthy options in atlanta

Healthy Options Play a Vital Role in Atlanta Micro-Markets

healthy options in atlanta

The demand for fresh, natural and organic products is on the rise. With the continued interest in healthy eating, Atlanta vending providers and employers have an opportunity to educate consumers about the newest choices in the better-for-you category. Lucille Beseler, president of Family Nutrition Center of S. Florida shared “that people are interested in nutrition and listening to the newest product options, which includes what is available in the micro market.”

Beseler’s statement is supported by an increased demand for healthy snacks. Automatic Merchandiser’s annual industry report shows the increase in demand as it found that fresh food and better-for-you product sales compromised a larger percentage of overall micro-market sales than before.

Savory snacks are no longer the only type of snack that might be changed to be considered better-for-you. Sweets, especially dark chocolate, are being made with healthier ingredients. A recent report by Convenience Store Designs covered the changes in chocolate sales and determined that better-for-you qualities like the benefits of dark chocolate or the addition of functional ingredients played an important role in increasing sales. 

But better-for-you chocolate isn’t the only sweet treat that Atlanta consumers are looking for in their break room. The sought-after bold and hot flavors currently found in snacks have made their way to the candy aisle. In fact, sales of non-chocolate spicy and hot candy products are increasing at rate of 25% compared to non-chocolate candy.

healthy options in atlanta

While the health benefits of snacks, fresh food and beverages are very important to Atlanta consumers, they also want to learn about how eating or drinking a specific product will feel and sound. For instance, is it crunchy, crispy or silky? Are there multiple textures within a single product? Products that share information about textures have a higher chance of being purchased. Combine bold and spicy flavors with touch and sound, and you’ll have an experience consumers are looking for.

Drawing your Atlanta employees into the micro-market with a combination of healthy, bold and spicy, and textually-intriguing snacks can also result in multiple benefits for both you and your employees. A welcoming space where colleagues can spontaneously gather creates opportunities for creativity. Healthy employees who are also satiated and hydrated are likely to be more productive. And as snacks continue to replace meals during the day, they will continue to be a strong revenue driver.

Whether it’s time to update your current micro-market menu or create a new one from scratch, PB&J Vending would like to help. We will help customize the perfect combination of refreshment options from healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food to office coffee service. For more information, please contact PB&J Vending at 877-820-8363. 

sparkling water options in atlanta

Atlanta, Meet Bubly, a New Sparkling Water Option

sparkling water options in atlanta

“Buh-blee” or bubly, PepsiCo’s latest addition to the sparkling water beverage market, is poised to make a big splash. Atlanta consumers continue to seek out specialized and personalized hydration options both at home and now more frequently, on-the-go. Bubly is an option that checks all of the necessary boxes. 

Euromonitor, a market research firm, has predicted that the sparkling-water market will hit $2.6 billion this year, offering further evidence that sparkling water is an important beverage choice everywhere. This is especially important to understand in foodservice establishments like your Atlanta break room because consumers visit foodservice locations more than 200 times per year. That’s a lot more foot traffic than even grocery stores see.

With the increase in demand for refreshing and healthy beverages, bubly is an upbeat and playful option that offers 12 unique flavors with no artificial flavors, no sweeteners and no calories and can be sold in any type of vending services’ environment from vending machines to fountain units.  

In addition to traditional bottled water, enjoying sparkling water offers Atlanta employees multiple benefits.

sparkling water options in atlanta

Hydration: just like regular drinking water, sparkling water (with no added sweeteners) is hydrating. At its most basic level, being dehydrated negatively affects how the cells in the body function and is something that should be avoided.   

Swallowing: a 2015 study found that sparkling or carbonated water may help with one’s swallowing ability. “Carbonated water showed the strongest ability to stimulate the nerves responsible for swallowing.” 

Hunger: according to the National Institutes of Health, sparkling or carbonated water may increase feelings of fullness by causing food in the stomach to stay there longer. This is great news for those individuals who are concerned about eating too much.  

Productivity: proper hydration levels are not only necessary for one’s body to function properly, but they play an important role in cognitive performance. Dehydrated employees are more likely to have slower reaction times, poorer short-term memory and trouble paying attention which negatively impacts overall productivity. 

What type of sparkling water can your Atlanta employees find in their break room? It doesn’t matter which type of vending services you offer, vending machines, a micro-market or pantry service, this type of beverage and others can be added to any menu. 

For more information about updating your current beverage menu or creating a new one from scratch, contact PB&J Vending at 877-820-8363. We would be happy to help.