NEW YORK (
) -- Organic, healthy foods are popping up everywhere these days -- in grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and even at the office. As the trend toward healthy eating and drinking continues, experts say more companies are rethinking their traditional snack machine offerings and moving toward more low-calorie whole food options.
If you're thinking of offering healthy snacks at your business, it's easier now than ever, but there are some important things to consider before you eliminate your sodas and candy altogether.
1.) Decide how far you want to go.
"It's no secret that what you eat is half of the battle towards having health, and companies want to reinforce that at work," says Bruce Clark, president and CEO of
, a human resource management firm. "You can go all the way and all you will have in your snack machines is dried fruit and semi-perishable fruits like apples, or you can go halfway and still have something in there for people with a sweet tooth."
Many companies are opting for small changes and may substitute bottled water or lower-calorie beverages such as Vitamin Water Zero in favor of sugary carbonated sodas in drink machines, Clark says.
"That's your challenge, is how far you want to go," he says. "Some companies have eliminated snack machines altogether, but that's not the right move for every company."
Thankfully, many vending companies are beginning to stock healthy options, says Gina Payne, national director of wellness at professional services and consulting firm
CBIZ Employee Services
. With that said, most vending companies still offer junk food and will stock healthy items right alongside high-calorie treats.
"Most experts espouse that choice should be provided -- but it is also true that the choice needs to be 'easy' in order for us to make it -- that's just human nature," Payne says. "The easiest way to inspire a healthy choice is to only offer snacks that are good for you."
2.) Think about where you'll get your healthy snacks and the infrastructure you'll need.
"Not every area will have a vendor capable of a truly healthy snack machine," Clark says. "Some vendors just don't carry products like dried fruit, or they aren't able to offer a refrigerated machine like you'd need if you wanted to offer fresh fruit or Greek yogurt."