Water, Vending Machines, and Hydration in San Diego

Water options in San DiegoDo 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 ` 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 San Diego 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 San Diego

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. San Diego employees see 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.

Tri-R Coffee & Vending can help San Diego employers overcome all three of these obstacles, and help employees stay hydrated by offering a variety of healthy beverages in vending machines or micro-markets. 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 San Diego break room, contact us at (760) 753-1112. We look forward to helping your employees stay hydrated.

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San Diego, Watch Out for Caffeine Lurking in Your Beverages and Snacks

In 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 San Diego 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.”

San Diego’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 San Diego 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 San Diego break room. Come collaborate with Tri-R Coffee & Vending 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 (760) 753-1112.

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San Diego, Enjoy Bottled Water at Any Time of the Year

Bottled water options in San Diego

Bottled water continues to be a popular choice for both refreshment and rehydration in San Diego. As the seasons change and summer comes to an end, San Diego 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 San Diego

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 San Diego 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 Tri-R Coffee & Vending at (760) 753-1112. We look forward to working with you.

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Finding Coffee in San Diego

San Diego

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 San Diego 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 San Diego 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 San Diego

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 San Diego 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 San Diego break room, contact Tri-R Coffee & Vending at (760) 753-1112. We look forward to hearing from you.

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San Diego, Have You Tried the New Better-for-You Snacks?

Snack options in San Diego

If San Diego 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 San Diego employees who don’t like chocolate, there are a lot of new non-chocolate BFY options available.

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.

Snack options in San Diego

Whether San Diego 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 San Diego 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? Tri-R Coffee & Vending 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 (760) 753-1112 more information.

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Office Coffee Service Boosts Productivity in San Diego

Coffee Service in San Diego

“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” is a phrase almost all San Diego employees have heard at least once at the beginning of the workday. Whether an individual needs the caffeine to finish waking up or to just mentally prepare for the day ahead, coffee plays an important role for more than 64 percent of American adults. With the increasing number of coffee drinkers, employers have an opportunity to harness the effects of caffeine by turning it into a productivity tool. As David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com expressed, “companies need to provide higher-quality coffee and related benefits as part of broader employee retention and loyalty strategies that ultimately help enhance employee productivity.”

Why Coffee?

With more than half (68 percent) of at-work coffee drinkers drinking coffee that is made or dispensed in the office break room, there is an opportunity to positively impact the majority of San Diego employees. Offering a sought-after selection of beans and roasts and other hot beverages will also encourage employees to get to the office in the morning and keep them onsite during the workday.

Increased Productivity

It is well established that the caffeine decreases fatigue, provides a mental boost, and improves, memory, reaction times, and concentration. Each of these benefits positively impacts an individual’s productivity, but recent research by the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis has found that caffeine also has a positive impact on a group’s performance. Groups that have consumed coffee were more willing to work and generated a higher number of topic relevant statements. Coffee breaks also contribute to an increase in networking and spontaneous idea generation among groups of individuals.

Coffee Service in San Diego

Plan of Action

Step 1: Offer options in your San Diego break room that can compete with coffee purchased or made outside of the office. Be aware that employees value quality and flavor, but are often disappointed when it comes to at-work choices.

Step 2: Invest in higher-quality options. Packaged Facts recommends offering only “two varieties that communicate clear distinctions that matter to the target audience could make most employees happy while keeping product assortment manageable.”

Step 3: Don’t forget to offer your employees a variety of sweeteners and creamers and a selection of healthy snacks and meals to enjoy with their coffee.

Step 4: Contact Tri-R Coffee & Vending at (760) 753-1112 to customize your office coffee service or to add healthy snacks and beverages via a break room micro-market or vending machines — your employees will enjoy the added benefit.

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Emerging Snack and Beverage Trends in San Diego

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in San Diego

Changing snack and beverage trends in San Diego are impacting everyone from small, local companies to the largest snack food distributor. To be successful in the long run, both big and small companies need to understand what consumers are looking for.

Meals

Rather than eating three meals per day, more consumers are looking for ways to enjoy six to eight smaller meals or snacks each day. While the nutritional needs of San Diego employees have not changed, how they get those nutrients has. This means that each “mini-meal” consumed while at work needs to be nutritionally solid.

Healthy snack and beverage options need to provide the right type of nutrition to meet those nutritional needs, but in smaller quantities. One way to do that is to offer snacks and beverages with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that will get them to their next consumption occasion.

Plant-based Snacks

While San Diego consumers are gravitating toward snacks with high protein and fibrous plant ingredients, many other consumers are not. Historically, “healthy” plant-based snacks lacked flavor and had unusual textures. Dr. Christine Cioffe, senior vice president of PepsiCo Sustainability and Global Snacks R&D explained it best when she said, “People might change their behavior for something with a functional benefit, but overtime will fall off if it’s not flavorful.” Today, there are many delicious plant-based snacks available.

Determining which plant-based snack and beverage products to offer in the office break room might sound overwhelming, but here are two approaches depending on the situation.

  • Survey employees about which plant-based products they already enjoy outside of work.
  • For new products and especially when people are suspicious about the taste, encourage employees to try new products by creating a trial run period for products at no cost. Then survey everyone to learn which snacks are the most popular.

Healthy Snack and Beverage Options in San Diego

Organic, Non-GMO, and Socially Good Practices

Consumers want transparency about a number of things from the origins of their prepackaged snacks to how companies are accountable for their environmental footprints and the health of their consumers.

Helping San Diego employees understand both the big picture and the little picture is important. For the little picture, provide information about what each term means, why it is relevant, and where to look for information on each product. Explaining why companies need to invest in socially good business practices and how it benefits the consumer is a great place to start understanding the big picture.

How is your business helping San Diego employees meet their snacking goals? Consider removing the extra noise and offer healthy snacks and beverages in your break room vending machine. We’ve done the hard work and made sure that all-natural and organic snacks and beverages are available.

For more information about adding healthy snack and beverage vending machines to your location, contact Tri-R Coffee & Vending at (760) 753-1112.

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Consider Natural Sugar Alternatives in Your San Diego Snacks and Beverages

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in San Diego

Being aware of the type and amount of sugar in snacks and beverages is important. The number of San Diego residents coping with health related problems connected to sugar has increased over the years. Katherine Allmandinger, manager of strategic insights at Nielsen Health & Wellness, shared that “one in five households has a diabetic member who is either pre-type I or II.” And diabetes and obesity are just two of the many issues.

Since many San Diego consumers are leary of marketing claims regarding sugar, reading the nutrition and ingredient labels on the snacks and beverages they plan to purchase is becoming standard practice. The challenge for many consumers is knowing which sugar alternative to choose. Artificial sweeteners, while low in calories, are made from ingredients that are known to be harmful. A healthier alternative are natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, honey, and agave.

Monk Fruit

Monk fruit is a small sub-tropical melon from Asia that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. The easiest way to enjoy the sweetness of monk fruit is to use the extract or sweetener. Unlike other fruit, the monk fruit gets its sweetness from naturally occuring antioxidants instead of naturally occuring sugars. This difference is why monk fruit does not affect blood sugar. In addition to not impacting blood sugar levels, monk fruit has anti-inflammatory properties, combats infection, and fights fatigue.

Healthy Snacks and Beverages in San Diego

Honey

Honey is a sugary sweet liquid produced by honeybees. A natural sweetener, honey can be used as a substitute for sugar in snacks and beverages. But be careful, honey is sweeter than sugar so you’ll need less of it to get the same sweetness. As with monk fruit, honey has multiple health benefits. Honey boosts energy; contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium; has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties; and has trace amounts of more than 15 amino acids.

Agave

Agave is a succulent plant native to the southern United States that is transformed into dark and light agave nectars or syrups. The lighter nectar has a mild flavor while the darker nectar has a stronger flavor that has been said to be close to the flavor of  maple syrup. Just like monk fruit, agave nectar is low on the glycemic index and doesn’t cause a sugar rush and unhealthy blood sugar spike. Antibacterial properties, an improved immune system, and increased bone mineral density are just a few of the other health benefits of agave nectar.

Which sweetener would your San Diego employees like to see in their healthy snacks and beverages? A great way to provide a variety of healthy options and give your employees’ finances a boost is to include reduced or zero cost healthy vending machines in your office break room. Tri-R Coffee & Vending can help you customize the perfect selection of snacks and beverages to meet your employees’ sweet and salty needs. Call us at (760) 753-1112 for more information.

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Healthy Snack Alternatives in San Diego

Healthy Snack Options in San Diego

Are you ever in the mood for a snack that is salty and crunchy, but want it to be a healthy choice? If you are, there are a lot of new healthy options available that were on exhibit at the 2018 NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) Show. Attending vending operators sought out better-for-you products that could help San Diego employees and students meet their health and wellness goals.

In addition to chips made from wheat alternatives and vegetables, there were several other themes that appeared. Low or no-sugar beverages, energy drinks, and beverages made with superfood ingredients such as matcha, naturally occurring antioxidants, and protein topped the list. But, let’s go back to that craving for a salty and crunchy snack.

Instead of only finding the traditional potato chip in your San Diego office break room vending machine, there are now chips made with brown rice, quinoa, hummus, and lentils. Each one of those ingredients offers a different flavor as well as the following health benefits.   

Brown Rice

  • High in Fiber
  • Contains: manganese, antioxidants, lecithin, magnesium, and selenium
  • Benefits: helps convert food into energy, protects from free radicals, digests slowly which keeps blood sugar levels stable during digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties

Quinoa

  • High-Quality Protein
  • High in Fiber
  • Gluten-Free
  • Contains: nine essential amino acids, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, calcium, vitamin E, and multiple antioxidants
  • Benefits: super nutritious, works well to control blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and contains anti-inflammatory properties

Healthy Snack Options in San Diego

Hummus

  • Made with mashed chickpea, tahini, oil, lemon juice, and garlic
  • High in Fiber
  • Contains: protein, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, isoflavones (antioxidants), minerals, and vegetable-based iron
  • Benefits: helps maintain blood sugar levels; decreases risk of some cancers; lowers bad cholesterol; decreases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes; and reduces likelihood of blood clots

Lentils

  • High-quality Protein
  • High in Fiber
  • Contains: magnesium, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin B1
  • Benefits: strengthens and repairs muscles; battles fatigue, stress, and mood swings; prevents heart disease and lowers cholesterol; improves blood circulation; aids in and slows digestion; maintains blood sugar levels; and reduces the risk of some cancers

With so many healthy crunchy snack options, your San Diego employees can choose what they think tastes best. Don’t forget to offer them healthy beverages such as bottled water, iced tea, and carbonated mineral water to enjoy with their snack. To learn more about providing healthy snack and beverage options, call Tri-R Coffee & Vending at (760) 753-1112. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Look Out for New Technology in San Diego

Break Room Technology in San Diego

Have you ever thought about which technology you might see in the future in your San Diego office break room? Many of those new technologies are likely to first be found in quick service restaurants and grocery stores. They include interactive kiosks, robotsas (a cross between a robot and a baristas), and unattended retail technology or vending machines that sell unique products. The following is a list of technology that is either in use today or will be soon.    

Coffee Robot: It’s exactly what it sounds like. The unattended coffee distribution system or robot barista makes a variety of customizable beverages. Customers order their favorite caffeinated beverages from a smartphone app or a nearby tablet, and pick up their beverage from the robot. If you’re lucky enough to be in Austin, TX or San Francisco, CA, then you can try one for yourself.

Robotic Kitchen Restaurant: A new restaurant has recently opened in Boston, MA that is unlike any other. Customers use a touch screen to choose an entree on the menu, add additional ingredients, and remove unwanted ones. The robot then gathers the ingredients, cooks them in a hot pan, and passes the cooked food on to a human who adds some garnish and labels the bowl—all in under three minutes.   

Pizza Robot: This one is also exactly what it sounds like although there are currently several different types across the country. Whether the robot assists restaurant employees with making the pizza or is part of cooking the pizza and bringing it to you, it’s all about creating a delicious pizza pie as quickly as possible.

Break Room Technology in San Diego

Robotic Burger Flipper:  Still one of a kind, this robot in California can flip burgers twice as fast as a human. The robot continues to learn by using feedback loops from its co-workers as well as from its own mistakes. But, there are still a few kinks to work out as this robot works too fast for its human counterparts.  

Ice Cream Self-Serve Robot: It’s an ice cream/frozen yogurt shop that makes customizable treats in a vending machine with a robotic arm. While it’s not available yet, it will soon be easier to enjoy a sweet treat especially when grocery shopping.

Unique robots aren’t the only innovative technology that might appear in a break room. Many San Diego break rooms already use cutting-edge technology such as ENERGY STARⓇ certified vending machines, high-efficiency micro-market coolers and freezers, LED lighting, wireless technology, and mobile payment systems. What’s in your San Diego break room?

Whether you’d like to update your current vending machines or micro-market technology, Tri-R Coffee & Vending can help. We can also help customize the right mix of healthy snacks, food, and beverages to fit your San Diego employees’ needs. Call us at (760) 753-1112 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

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