Staying on Top of Trends for 2016 Foodies in Atlanta

Tis the season for holiday treats, shopping, parties, kisses under the mistletoe, kisses Christmasunder the disco ball, New Year resolutions and New Year goals both personal and professional.
We at Eagle Vending are no different. As we look forward to the new year one of the things we are most intrigued by are the changing food trends in the nation, some of which will directly affect our purchasing patterns for 2016. Take a look at what the experts at Sterling Rice Group are saying will be popular this coming year in restaurants, at grocery stores and consequently (in some cases) in your vending machines.
Switchels – This colonial era beverage made with apple cider, vinegar and ginger offers both hydration and refreshment as well as the health benefits that come with apple cider vinegar: kills bacteria, may lower blood sugar, and help with weight loss. If you start looking for switchel beverages look in the same places you find kombucha bevearges.
Hawaiian Cuisine – Aloha Spam, musubi rice and poke.
Oysters – According to the article “Cutting-edge food trends for 2016” found in the November 2015 issue of Food Business News, “the demand for sustainable seafood has fueled a resurgence of farmed oysters, which filter pollutants from coastal waterways.” And according to Kara Nielsen, culinary director of and trendologist at Sterling-Rice Group because oysters are “easy to eat, [shareable and because] you can doctor them up if you want or have them clean” they’re becoming more and more appealing to the informed diner.

You-re-not-Greek!-Chobani-handed-UK-ban-on-use-of-the-term-Greek-yogurt
Savory Yogurt – The success of Greek yogurt and a growing understanding of global cuisines is, according to Nielsen, spurring interest in savory yogurts (think olive oil, spices, seeds, vegetables, roasted fruit), bringing new twists to very traditional cuisines.
Coffee Creativity – Did someone say cold brew? Cold brew coffee, the process of brewing coffee with cold water over an extended period of time (typically 12-24 hours) has become more than a hipster trend in 2015. In 2016 expect to see it more and more in coffee shops, grocery stores, beers, pretty much everywhere.
Sippable Soups – In 2016 expect high-pressure processing to do for soup what it’s done for juice.
Porridge – Think oatmeal with new grains, addition nuts and going more savory than sweet.
Wondering how this will affect your current vending program in Atlanta? Don’t be alarmed. We’re still going to keep your favorite, traditional snacks and beverages stocked and we certainly won’t be vending oysters anytime soon but you can expect to see Hawaiian flavors, greek yogurts, cold brew coffee, sippable soups and gourmet oatmeals (if not porridge) in our machines and micro markets soon. Call Eagle Vending today at 770-426-1969.

Make New Friends But Keep the Old in Atlanta

“The rapidly evolving consumer landscape is dramatically changing the game in the Beautiful young womanfood industry,” says John Haugen, vice-president and general manager of 301 Inc., a business development venture capital firm that will work with food and beverage industry start-up companies.
301 Inc. began as a new business development team within General Mills in 2012. The name comes from the address of the original Pillsbury Mill. 301 Inc. With this legacy name as its heartbeat 301 Inc. will seek to meet “consumer needs faster than ever by combining the vision and passion of entrepreneurs with General Mills extensive capabilities.”
In addition to seeking out new brands and new products to meet growing consumer needs in Atlanta and throughout the country for healthier, natural, organic products, General Mills is not only looking at new items to drive market sales but revamping the old. Take a look below to learn some interesting facts about some of America’s favorite snack bars.
The Bar: Nature Valle Oats and Honey Bars
• Its significance: #1 bar brand in convenience stores with a 94% awareness
• General Mills (GM) Revamps:
o August 2015 the bar was made easier to bite with a crunch reformulation
o October 2015 new consumer messaging to promote that the brand has no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners
o Fall of 2016 – expect to see new brand packaging
The Bar: Fiber One
• It’s significance: Fiber One is the #1 selling fiber bar
• GM Revamps:
o April 2016 – Fiber One Oats & Chocolate will have no artificial flavors or sweeteners

F1_Bars_Face_Hero_v2
General Mills was founded in 1866. It could be easy for them to dig in their heels and stick to what they’ve always known. Instead, as we rapidly approach the end of 2015 and enter 2016 they’re living out a lyric from an old Girl Scout’s song. It states, “Make new friends but keep the old; some are silver and the other gold.” It appears then that you can teach an old dog new tricks and that you can expand a company without losing what makes it, it.

As we at Eagle Vending look forward to the New Year we’d like to say thank you for another year of doing business together in Atlanta. We’d also like you to know that we are going to follow General Mills’ lead and continue to search for new ways to meet your break room needs in 2016. We promise we’ll keep your favorites while expanding our product line and that we’ll continue to stay on top of all the food trends affecting our industry this coming year. Call Eagle Vending today at 770-426-1969.

 

Good News For Atlanta: Major Food Brands Are Jumping On The Healthy Bandwagon

Atlanta consumers, like people everywhere, are calling for healthier food, and major healthy woman drinking waterbrands can no longer ignore the call. In the past few months, several major brands – General Mills, Campbell Soup, Kellogg and Nestle – announced they are removing unhealthy additives.
This is good news for Atlanta employers who have known for years that employees want to follow healthy lifestyles. As major food brands remove unhealthy additives, Atlanta employers will have even more choices to help employees follow a healthy diet.
This month, General Mills Cereals committed to removing artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources from all of its cereals in response to consumers’ changing preferences. More than 60 percent of General Mills cereals are already without artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.
According to a survey conducted by Nielsen on behalf of General Mills, 49 percent of households are making an effort to avoid artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources.
“At General Mills Cereals, we have been upgrading the nutrition and ingredients in our cereals for years to meet people’s needs and desires,” said Jim Murphy, president of the General Mills cereal division. “We’ve continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals.”
General Mills Cereals plans to have more than 90 percent of its portfolio free of artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources by the end of 2016. Trix will now use ingredients like fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts such as turmeric and annatto to achieve the fun red, yellow, orange and purple colors.
In August, Kellogg announced Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies will soon be all-natural. Kellogg said it is aiming to stop using artificial colors and flavors in its cereal and snack bars by the end of 2018. The company said 75 percent of its cereals in North America were being made without artificial colors and more than half without artificial flavors.
cereal cupsIn July, Campbell Soup said it would stop adding monosodium glutamate to its condensed soups for children and increase its organic offerings as part of a broader strategy to cater to changing consumer tastes.
Campbell also said it would remove artificial colors and flavors from nearly all of its North American products by July 2018, and that it would move away from using high fructose corn syrup in certain products, such as its line of Pepperidge Farm fresh breads, by the end of fiscal 2017. Most new products it is launching in 2016 also will not contain corn syrup.
Additionally, Campbell will launch new organic products, such as purees under its Plum line for kids and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers made with organic wheat.
In June, Nestlé pledged to improve the ingredient quality and nutritional profile of some of its most popular frozen pizza and snack brands without affecting taste. Nestlé announced the improvements, which encompass more than 250 products across six brands in the U.S.
By the end of 2015, Nestlé will have removed artificial flavors from every product within these brands. It will have reduced sodium by 10 percent across the entire portfolio of six pizza and snack brands compared to 2013 levels. It will incorporate guidance tools on packaging across these brands to help educate consumers on choosing appropriate portion sizes and the importance of eating vegetables and fruits as part of a balanced plate.
Eagle Vending applauds these companies for listening to consumers and making it easier for people in Atlanta to follow healthy lifestyles.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry, contact your Atlanta vending partner, Eagle Vending, at (770) 426-1969 to discuss your customized break room solution.

Top 10 Employer Wellness Programs: How They Can Help You in Atlanta

Every smart Atlanta employer wants healthy employees. To help Atlanta businesses 107keep employees healthy, corporate wellness programs have grown into a multi-billion dollar business. Eagle Vending works with some of these wellness programs. Such programs offer nutrition education, preventive care, health screenings, gym membership incentives and more.
As an Atlanta health partner, Eagle Vending wants to share some highlights about 10 top corporate wellness programs in the country.
Snacknation, an online snack service provider, recently listed what it considers the nation’s top corporate wellness programs. By reviewing how these companies help employees follow healthy lifestyles, employers can gain a better sense of what a structured wellness plan will provide. Atlanta employers who want to have a healthy work environment will certainly want to know about the approaches these companies take. Here are summaries of the top 10 wellness programs. More information is available on their websites.
1) Marino Wellness (marinowellness.com)
Marino Wellness has three levels of corporate wellness programs for different sizes of companies. These three different plans will cover just about any size budget. Options include annual health risk assessments, monthly massage days, personal coaching, workshops and education initiatives.
2) EXOS|MediFit (mediafit.com)
EXOS|MediFit designs custom fitness centers that are eco-friendly. In addition to nutrition education and physical therapy, it offers a tactical program to help injured military personnel get back to duty, and a sports program to help athletes improve performance.
3) Wellness Corporate Solutions (wellnesscorporatesolutions.com)
Wellness Corporate Solutions provides health fairs and health risk assessments for employees. It also offers eight week-long wellness campaigns to challenge employees to strive harder in a work environment. Employers can download a form and get a closer at employee incentive ideas that can turn good health intentions into results.
4) Kinema Fitness (kinemafitness.com)
Kinema Fitness’ integrated platform – online secured software portal – allows employees to create and access their own account to view and sign-up for classes, communicate with other employees, and log fitness and nutrition tips. This online platform supports the wellness programs being implemented on-site at the client location.
5) Premise Health (premisehealth.com)
Premise Health is an on-site health care provider. It does more than just cover basic health needs; it also offers chiropractic and acupuncture services. The company focuses on improving patient, provider and client experiences. It invests in technologies that sustainably engage patients, improve the efficiency and satisfaction of providers, and allows employers to track outcomes.

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6) TotalWellness Health (totalwellnesshealth.com)
TotalWellness’s goals are threefold: 1) Lower healthcare costs, 2) Prevent diseases, 3) Create corporate wellness solutions to foster a safer and more productive work environment. Services include program design and consultation, health risk assessment and reporting, corporate health fairs, health screenings, nurse counseling, on-site flu shot clinics, health education, and a wellness portal.
7) WorkStride (workstride.com)
While it is not typically considered a corporate wellness company, WorkStride helps employers recognize and reward behaviors to improve employee wellness. The software platform powers recognition, incentives, and reward programs. The solution makes it easy to highlight good deeds, compensate great work, and share authentic stories that reinforce a good direction.
8) Fitbit (fitbit.com)
Many people know Fitbit as a tiny wristwatch-like device that helps people reach personal fitness goals. Fitbit also provides corporate wellness programs, helping people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. The platform combines connected health and fitness devices with software and services to help people become healthier.
9) Provant Health (provanthealth.com)Smiling business team in a meeting shaking hands
Provant Health partners with businesses to improve employees’ health while supporting employers with their healthcare affordability agenda. Provant’s Life+ Program combines personalized “high touch” services with social networking tools that link rewards to healthy behaviors and outcomes.
10) Marathon Health (marathon-health.com)
Marathon Health offers onsite healthcare, primary care services, preventative care, chronic condition coaching, occupational health care, ancillary services and more. Outreach efforts include healthy food drives to benefit local food shelters, educating middle and elementary school students about health and wellness, supporting Special Olympics, and providing free blood-pressure checks for seniors.
Eagle Vending encourages Atlanta employers to engage in corporate wellness programs. Eagle Vending partners with Atlanta employers by only carrying those products that are part of what most consumers consider to be a healthy diet.
For more information about healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry, contact your Atlanta vending partner, Eagle Vending, at (770) 426.1969 to discuss your customized break room solution.

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.

Fair Trade: Is It The Right Choice For Atlanta Coffee Drinkers?

When shopping for coffee in Atlanta, you’ve probably noticed that some coffee packages Fairtrademention “Fair Trade.” There’s a good chance you already know what this means. But in case you don’t, let’s take a minute and discuss it.
Many coffee roasters and retailers today are selling “Fair Trade” coffee. Eagle Vending carries some Fair Trade coffees through its office coffee service. The Fair Trade logo signifies the product has been grown in a fair or sustainable manner.
The Fair Trade movement has been active in Atlanta for more than two decades. Since Fair Trade coffee came on the scene, other “causes” have emerged as well. Fair Trade remains one of the better known causes associated with coffee, and its popularity is increasing.
Under the Fair Trade model, producers at coffee co-ops charge a premium for the coffee and the extra charge is intended to support coffee workers and the environment. Beyond supporting fair wages, Fair Trade also promotes social and environmental goals such as women’s empowerment, rainforest protection, and organic farming.
Among the organizations that certify Fair Trade coffee, the three best known are Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade International and the Foundation of Small Organized Producers.
Along with Fair Trade, Atlanta coffee consumers can buy coffees certified by Rainforest Alliance, Utz, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center of the National Zoo, and the USDA. iStock_000008073434SmallThe certification organizations use different criteria. All of these certifications signify some aspects of coffee sustainability.
It makes sense for any industry selling an agricultural product to invest in responsible harvesting, packaging and delivery practices.
But as Fair Trade and other “cause” programs noted above have grown over the years, questions have arisen about the reliability of these certifications and how much consumers really care about them. Certifications also add costs that they need to weigh against their supposed benefits.
Some coffee roasters believe non-certified coffee can accomplish the goals of Fair Trade certified coffee. Hence, they think the certification is misleading. In addition, some believe the certification’s reliability has suffered because of mismanagement by the certifying organizations.
Others say that while the certification might not be perfect, it provides a third party verification that the coffee meets certain standards.
Eagle Vending recognizes all of these concerns, and as a coffee specialist, we want all the Atlanta coffee consumers to understand their choices as fully as possible.
As a movement grows, problems and criticisms are likely to follow. And Fair Trade is growing.
So is Fair Trade coffee a good choice for an Atlanta coffee consumer?iStock_000009552917XSmall
Ric Rinehart, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, said in an article in Fresh Cup Magazine earlier this year that all the coffee cause programs are an attempt to distribute the coffee industry’s revenue in a way that fairly rewards all players. Coffee causes are an indicator of what Rinehart calls the “systemic deficiency that the coffee industry suffers from.” The systemic deficiency he sees is that the commerce system does not deliver sufficient rewards back to the coffee farmer.
Rinehart acknowledges that some of the criticisms of Fair Trade are valid. But he is hesitant to say the programs have failed. He thinks that thanks to these programs, the coffee industry has raised public awareness about the farmers’ conditions and the environment.
The choice to buy Fair Trade and other coffee causes rests completely with the Atlanta coffee consumer. Call Eagle Vending today at (770) 426-1969 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs.

How to Maximize the 2 Most Productive Hours of Your Work Day in Atlanta

Research shows us two things about the mid-morning hours of 9:30am-11:30am.iStock_000010077048XSmall
1. According to Steven Miller, a Ph.D candidate at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda Maryland, “Your coffee will probably be most effective if you enjoy it between 9:30am and 11:30 am, when your cortisol levels are dropping before the next spike.”
2. 9:30am to 11:30am is also when researchers argue is the best time of day to stay focused on a job and conquer that day’s most demanding tasks. Orfeu Buxson, a professor in the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School stated, “this is the most alert you’ll be all day. Best take advantage of it, because it’s a very small window.”
As a business owner or HR Manager in Atlanta this may cause some concern. What do you do if at the same time your employees will be most productive they are looking for a coffee fix?
May we suggest making their search a little shorter by making your employees’ favorite coffee shop your break room?
Offer Eagle Vending’s office coffee service and keep employees in Atlanta on site during their most productive hours.
Not sold? Here are some extra benefits that suggest offering free coffee to your employees will not only boost your productivity from 9:30 to 11:30am but all day long:
iStock_000005321698XSmall• Without the need to stop at a coffee shop on the way to the office employees will be more likely to arrive on time
• You’ll be saving employees money, leading to better employee morale and higher employee engagement
• Employees will feel appreciated. According to Bob Nelson, a leading authority on workplace motivation, “it’s about more than a free hot drink; it’s recognizing employee value.
• You’ll boost employee motivation. According to a 2012 Dunkin’ Donuts Survey 63% of professionals drink at least 2 cups of coffee per day and claim “they aren’t as motivated without their daily cup.”
To find out more on how Eagle Vending‘s office coffee service can maximize the 2 most productive hours of the work day, increase your bottom line and boost morale in Atlanta, call us today at (770) 426.1969.