Tag Archives: DFW

2016 Food Trends for Dallas Fort Worth

Tis the season for holiday treats, shopping, parties, kisses under the mistletoe, kisses under the disco ball, New Year resolutions and New Year goals both personal and professional.

vending machines Dallas Fort WorthWe at  Vend Pro 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 Dallas Fort Worth 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.

office coffee serivce Dallas Fort Worth
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 Dallas Fort Worth vending program? 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 vending machines and micro markets soon. Call Vend Pro today at (972) 948-3431 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs.

What’s Your Favorite Snack in Dallas Fort Worth?

“The rapidly evolving consumer landscape is dramatically changing Beautiful young womanthe game in the food 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 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.
Granola-Bars1The 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
General Mills was founded in 1866. It could be easy for them to dig fiber_one_barin 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 Vend Pro look forward to the New Year we’d like to say thank you for another year of doing business together throughout Dallas Forth Worth. 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 Vend Pro today at (972) 948-3431 for a free no-obligation of your break room needs!

CBC (Cold Brew Coffee) as Part of Your OCS in Dallas Fort Worth

Cold brew coffee, coffee brewed using cold or room temperature office coffee service Dallas Fort Worthwater instead of hot water, is a trend that looks like it’s here to stay.
Don’t believe us? Here’s what your favorite brands had to say:
Peet’s Coffee & Tea – claims their cold brew coffee sales beat last years iced coffee sales by 70%
Bunn – research shows that cold brew consumption is up 5% over the last 2 years
Bunn – cold brew now makes up 20% of all non-hot coffee orders at coffeehouses
Starbucks – announced in March of this year that they would introduce cold brew coffee in 2,800 of their U.S. and Canadian stores
And according to vendingmarketwatch.com in their article “What Does the Stumptown Acquistion Mean for OCS?;”last year, consumers swallowed 90 million gallons of ready-to-drink coffee beverages, ranging from bottled Starbucks Frappuchinos to cartons of Stumptown cold brew, up 52 percent from 2009, according to data from Beverage Marketing Corporation.

office coffee service in Dallas Fort Worth
So then, what does the growing popularity of cold brew mean for your Dallas Fort Worth office coffee program? If you ask us, it means it’s time to look into offering cold brew. And not just because we love the smooth, non-acidic flavor of a brew that takes anywhere from 12-24 hours to make but because by offering cold brew we’re doing what we were hired to do: create a coffee house experience inside your office to keep employees from going off location for their breaks.
And because we know that each office has its unique challenges (most likely refrigerator space) we’re looking into multiple options to bring cold brew to you including individual bottles, kegs and make yourself kits.
If it’s good enough for Starbucks, Peet’s, Blue Bottle and Stumptown (to name a few) to invest in then it’s already popular enough to offer in your DFW office. Call Vend Pro today at (972) 948-3431 to find out what type of cold brew options would be best for your place of business and your budget.

U.S. Military Following School Snacking Guidelines

At this year’s annual Association of the U.S. Army conference one of the key topics discussed was vending machines. Well…kind of anyway.
As the Defense Department finalizes their Healthy Base Initiative which seeks to improve nutritional choices, increase physical activity, reduce obesity and decrease tobacco use on U.S. military bases, military officials are looking to make healthier food options more readily available to service members and their families.
Because revising long standing contacts with popular military base fast food restaurants (i.e. Burger King and KFC) could take years, military officials are looking for quick short term fixes including:
• Labeling menus with calorie content at restaurants on base
• Changing vending machines to meet NAMA’s (the National Automatic Merchandising Association) Fit Pick and Fit Pick Select standards
Since 2005, FitPick has been NAMA’s signature initiative that identifies better for your products available form vending and micro market channels. Easy to use, the most recent FitPick standards are as follows:

fit pick tableFitPick Select, is a component of FitPick that is specifically designed to help vending operators in Dallas Fort Worth and throughout the country meet strict school guidelines and achieve and maintain successful operations in places of education. Here are the most recent FitPick Select standards:

fitpick table 2In addition to the above nutrient standards, any food sold in schools must meet at least one of the following four criteria:
1. Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product;
2. Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food;
3. Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup fruit and / or vegetable;
4. Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of a nutrient of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).*
5. **On July 1, 2016, snack items must contain ≤200mg sodium per item

The Defense Department will be looking at all of the above criteria to see if these standards are strict enough or if an adaption to the FitPick and/or FitPick select programs will be necessary. In her presentation at the conference, Capt. Kimberly Elenberg, Director of U.S. Public Health Service’s Medical Readiness and Training Program, stated what schools and counties working on healthy programs already know, “what we have to balance is a business model that works as well as aligning that we our priorities as a service.”
If you are looking for a Dallas Fort Wort vendor for your school, county/city building, or military base call Vend Pro today at (972) 948-3431. As members of NAMA we are very familiar with the FitPick and FitPick Select standards and can help create a vending menu that is healthy, delicious and can still help drive revenue for your program.

Is Your Dallas Fort Worth Vending Company Fully Licensed?

There are over 40,000 different licensing jurisdictions in the United iStock_000011116770XSmallStates. To put that number into perspective, if there was a jurisdiction for every mile from the North Pole to the South Pole you would walk around the world twice before visiting them all.
To make matters more complicated each of these jurisdictions set their own standards as to the licensing they require from businesses; standards that can vary from every county in the state of Texas. Because of these complications this blog will not discuss the specific licensing required of your Dallas Fort Worth  vending company but rather the importance of having a properly licensed vendor within DFW.

route driver3That being said there are some licenses in Dallas Fort Worth that are standard. These include:
• Federal tax ID
• State tax ID/resale permit
• County licenses
Some of these you may be familiar with in your own place of business, which is one of the reasons you should care if your vending company in Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) is licensed; it seems only fair that if you pay your taxes, so should they. However, more importantly then the profit the government makes off of businesses or the sense of what’s “fair” are the other two intertwined reasons why licensing exits:
1. Licensing keeps businesses accountable for their actions
2. Licensing holds businesses to health and safety codes
You want to work with a Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) vendor who is accountable. Honesty is a character definition and it stands to reason that if a company is honest with the government there is a higher chance they’ll be honest with you about their service and commissions you garnish off their vending machines.
Furthermore, vending offers a variety of food. If you walk into a fresh food vending machines in Dallas Fort Worthrestaurant or a grocery store you expect them to abide by certain sanitary codes. You want those establishments to be rodent and bug free, to use clean equipment, etc. By choosing a Dallas Forth Worth vending company who is properly licensed you are ensuring that they are being held accountable for the way they handle your food.
Here are some things that inspectors look for:
• Food is kept off the floor
• There are no signs of unwanted creatures
• Refrigerated and frozen products are properly stored
When choosing your vending service in the Dallas Forth Worth (DFW) area make sure they are fully licensed, for your health, for your safety, for your peace of mind, and maybe even your budget. Call Vend Pro today at (972) 948-3431 for a free no-obligation consultation of your break room needs!

Dallas Fort Worth Vending Providers Embracing Healthy Products in Newer and Better Ways

Common negative stigmas are associated with vending machines. 107Can’t think of any? We’re sure you can but just in case you can’t here are a few:
• They steal your money or don’t take your money
• Product gets stuck
• They only offer junk food
To combat these negative images the vending industry has:
• Embraced cashless technology
• Installed SureVend technology – using infrareds to detect whether or not a product has vended, ensuring your employees either get their product or their money back
• Added healthy beverages and snack options to our product lines.
Perhaps the greatest advances have been in regards to point #3. Fitnessmagazine.com listed 10 healthy vending machine snacks that were low fat or fat free including: baked chips, peanuts, pretzels, popcorn, Nature Valley granola bars and even some cookies.
Although the acknowledgement that it’s possible to find healthy snacks in vending machines is appreciated, this list fails to do justice to the vast variety of healthy alternative options available in vending today.

healthycollagev3If we were to make our own list it would include some of the following products:
• Gluten free items
• Organic items
• Vegan items
• Beef jerky
• Be Kind bars
• Go Picnics
• Trail mixes
• PopChips
• Coconut water
• Sparkling water
• Fresh fruit
This list could continue for quite a bit longer but to save your scroll finger let’s just say this: healthy and vending are no longer antonyms but synonyms. Vending machines have progressed with the times and so have the products they offer.
For more information on healthy snack and beverage options available to the vending industry contact your Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) vending provider, Vend Pro at (972) 948-3431 today!