Changing snack and beverage trends in Chicago 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.
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 Chicago 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.
While Chicago 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.
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 Chicago 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 Chicago 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 Mark Vend at (847) 291-9216.