Swiss Army Snacking in Atlanta

According to research from IRi, a market research company which provides clients with photodune-3139450-granola-bar-mconsumer, shopper, and retail market intelligence and analysis, the total U.S. snack bar market boasted $5.6 billion in annual sales from July 2014 – July 2015.
Data was collected from sales at Supermarkets, drug stores, mass markets, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains.
From this data BakeryandSnacks compiled a list of the top 10 bestselling snack bars including granola cereal and nutrition bars. Take a look at what they found and then take a look at your Atlanta  vending machines to see how many of these bars you can find for purchase. (p.s. if you don’t find ones you’re looking for let us know and we’d be happy to place them for you).
1. Nature Valley Oats & Honey Bar ($400,000,000)
2. Clif ($378,453,696)
3. Fiber One ($282,693,152)
4. NV Sweet N Salty ($256,410,000)
5. Rice Krispy Treats ($256,391,152)
6. Quaker Chewy Bars ($230,580,880)
7. Nutri-Grain Bars ($222,151,680)
8. Special K Protein($151,426,480)
9. Nature Valley Protein Bars ($130,574,664)
10. KIND Plus Bars ($110,109,128)
The largest segment of sales came from nutrition and intrinsic health value bars (making up $2.76 billion of the $5.6 billion sales). But word to the wise, be careful when deciding what’s “healthy.”
According to Kissairis Muroz in their article “The 15 Granola Bars That Are Actually Healthy” on greatist.com, “Granola bars are the Swiss Army knife of snacks: they’re small, portable, napkin-free eats that can tackle a variety of situations. But not all bars are created equal, and unfortunately these tasty bites can be loaded with more sugar than a Pumpkin Spice Latté and so low in fiber and protein that hunger will come knocking before you’ve even tossed the wrapper.”
So how do you know if your favorite bar is healthy or just disguised as healthy? Make sure you understand the ingredients listed and take a look at three things:
• Sugar – you want it to be low
• Protein – you want it to be high
• Fiber – you also want it to be high

king bars 800
Not sure where to start? Here are Muroz’s top 15:
1. Health Warrior Chia Bar
2. Annie’s Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
3. KIND Cashew & Ginger Spice
4. Ginny Bakes Karma, Love & Apricot Ginnybar
5. KIND Dark Chocolate Chili Almond
6. Annie’s Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookie Granola Bars
7. Larabar Renola Cocoa Coconut
8. KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt
9. Zing Chocolate Coconut Single Bar
10. Larabar Uber Dark Chocolate Turtle
11. Simple Squares Coffee
12. 22 Days Nutrition Nut Butter Buddha
13. Larabar ALT Lemon Pound Cake
14. 22 Days Nutrition Pumpkin Seed
15. Rise Almond Honey Protein Bar
Call your Atlanta vendor, Eagle Vending today at (770) 426-1969 to find out more about your favorite granola bars as well as some healthier bars we carry that you might not know about yet.

A Steady Coffee Addiction in Atlanta

According to a study by Gallup Inc., an American research-based, global performance-Coffeemanagement consulting company, the amount of coffee drinkers in the U.S. along with the amount of coffee they drink are steady, which is interesting when you consider that coffee shops are reportedly the fastest-growing segment of the restaurant industry.
Coffee shops are on the rise (40% growth from 1999-2005) while coffee consumption has been the same in similar studies ran both in 2012 and 1999. In all studies 64% of Americans consistently drink at least 1 cup a day. Here’s how that 64% breaks down:
26% drink at least 1 cup a day
19% drink at least 2 cups a day
8% drink at least 3 cups a day
11% drink at least 4 cups a day
The remaining 36% drink none
Here are a few more numbers worth mentioning:
26% of coffee drinkers consider themselves addicted to coffee but only 10% think they should drink less. And with more and more studies showing the positive effects (improved concentration/memory, lower risk of certain types of cancers, Parkinson’s and stroke) of caffeine, there may not be a need to.
teaWhat does this mean for your office coffee program in Atlanta?
It’s simple. Keep offering high quality coffee to your employees to help them stay focused and feel appreciated throughout the work day. Statistically 64% of your population will appreciate this added benefit.
And although our coffee consumption hasn’t changed in volume some things have changed for taste. For instance, we now know that a large portion of the population prefers a light roast. Make sure you are offering a full line (light, medium and dark roasts) to keep your full 64% at the office for their coffee breaks in Atlanta.
And for the other 36% make sure you are offering a high quality tea that matches your coffee brand in perceived value. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, second only to water and you don’t want your office tea drinkers to feel less appreciated than the coffee crowd.
Looking to improve your office coffee service in Atlanta? Call Eagle Vending today at (770) 426.1969. One of our team members will be happy to discuss improvements that can be made to your current program while sticking to your budget.

Aspartame – What is it…Really?

On August 10th 2015, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi 2kWEu8Djwere officially available at retailers throughout the U.S., for the first time without Aspartame, the artificial sweetener 200x sweeter than regular sugar.
Aspartame has been a controversial sweetener since it first arrived on the market in the 1980s but in recent years has grown in controversy and conversation as activists continue to claim there is a link between aspartame and physical ailments and science continue to say there is not.
So what’s the truth? Here is a brief overlook of all things Aspartame (as found on healthline.com):
Controversy: Sugar-free products are popular, but the leading artificial sweetener, aspartame, is controversial. Activists claim there’s a link between aspartame and a multitude of ailments, including: cancer, seizures, depression, lupus and multiple sclerosis. Despite extensive testing on aspartame, these claims have not been supported in clinical studies.
What is it? In Atlanta, you may know aspartame by one of its brand names: NutraSweet or Equal. Aspartame is also used widely in products like diet drinks, yogurt, chewing gum, and cereals. The ingredients of aspartame are aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Both are naturally occurring amino acids. Aspartic acid is produced by your body and phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that you get from food.
When your body processes aspartame, part of it is broken down into methanol. Although toxic in large quantities, small quantities of methanol are naturally produced by the body and are also found in fruit, fruit juice, fermented beverages, and some vegetables. The amount of methanol resulting from the breakdown of aspartame is low. In fact, it’s far lower than the amount found in many common foods.
nutrasweetWho Approved It? A number of regulatory agencies and health-related organizations have weighed in favorably on aspartame. It has gained approval from the:
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
• United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization
• World Health Organization
• American Heart Association
• American Dietetic Association
Side Effects: A review of credible medical and scientific resources fails to find a reliable Coca-Cola-Chameleon-Wide_Cranelink between aspartame and the side effects claimed by critics. However, people who have a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) should not use aspartame. People who are taking medications for schizophrenia should also avoid aspartame.
As controversy between bloggers and scientists/medical organizations (including the American Cancer Society) grows, Seth Kaufman, SVP Pepsi and Flavors Portfolio, PepsiCo North America Beverages noted that, “Diet cola drinkers in the U.S. told us they wanted aspartame-free Diet Pepsi and we’re delivering. We recognize consumer demand in evolving and we’re confided cola-lovers will enjoy the crisp, light taste of this new product.”
Coca Cola however does not agree. Upon the release of aspartame-free Diet Pepsi, Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America stated, “Our view is that Diet Coke’s principle equity is great taste. We’re going to be very careful before we change the taste of it. We follow the consumer. The consumer’s telling us, ‘don’t change Diet Coke; we love it just the way it is,’ but at the same time there is a lot of junk science and alarmism around low- and no-calorie sweeteners that we have to address, and most importantly we have to ask third parties to help us address it because in the end low- or no-calorie sweeteners are 100% safe. We would never sell an ingredient in one of our products that wasn’t safe.”
Moving forward Coca Cola will work on educating consumers on the safety of artificial sweeteners rather than reformulating its diet drinks.
What do you think?

Looking for vending service in Atlanta? Call Eagle Vending today at (770) 426-1969 for a free no-obligation consultation of your vending needs.

The Most Important Meal of the Day in Atlanta- Says A Lot About You

Who says breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Breakfast
Kellogg’s and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Kellogg’s has an obvious bias but here’s why Johns Hopkins believes in the AM meal:
• Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration in the classroom [or workplace].
• Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight.
• Hunger sets in long before it’s time for lunch, but because it’s not convenient to eat properly, many people who have not eaten breakfast snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
• People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast would have provided.
• Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.
Although science and consumerism both suggest that breakfast really is the most important part of the day a recent study conducted by Kellogg’s Specialty Channels suggests that many people aren’t taking the time to enjoy a healthy AM meal.
The study used an online survey to poll 1,508 consumers of which over half ate breakfast on the go on a regular basis. Based on their responses Kellogg’s divided consumers into 5 categories:
1. Discerning Dashers
2. Gulp n’ Runners
3. Ninja Munchers
4. Sedentary Socializers
5. Sit n’ Savorers
young woman eating yogurtHere are some things that define consumers in each category:
Discerning Dashers – Just want something for a quick boost, they’re in a hurry and tend to graze. Although they’re conscious about money, their number one priority is that whatever they eat they can pick up quickly on the way to wherever they’re going.
Gulp n’ Runners – They only want a beverage (think coffee or Big Gulp) and know they will have a larger meal later.
Ninja Munchers – These ninjas don’t plan, they aren’t overly concerned about health (i.e. a soda for breakfast is totally acceptable) and are always in a hurry so content to sacrifice eating even when they’re hungry.
Sedentary Socializers – This group consists largely of retirees. They enjoy spending money on food, like options and have the luxury of sleeping in so don’t mind eating later in the day.
Sit n’ Savorers – Average age of this group is 51 years old and you’re likely to find them in a café or sit down restaurant for breakfast ordering something healthy.
3 of the 5 categories involved dashing, running or ninja chomping at breakfast, while the remaining 2 almost required consumers to be retired in order to enjoy a peaceful and healthy meal.
So what does this mean for you and your Atlanta workforce?
It means that regardless of what type of snack and beverage program (vending, free vend, micro markets) you are offering your Atlanta employees you want to make sure that you are offering healthy and portable breakfast items: granola bars, bagels, fresh fruit, coffee, etc. because your employees are very likely not getting the fuel they need before leaving home.
You may also want to consider working with your wellness committee to help promote breakfast amongst your Atlanta employees so that they are better prepared for the day. Here are some tips from Johns Hopkins
• Pick 2-3 foods, including at least one from each of the following food groups:iStock_000022765497Medium
-bread and grain (i.e. Cereal, toast, muffin)
-milk and milk product (i.e. low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk)
-fruit or vegetable group (i.e. bananas, apples, carrots)
• Pick up portable breakfast items when at the grocery store. You should buy foods like fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole grain breakfast bars, or granola bars for those mornings when you have to eat breakfast on the go.
• Replace or accompany that morning cup of coffee with a glass of orange juice or milk.
• Make an omelet! You can shorten preparation time by chopping up your vegetables ahead of time.
• Get up 15 minutes earlier. You can fix and consume a healthy breakfast in 15 minutes or less.
• Plan ahead to eat breakfast. This means you should decide what you are going to eat for breakfast before the next morning. You can save time by putting out the box of cereal or cutting up some fruit the night before.

Looking for a break room solution for your Atlanta office? Call Eagle Vending today at 770-426-1969 for a free no-obligation consultation of your vending needs.