Did you know that population size, word choice, and snack preferences vary greatly depending on where you live in the United States (U.S.)? For example, in 2016 the U.S. Census Bureau found that New York City had about the same population—approximately 8.6 million people— as the five most populous cities in the West combined (Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco). Names of different foods and beverages also change depending on where you are.
If you use the generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage, it is important to know which word is used where. Ask for a coke in the South and New Mexico; a soda in the Northeast, parts of Wisconsin, California, Arizona, and parts of Nevada; a pop in the north-central part of the U.S. and parts of the West; and a tonic in eastern Massachusetts, and you will be served the same beverage.
The name of a long sandwich roll that contains cold cuts, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. can be just as confusing. It is a submarine or sub in many parts of the southern half of the U.S., a hoagie in the Mid-Atlantic, a hero in the New York City area, a grinder in New England and the Northwest, and an Italian in Maine. Yikes!
Thankfully, understanding which snacks are the favorites from coast-to-coast is a lot easier. A 2017 General Mills and Box Tops for Education™ study determined that
- 24% in the Northeast prefer granola and protein bars,
- 30% in the South prefer chips, popcorn, crackers and pretzels,
- 27% in the Midwest prefer veggies and fruit,
- 27% in the West also prefer veggies and fruit.
Learning which items your New York City employees prefer is an important part of determining which snacks and beverages to offer in your office break room. Consider offering a variety of choices to meet their needs such as traditional snacks and beverages, healthy snacks and beverages, and fresh food. One way to understand their needs is to ask them for their input. Develop a list of potential products you would like to offer and have your New York City employees complete a survey about what they would like to see.
It is also important to understand why you are adding vending machines or a micro-market to your office break room. Consider the hours/shifts employees work and what other food, snack, or beverage options are nearby. Will the break room be an on-site location to purchase fresh food, or will it be a place to grab a healthy snack between meetings? Or perhaps, it will be a sought after employee benefit – Free Vend?
For help determining the answers to these questions and more, Champion Vending can help. Working together, we will customize the best solution to create the ultimate break room. Contact us at 800.558.5450 for more information.