All posts by perfectchoice

Hiring a Refreshment Solution: What You Need to Know

vending copy copy
Hiring a Refreshment Solution: What You Need to Know

When narrowing down search results, consumers can be swayed by the reviews, star ratings, and social media accounts of the companies that offer solutions to their problems. This common occurrence, while inherent with our modernized ways of research, leaves consumers vulnerable to unsafe hiring practices. It’s convenient to assume that a company who promotes itself loudly online must engage in background checks and routine security improvements…but is that always the case?

To help you weed through the Google results, Perfect Choice has put together a checklist for seeking a refreshment solution:

1. Liability Insurance

It is extremely important that your refreshment provider has liability insurance for their employees and work vehicles. Consider the following scenarios that could arise from an uninsured vendor: a slip and fall on your company’s premises, a vehicle collision within your property lines, or an expired product fed to one of your employees. If you have hired a vendor without liability insurance, you could be held medically and legally responsible for the outcome of these situations.

2. Worker’s Compensation

Worker’s compensation differs from liability insurance, only covering injuries a vendor’s employee obtains on your premises. This provides medical expense coverage and any wage loss as a result of that employee’s injury. The two types of insurance – worker’s compensation and liability insurance – must be acquired by the prospective refreshment vendor to account for any and all necessary coverage.

3.  State Registration

Verify that your refreshment company is registered with the state and has all the licenses of operation. Choosing to work with properly registered companies promotes fair business practices.

4. Employee Background Checks

Always work with a company that has run background checks on their employees and incoming hires. Background checks are an essential part of the hiring process, and refer to a broad spectrum of information, not just a criminal record. When a business chooses to conduct background checks on their employees, they showcase responsibility for their business and for the overall safety of their clients.

Other considerations:

– Is your prospective refreshment solution on the rise with emerging technologies?

– Compared to their competitors, is their cost reasonable?

– Do they offer free consultations of your space prior to becoming your provider?

It is my hope that the above information helps you find the best fit for your location’s needs. If you have any questions or want to learn more about hiring a refreshment solution, contact me at lorena@perfectchoicerefreshments.com.

I look forward to chatting with you!

Written by Lorena Ricci, Director of Operations and Business Development at Perfect Choice Refreshment Services | perfectchoicerefreshments.com

Earth Day 2016 Activities

Earth Day 2016 Activities: 15 Ideas And Ways To Celebrate Mother Nature And Become An Environmental Steward

Get ready to reduce, reuse and recycle, because Earth Day is here. Being environmentally conscious isn’t just for activists, and Earth Day is a great time to start thinking about ways that everyone can get involved in helping the planet.

Every April 22 people across the United States and around the world participate in activities that give back to the environment or celebrate Earth. Earth Day started in 1970, and has grown significantly in 46 years.

This explosion of environmental consciousness is not just for fun. Over the past 50 years, humans have used up more natural resources than in all of previous history, according to EcoCycle. A report from the World Economic Forum this year found that the world’s oceans will contain more trash than fish by weight by 2050.

The global climate talks in Paris in December brought more attention to the world’s increasingly dire situation, but many countries, as well as politicians in the U.S., remain reluctant to take steps to slow human contributions to climate change.

Still, scientists are encouraging people to clean up their act. In honor of Earth Day 2016, here are 15 ways to celebrate Mother Nature and give her some love.

Attend an Earth Day festival, event or fair. At these events around the U.S., you can talk to other environmentally inclined individuals, eat locally grown food, buy eco-friendly products and maybe listen to environment-themed music. The Earth Day website has a listing of events so you can look up fairs near you.

Encourage friends to get involved. You can start a pledge board at work or school so that everyone can commit to taking environmental actions this year. You can keep each other accountable and stay on track with your pledges.

Recycle. Learn which items you can and cannot recycle in your city, and figure out where to take recyclables. You can even decorate a recycling bin for Earth Day.

Track your online energy use. Curious about how much energy you’re using while watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook? Download an extension like Chrome’s Earth Mode plug-in that tracks your usage and calculates how many trees need to be planted to offset it.

Plant a tree. This is a fun Earth Day activity and an easy and effective way to celebrate Mother Nature.

Sign a petition. There are all kinds of petitions calling on governments to take action on climate change, and public support can often help push through big changes. The Earth Day website has apetition you can sign to show support for the Paris Agreement that countries signed pledging to work together to fight climate change.

Start composting. Composting is a form of recycling, but for food. It’s a biological process in which natural microorganisms break down organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings and certain food scraps. You can start with just a bucket in your backyard or someplace outside where you can take leftovers. This helps avoid waste, and you can use the compost to give nutrients to your garden.

Eat less meat. The meat industry is responsible for about 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and with more people eating meat every year, the industry is still growing. But this doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian. By forgoing meat just one day a week, you can help limit the amount of it needed around the world and reduce your own carbon footprint.

Give up bottled water. Like the meat industry, bottling water consumes an enormous amount of fossil fuels. Plus, all those bottles end up in landfills and are terrible for the environment. If you switch to reusable water bottles, you’ll save money and help the environment.

Make a garden. This can be a great activity for kids, a neighborhood or a group of friends. Whether you plant flowers, vegetables or fruit, this is a fun way to celebrate Earth Day and enjoy good food down the line.

Join an environmental group. Want to help the environment even after Earth Day? Take this as an opportunity to sign up for an eco-friendly society or an environmental advocacy organization in your area. If you need ideas, here’s a list of groups to get you started.

Cut down on junk mail. More than 100 million trees are cut down each year to produce junk mail, according to the Earth Day organization. There are several organizations that will take your name off widely distributed consumer mailing lists, or you can call businesses and catalogues that send you mail you do not need.

Buy local. Try buying local produce if you can. Produce typically loses one-third of its original nutritional value after three days of being picked, so you’ll be eating healthier and reducing the carbon emissions needed to transport produce from the farm to your plate.

Organize a community cleanup. This is as simple as getting friends together to clean up a park, school playground or sidewalk.

Learn about the Earth. Take the time to learn more about what’s going on with the Earth and how climate change is affecting our planet. Read articles, pick up a book or listen to a science podcast. This can be a great way to add educational value to your Earth Day celebration.

Read full article here –>

Introducing PayRange: our NEW mobile payment solution

Advancements in Payment Technology
Perfect Choice is committed to evolving with technology
as demand for safe and secure payment methods increase.
Our vending operation has gone mobile! Introducing:

The world’s simplest mobile payment solution for machines.
Easy To Use

Download the PayRange App (free in the iTunes App Store) to begin using. Move your smartphone within arms length of your preferred vending machine to automatically connect. A simple “swipe” on your smartphone screen will complete payment for your desired product.
Click to view video.

Easy to Fund

The PayRange App accepts all major credit & debit cards, and funds can be added through Apple Pay. Personal and payment information is securely managed by a PCI Compliant Processor, and is never shared with the machines.

Accepted payment options.

How FDA Regulates Food from Genetically Engineered Plants

mschoice-blog
Hello!
The below article from the FDA outlines the regulation process of food from genetically engineered plants:

How FDA Regulates Food from Genetically Engineered Plants

We regulate human and animal food from genetically engineered (GE) plants like we regulate all food. The existing FDA safety requirements impose a clear legal duty on everyone in the farm to table continuum to market safe foods to consumers, regardless of the process by which such foods are created. It is unlawful to produce, process, store, ship or sell to consumers unsafe foods.

FDA’s role is to ensure that everyone in the farm to table continuum is meeting this obligation. We encourage producers of new foods and food ingredients to consult with FDA when there is a question about an ingredient’s regulatory status. This general practice extends to foods produced using genetic engineering techniques.

Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program

FDA created the Plant Biotechnology Consultation Program in the 1990’s to cooperatively work with GE plant developers to help them ensure foods made from their new GE plant varieties are safe and lawful. In this program, we evaluate the safety of food from the new GE crop before it enters the market.

Although the consultation program is voluntary, GE plant developers routinely participate in it before bringing a new GE plant to market. FDA completed its first plant biotechnology consultation in 1994. Thus far, we have evaluated more than 150 GE plant varieties through this program. For a list of completed consultations, see ourBiotechnology Consultations database.

How the Program Works

During the initial consultation phase, GE plant developers meet with FDA and explain their GE product to FDA. FDA can then provide feedback about the kinds of data and information that would be important to consider in a safety assessment.

The final consultation phase begins once a GE plant developer completes its safety assessment and submits a summary of the assessment to FDA.

FDA evaluates the data and information in the summary to identify any unresolved food safety and nutritional issues or other legal considerations. Some examples of questions we ask in this evaluation include:

  • Does food from the GE plant contain a new toxin or allergen?
  • Is food from the GE plant as nutritious as that from its traditionally bred counterpart?

If FDA identifies an issue that needs to be addressed, we work with the developers to get the information needed to resolve it.

When all safety and other regulatory issues are resolved, and the data and information logically support the conclusion that food from the new plant variety will be as safe as food from conventionally bred varieties, we conclude the consultation with a letter to the GE plant developer. The letter reminds the developer that they remain legally obligated to ensure the safety of the food products they bring to market.

Finally, FDA posts the relevant information and documentation to the Biotechnology Consultations on Food from GE Plant Varieties section of its website for public viewing. The posting includes the following items:

  • Submission date
  • Developer name and contact information
  • Basic information about the GE plant variety
  • The FDA response letter
  • A memo summarizing the data and information FDA evaluated

This is only a brief summary of the consultation process. For detailed guidance, GE plant developers should read our Guidance on Consultation Procedures – Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties.

Benefits of the Program

  • Helps FDA promote a safe food supply by ensuring that foods from GE plants are safe and lawful.
  • Allows FDA to collect valuable data and information about new foods from food producers.

Read full article here –>

Mondelez International to own percentage of Keurig Green Mountain

Instant Analysis: Mondelez International Now Owns 24% of Keurig Green Mountain

The global snack food giant owns a stake in the holding company that now owns the leading single-serve coffee company. Does it matter?

K Cups

IMAGE SOURCE: KEURIG GREEN MOUNTAIN.

What happened? 
Global snack food giant Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) filed an SEC form 8-K on Monday disclosing that it exchanged a portion of its ownership in Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) for a 24.24% stake in Maple Parent Holdings Corp., the newly formed entity that ownsKeurig Green Mountain. (JDE is the coffee joint venture formed last July when Mondelez and D.E. Master Blenders 1753 combined their respective coffee businesses.)

Mondelez’s transaction follows Keurig’s previously announced acquisition on March 3 by a subsidiary of Acorn Holdings, an investor group led by JAB Holding Co. Following the exchange, Mondelez’s share of ownership in JDE was reduced to 26.5%.

Mondelez is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy, and powdered beverages, with top brands such as Nabisco, Oreo, Cadbury, Trident, and Tang.

The Impact Meter

Does it matter?
This event is worth noting, but is currently not of significance to Mondelez’s business, whose stake in Keurig’s holding company accounts for a very small percentage of its overall business. Based on the size of Mondelez’s coffee business (just over 7% of its total revenue) when it transferred it into JDE for a 43.5% stake in that entity, we’re talking in the low- to mid-single-digit percentage.

This stake, however, could become meaningful in the future. Despite Keurig’s slowing revenue growth in more recent years, its K-Cups remain the fastest-growing segment in retail coffee, as growth in the traditional bagged category has generally been flat. If this growth continues or accelerates under the new ownership, Mondelez’s stake in Keurig’s holding company might become significant enough to make a difference in its earnings.

It remains to be seen if Keurig’s new ownership will affect J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), which last year was awarded the enviable license from Keurig and Dunkin’ Donuts to sell Dunkin’ K-Cups in outlets where groceries are sold. I’d venture to guess nothing will change on this front for now as Smucker has produced strong sales of this product. Smucker also sells Folgers’ K-Cups.

A secret billion-dollar stock opportunity
The world’s biggest tech company forgot to show you something, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn’t miss a beat: There’s a small company that’s powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here.

Read full article here –>

5 Communication Habits of Highly Successful Leaders

5 Communication Habits of Highly Successful Leaders

Great leaders are heard, and understood. They get the results they want. Here’s how.

When you clearly communicate your vision and objectives to your team, you have certain expectations about the outcome of that communication. Yet, I commonly hear entrepreneurs express concern and confusion over their employees’ inability to carry out a plan to the point of meeting, or exceeding, expectations. If this frustration is familiar to you, it may not be because you’ve chosen the wrong employees, but the wrong approach in communicating with them.

In his recently released book If I Can, You Can: Transformation Made Easy, business coach David Zelman talks about how to communicate so that you are heard–and understood.

“Everyone possesses a unique set of internal conversations,” says Zelman. “Outcomes aren’t based on what your employees are being told, but what they are telling themselves.” In his 40 years of leadership coaching Zelman has learned that everyone’s actions are a perfect match to their inner dialogue and correlated to what they are telling themselves, not what others are telling them. 

If you tell your team that you are slashing the price of an existing product, each person hears something different. Your sales team hears, “Great. More demand, but I’ll have to sell more units to make my financial commitment.” Customer service hears, “Better staff up for additional client base.” And production hears, “How are we going to meet the demand? We are already running at capacity.”

“When another person is speaking, we often don’t do a good job of distinguishing what the other person is saying versus our interpretation of what they’re saying,” says Zelman. “In fact, it is uncommon for us to simply hear what is being said. The point is, if you say something to five people, you are most likely having five different conversations.”

It is possible to create a shared vision within your organization, and to inspire your team to contribute meaningfully. Here are Zelman’s top five suggestions on how to help others transform their inner dialogue and dramatically alter the chance of success.

1.  Have conversations that are focused on the future, not the past.

Getting people aligned on a vision or common purpose is one of the primary roles of a leader. Too many conversations revolve around explaining or justifying why something did or did not get done. This is a waste of time and energy. The past is behind us. Build a practice of focusing on the future, of what needs to happen to achieve the vision and goals. And always establish timeframes in which goals will be achieved.

2.   Instead of issuing directives, have a dialog.

By having employees participate in a dialog that creates goals, strategy, and timeframes, you are encouraging them to have a higher level of ownership of the corporate objectives. Create a collaborative culture and people will assume responsibility willingly.

3.   Don’t assume you have been heard.

Communication requires both speaking and listening. The excuse, “It’s not my fault; I told them what I wanted,” just doesn’t cut it. Unless you ask for feedback, such as, “What’s your interpretation of what I just said?” there is too much room for misunderstanding.

4.   Create a culture of authentic communication.

While transparency and inclusiveness are important variables in establishing effective communication, maintaining integrity in communications is even more so. Organizations must build a culture where people are authentically committed to what they say. A promise is a promise. A commitment is a commitment.

5.   Acknowledge and appreciate good work.

When people are recognized and acknowledged for their contribution, they are more likely to continue to create value in the organization. If you stop acknowledging people, they lose their sense of belonging and making a difference.

Leaders who succeed in sustaining effective communication throughout their organization build high-performing teams and thriving companies. How do you achieve your best results?

Read full article here –>

Coffee Reduces Health Risks from Alcohol Use

mschoice-blog
Hello!
I’m Ms. Choice and I’m here to provide information and assist in promoting and implementing wellness and healthier snacking at work sites and schools. Read below to learn about coffee health!

Drinking two cups of coffee ‘reduces health risks linked to alcohol’

Kayleigh Lewis | February 19, 2016

Links have been found between coffee consumption and a reduced risk of liver damage caused by overindulging.

Drinking two or more cups of coffee a day could significantly reduce health risks associated with drinking too much alcohol.

An analysis of previous studies found drinking coffee could diminish the likelihood of developing liver cirrhosis, a disease which kills thousands of people in the UK every year and more than a million people worldwide.

The nine studies involved a total of 430,000 participants of which 1,990 had cirrhosis. Eight of the studies found the more coffee a person drank, the lower their risk in developing the disease.

Risk was reduced by 22 per cent with one cup of coffee, 43 per cent with two cups, 57 per cent with three cups and 65 per cent with four cups, compared to drinking no coffee at all.

The findings, published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, found stronger links between filter coffee and reduced cirrhosis risk than with boiled coffee – but the reason is not clear.

“Coffee is a complex mixture containing hundreds of chemical compounds, and it is unknown which of these is responsible for protecting the liver,” said lead study author Dr Oliver Kennedy of Southampton University.

Although the studies accounted for alcohol consumption, other cirrhosis risk factors – such as obesity and diabetes – were not considered in all of them, the study’s authors noted.

“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal and there is no cure as such,” explained Dr Kennedy.

Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Langone Medical Center, warned against adopting an unhealthy lifestyle and attempting to compensate with coffee.

She said: “Unfortunately, although coffee contains compounds that have antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory properties, drinking a few cups of coffee a day cannot undo the systematic damage that is the result of being overweight or obese, sedentary, excessive alcohol consumption or drastically mitigate an unhealthy diet.”

See full article here –>

Fundamentals of Offering Healthier Snacks in Micro Markets

As consumers become increasingly more health conscious, vending and micro market operators are rising to the challenge of finding a variety of quality items to include in their line of SKUs. In fact this year, nutritious snacks, or healthy snacks, constituted two percent of sales by dollar revenue in the vending industry, according to Automatic Merchandiser’s State of the Industry report.

For the roughly 1,000 micro market operators servicing nearly 10,000 locations in the U.S. as reported by the NAMA, better-for-you category growth offerings are not only necessary but essential to capturing the majority of consumers who say they snack at least once per day.

Look at key trends

In 2016, consumers will be more concerned with what’s in their food than what is not, said NPD Group. The micro market consumer is no exception. Lynn Robles, Automatic Merchandiser 2013 Distributor of the Year award recipient, notes that micro market customers are looking for fresh products, so operators should be sure to offer a variety of items that meet that criteria. “Keep it simple,” Robles said. “Start with three to four offerings of key items such as pre-packaged salads, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs and sandwiches with vegetables.”

‘Fresh’ isn’t the only healthy trend that consumers gravitate towards though.  A growing number of them are moving towards consumption of organic food, with TechSci global market research company estimating the global organic food market to grow at over 16 percent by 2020.

Other key better-for-you growth trends include gluten-free, non-GMO (genetically modified organism), local, simple ingredients, whole-grain and allergen-free. Manufacturers are creating packaged goods that meet the healthy snacking criteria and trends consumers are looking for. Robles recommends offering two to three organic, gluten-free and non-GMO items per market. From there micro market operators should look at offering a non-dairy milk choice, organic juice or lemonades as well as water.

Robles notes that micro markets should have a meal replacement selection such as bars, too. “If operators don’t think these will sell, I point out that this category is one of the largest sections in a convenience store,” she said.

Placement guidelines

Placement of healthy and better-for-you items in a micro market is just as important as the selection of products.

Although micro markets should not be considered the same as convenience stores, Robles recommends presenting healthy item sections similar to the grocery and c-store industry. Healthy, better-for-you items should be highlighted within the markets and displayed in their own section.

Healthy sections can be highlighted through décor such as signage with bright, eye-catching colors and icons that reflect a ‘health-focused’ theme above the shelving or below each rack.

“One of my biggest suggestions is to make sure the section looks top rate!” said Robles. “Don’t mix any traditional vending items in the healthy section; it needs to be a true, dedicated better-for-you area.”

Replace the vending hat

The vending and micro market user experience is fundamentally different; therefore micro marketoperators looking to succeed in that area need to cast their vending hats aside.

Micro markets allow for a much wider selection of items, including better-for-you options unavailable or too large for a vending machine. Micro markets also allow operators the ability to offer items that are of greater perceived value which can then be sold at a higher price.

In order to make the most out of fresh food and healthy items in micro markets, operators should look towards bundling ‘healthy’ item sales such as pairing a better-for-you drink with a healthy snack. Additional business can be captured by offering take-home meals to the micro market customer leaving at the end of the day.

The quality of healthy items has increased since the introduction of micro markets; manufacturers are responding to the consumer demand for health-focused items and micro market operators should as well. Micro market success will come from the quality and the variety of better-for-you options.

Read full article here –>

Appeal to Millennials in Your Micro Market, Without Losing the Boomers

APPEAL TO MILLENNIALS IN YOUR MICRO MARKET, WITHOUT LOSING THE BOOMERS

For micro market operators, it is important to look at the workforce as it evolves. That means balancing product selection and marketing strategies for the 80 million Millennials now making up the majority of the workforce while continuing to appeal to the Baby Boomer generation encompassing the most spending capital.

In many ways, Millennials and Baby Boomers are different in how they shop and determine value, but there are also many sales strategies that work across multiple generations to make today’s diverse work environment a gold mine for the savvy micro market operator.

Appeal To Millennials In Your Micro Market, Without Losing The Boomers

BRAND LOYALTY CONTINUES

Millennials, or those born from the 1980s to 2000s, can be very loyal to brands, similar to the tendency of the Boomer generation, those born from the 1940s to 1960s. A recent survey of 1,300 Millennials by Forbes found the 60 percent of this age group says that “they are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase.” Admittedly, Millennials become loyal to a brand differently than Boomers. They seek brands that evoke beliefs and feelings such as trustworthy, transparent, dependable and those that encourage participation. Boomers usually like brands they know and trust, making national, well known brands or popular local names a good bet for popular selections in the micro market.

AIM FOR HEALTHY, HIP PRODUCTS

Convenience foods seem to be coming into a great era as Millennials are willing to increase their spending in this category, says research group NPD. The latest numbers cited by the convenience store industry show Millennials are spending over 11 percent of their food and beverage budget at convenience stores, compared to just 7.7 percent in 2006.

The NPD Eating Patterns in America study further breaks out the product categories seeing the most growth in the breakfast and better-for-you items for both Millennials and Boomers. The popularity of each segment is expected to increase as we enter 2016. Focusing on quality breakfast items such as bars, sandwiches, wraps and bagels in the micro market will encourage both Millennial and Boomer customers to make eating breakfast at work a ritual and increase sales at the micro market.

Healthy eating is another important aspect that crosses generations with Millennials opting for fresher, less processed products such as organic items, as well as those lower in sugar. Boomers are searching for items that can address their lifestyle needs as they age with an interest in nutritional ingredients as well as a focus on foods lower in calories and sugar. Expanding product selections in these areas will meet preferences of both age groups.

USE COUPONS AND SPECIAL OFFERS

Value is another trait Boomers and Millennials share. They both appreciate a good deal. In a multi-generational retail strategies white paper, Synchrony Financial Analytics found that Millennials and Boomers were very similar in their usage of coupons. Both Millennials and Boomers were more likely to purchase a product if they had a loyalty discount or coupon, 66 percent and 63 percent respectively. This suggests micro market promotions involving coupons for a specific product or discount based on loyalty will be effective across multiple generations. In fact, the same research showed that over 60 percent of both groups were likely to take advantage of discount offers.

Both generational groups also do research about product and companies online. According to Synchrony, 81 percent of Boomers and 90 percent of Millennials have researched a product online in the past three months. For micro market operators, this means their Websites must be working properly and have information that allows both groups to make informed decisions. In addition to the company Webpage, Millennials are specifically influenced by social media. Synchrony found that Millennials were more than twice as likely as Boomers to state that they purchased a product after seeing it on social media.

Social media can still drive sales for Boomer as well as keeping brand awareness high. Mobile interconnectivity is another good strategy that will make a micro market more appealing to multiple generations. After all, Millennials are also only slightly more likely to own a digital device than Boomers (97 percent compared to 88 percent), so having an app or mobile promotions/payments will be advantageous to both groups. This includes a seamless transaction that works well and is easy to perform and is secure.

Marketing is an important part of keeping sales high in a micro market, and is therefore an area of focus for micro market operators looking to maximize profits. Trending product brands that appeal to the quest for quality and nostalgia of Baby Boomers as well as the transparency and collaboration desired by Millennials will be top sellers. Coupons and loyalty programs maximize your potential to lure both groups with additional sales as well as well-working mobile connectivity with the micro market. These are great ways to craft a marketing strategy that will appeal to a work environment that spans generations.

Read full article here –>