COVID-19 Food and Nutrition Trends


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the types of nutritional foods Americans are seeking out. Top trends include plant-based, immune-boosting foods and satisfying snacks.  

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — New consumer insights reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way Americans are eating. Carbs are back, snacking is up and home cooks are experimenting with more partially plant-based, where meat or poultry may be blended with veggies, nuts or whole grains.

These are a few of the nutrition mega trends discussed among national nutrition media, food industry executives and trend forecasters at the Nutrition News Update conference presented by Appetite for Health being held this week. Other top trends include flexible or blended plant-based meals, immune-boosting recipes and increased demand for wholesome carbohydrates from whole grains like oats, ancient grains like sorghum and whole grain-based cereal.

The conference brings together food industry marketers and nutrition scientists with the nation’s leading food and nutrition media representing more than 80 top-tier media outlets including Prevention, Women’s Health, Shape, Cooking Light, Martha Stewart Living, Dr. Oz, Yahoo and MSN.

“We knew first-hand as food and nutrition media professionals how COVID-19 was disrupting the ways Americans eat, but the data presented really clarify much of what we believed to be happening in consumers’ kitchens,” explained Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., co-founder of Appetite for Health, the organizer behind Nutrition News Update. “Individuals are seeking out more vitamin C-rich foods like citrus and berries as well as probiotics, in an effort to help improve immune health.”

Another mega nutrition trend highlighted at the meeting is the shift to more of a flexible, plant-based diet where individuals may blend veggies, like chopped fresh mushrooms, nuts or whole grains into ground meat or poultry dishes to reduce their overall consumption of animal-based products. “Look for more ‘blended’ plant-forward burgers, meatballs and other products on supermarket shelves in the near future,” predicted Katherine Brooking, M.S., R.D., co-founder of Appetite for Health. “These products appeal to more of the “flexitarian” eaters rather than strict vegetarians who seek 100% plant-based alternatives to meat-based products.”

As consumers take fewer trips to grocery stores due to the pandemic, they now purchase more frozen foods and pantry staples to make home-cooked meals. Shoppers are also seeking out more veggie- and fruit-infused foods and beverages that are more nutritious with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. With anxiety and stress levels soaring, foods, beverages and supplements formulated to support sleep and mental well-being are on trend.

In addition to health and wellness, shoppers are also prioritizing local and sustainable choices whenever possible. Food and  beverage brands that have a good story to tell about sustainability, climate, animal welfare, nutrition and social responsibility will likely be the winners during this pandemic period that has exposed many issues in the global food supply chain.

About Appetite for Health

Appetite for Health is an award-winning nutrition communications firm founded by registered dietitians, Katherine Brooking and Julie Upton. The firm has been providing nutrition content for national broadcast, print and e-media for more than a decade.

Back to the future! Return of America’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie!

LOS ANGELES, CA, September 22, 2020 – Bart & Judy’s Bakery, Los Angeles is resetting the snack marketplace with Bart & Judy’s Natural Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies, the first natural gourmet chocolate chip cookies, to eliminate the gourmet price tag!

First invented in 1938, chocolate chip cookies have evolved from the kitchen to become the highest volume cookies in America. The problem is unless you’ve got the big bucks the only chocolate chip cookies available to you are a lower-quality, large corporation offering that is loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives.

“Bart & Judy’s Natural Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies fill the gap that no other cookie has been able to fill” states owner, Bart Greenhut: “today, consumers are seeking more natural, products but, until now, “clean” chocolate chip cookies have been out of reach for the average family.”

Greenhut continues: “What’s more American than a great chocolate chip cookie? We believe everyone deserves wholesome, great chocolate chip cookies!”

Bart and Judy Greenhut (husband and wife team) overcame all barriers by applying economy of scale, founding the only bakery of its kind dedicated exclusively to clean and natural chocolate chip cookies!

Bart & Judy’s cookies are produced with real-food ingredients, such as creamery butter, mouth-watering dark, Belgian chocolate, eggs, Madagascar vanilla and contain no preservatives, artificial ingredients, or chemical additives.”

Bart & Judy’s Gourmet, Natural Chocolate Chip Cookies are available in 2oz. and 3oz. “Snack-Packs.” Each is a mouth-watering, delight produced with Fair-Trade Belgian Chocolate and fresh, natural ingredients.

Healthy Vending Vs Junk Food Vending

by Jeff Kramer, Discount Vending

Vending Machines Don’t Need to Be Full of Poor Snack Choices

 I recently read an article from Fox News written by Deborah A. Cohen, MD. It addressed vending machines in the workplace. She suggested that we completely eliminate vending machines from our places of business. Her reasoning behind the ban would be to encourage healthier eating and less snacking on junk food. She is worried that this junk food is typically high in sugar with little nutritional benefits.

She says that, “A vending machine filled with poor dietary choices makes it all too easy to make a bad choice.” Well, we would like to say that vending machines don’t need to be full of “poor dietary choices”. You could fill your vending machine with healthy options. You could be an asset to the business and the health of its employees.

Healthy is Here to Stay!

I also recently heard that PepsiCo had purchased SodaStream to “steer Pepsi toward healthier offerings.” They said “it’s important for the company’s future because of consumers’ increasing attention to health.” If even PepsiCo is looking at giving their customers more healthy options, I’d say that healthy is here to stay. Offering healthy snacks and drinks in your vending machine will appeal to a growing audience of health-conscious consumers.

Healthier Options are What Consumers Want

This shift in the number of consumers who are looking for healthier options in what they eat are influencing food culture. Food manufacturers are reacting by producing products that fulfill healthier qualifications. They will continue to cater to the consumer and their tastes. If you, as a business owner, choose to also cater to the healthy crowd you can really benefit.

 Focus on Healthy Vending Options

Being able to offer your customers and employees a healthy vending machine can go a long way. Focusing on healthy options can help them improve their overall wellbeing and vitality. Now is the perfect time to see what having a healthier vending machine can do for them, and your business!

What Are the Benefits of Healthy Snacks?

Written by Natalie Stein; Updated November 27, 2018

The average American eats 2.2 snacks per day and gets one-quarter of his total calories from snacks, according to the USDA. Snacks can have a big impact on your health because they make up such a large portion of your diet. Snacking on junk food can lead to weight gain and other health problems, but healthy snacks can be beneficial.

Increase Nutrient Intake

Snacks provide an opportunity to improve the quality of your diet. Nutrient-dense foods help you meet recommended intake levels of nutrients and food group servings. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services states that the average American eats less than 60 percent of the suggested amount of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and seafood. You can work toward achieving these goals with snacks such as tuna on whole-grain crackers, fresh fruit with oatmeal and cut vegetables with yogurt.

Sustain Energy Levels

After you eat a meal or snack, your blood sugar levels rise and then decrease. You can start to feel tired if your blood sugar levels get too low. Snacks can prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping too much between meals. While sugary snacks can lead to sugar highs and subsequent energy crashes, healthy snacks promote more sustained blood sugar levels and energy. High-fiber, high-protein snacks, such as carrots with bean dip, are slow to digest so your blood sugar levels do not fluctuate much.

Recovery from Exercise

Healthy snacks after exercising can replace your energy stores and speed up muscle recovery. A healthy snack for post-workout recovery includes some carbohydrates and a small amount of protein, according to Iowa State University Extension. Eating your carbohydrates and protein within 15 to 30 minutes of finishing your exercise session will promote the best results. Snacks that support recovery and provide essential nutrients include yogurt with a banana and peanut butter on toast.


Healthy snacks can help you avoid eating less healthy foods. The Department of Health and Human Services suggests planning ahead by preparing healthy snacks so they’re readily available when hunger strikes. This strategy prevents you from getting too hungry with junk foods as your only option. Whole fruit, cut vegetables, cottage cheese and whole-grain pretzels are examples of easy snacks to have on hand. Even healthy snacks can lead to weight gain if you eat too much of them, so monitoring your portions should become a habit when you serve yourself snacks.

Why You Should Have a Healthy Vending Machine at Your Workplace

Are you an employer looking for means to increase the efficiency of your employees? Or perhaps looking for a way to show your appreciation for them? Well if so, perhaps you should consider installing a healthy vending machine for your workplace.  Packed with delicious, nutritious snacks and drinks, these machines can boost productivity and show your employee’s that you really care about health and wellbeing.

Here are some of the advantages of having a Healthy Vending Machine at your workplace:

 No Staff Requirements

 Having your own canteen in the office may sound like a tempting idea. However, that requires you to employ one or more people exclusively to tend to the canteen area. Having two more people on the payroll will significantly increase your operational costs, especially if you own a small business. You’ll also experience added inconvenience and distress on days when they don’t show up to work.


A vending machine is easy to install and does not require your attention. It’s about the size of a large refrigerator and costs hardly anything to run. Once installed the machine just needs to be restocked every week or so, and this is usually done by the machine owner. So it’s no trouble or expense to you and your employees will love the accessibility and convenience.

Staff Satisfaction

One of the most overlooked benefits of installing a healthy vending machine at your office premises is staff satisfaction – you are letting your employees know that you care about them. When they see that you have their best interests in mind, they are more likely to reciprocate by identifying with your business and doing good work. Don’t be surprised to see them putting in extra effort or longer hours. The ‘happy environment’ will encourage them to do their best and this will, in turn, increase your efficiency.

Keep Your Employees On Premises

An average employee puts in approximately 8 hours at work. This amounts to 1/3 of their entire day. Naturally, they will feel the need to grab a drink or snack now and then. If there’s nothing there for them on-site they’ll have to go out, usually taking some of their colleagues with them. Now try to calculate the amount of productivity that suffers when two or more of your employees go out for a bite. Significant isn’t it? A vending machine that provides great-tasting snacks and drinks will keep them on premises and thus ensure that your overall productivity does not get affected.

Healthy and Vitality

One of the reasons employers have thought that a vending machine might not be a good idea has been the lack of healthy food options. However, there are a few vending companies out there trying to change that by providing much healthier alternatives to the traditional junk food and soda. The healthier your employees are the less sick days they’ll have, not to mention the increase in energy, vitality, and focus. That all translates directly to your bottom line. One such company is Healthy Choices Vending, serving the Naperville area of Illinois.

They have attractive state-of-the-art machines, a great selection of healthy snacks & drinks and provide the servicing for free to qualified locations. You can visit their website for more information

or call them at (630) 642-1439.

To your good health and prosperity!



5 Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Productivity in the Workplace

Productivity can be your greatest asset as a business owner … or your greatest expense. If you’re one of many employers struggling to light a fire under your employees, there are proven ways to boost staff yield and efficiency. With just a few simple changes, you can inspire your workers to work smarter and harder. Here are five ways to enhance productivity in the office:

1. Balance Your Noise Levels
A noisy work environment is not one that promotes productivity. However, a completely silent workplace is also not ideal. You must strike a careful balance. In a recent survey, the number one factor employees cite as disrupting productivity is noise. Voices chattering, music playing, loud machines buzzing – a workplace that’s too loud can be distracting. Yet not enough noise can make employees feel anxious and uncomfortable. Light background noise can put your staff at ease. Accomplish noise reduction by installing sound-absorbing furniture, such as throw rugs on tiled floors.

2. Make Your Employees Comfortable
Full-time workers spend an average of 40 to 70 hours in the workplace every week of their lives. As an employer, it’s your job to make sure your staff members spend this time as efficiently as possible. If your office has uncomfortable chairs, outdated desks, and other elements that make employees uncomfortable, they cannot focus 100 percent of their attention on their tasks. Uncomfortable furniture can lead to health problems, increasing sick days and missed time at work.
Invest in ergonomic office furniture that supports strong, healthy body mechanics. Certain chairs, for example, have designs that reduce muscle tension and strain. Workers can sit in these chairs longer than other types, reducing downtime and keeping employees happier. Ergonomic desks also optimize employee comfort and physical well-being with smart designs and special features. Ergonomic furniture can be a significant investment, but you’ll enjoy stellar returns in the comfort and happiness of your workers.

3. Eliminate Bad Lighting
Lighting in the office can present a significant issue for employees. When working inside all day, the lack of natural light can lead to headaches, drowsiness, and lack of energy. Fluorescent lights and artificial lights create a harsh work environment that stresses your employees. It can lead to a cold, clinical feel in the office that is not conducive to teamwork and productivity. At the same time, not enough light can contribute to sleepy staff members, eyestrain, and trip and fall accidents.
Find your ideal office lighting by implementing just the right amount of natural light. Combine light from the great outdoors with artificial lighting in appropriate ways, such as desk lamps with soft, warm light. Open the blinds in your office and try to hold conferences in the room with the most windows. Employees who can bask in real light may be more alert, productive, and useful around the office. Filling your office with sunlight is an easy way to boost workplace efficiency without spending a significant amount of money.

4. Improve Air Quality
The air your employees breathe can make a considerable difference in how well they work. Inside air can affect the ability to work by making it uncomfortable or unsafe to remain in the office. Air quality involves ventilation, temperature, humidity, lack of outside air, and exposure to mold or harmful chemicals. Good indoor air quality can keep employees sharp, alert, and healthy. Signs that you have poor air quality at work include:
• Unpleasant odors
• Visible mold anywhere in the office
• A hot and stuffy building
• Physical symptoms such as headaches or drowsiness
• Fever and illness
• Cough, sore throat, respiratory problems
• Shortness of breath or asthma
• Water damage and leaks
• Standing water
There are professionals you can hire to assess the indoor air quality in your office and recommend repairs – something as simple as opening a few windows in your office can improve indoor air quality and boost productivity. It can also help you avoid safety violations and liability for employee illnesses relating to poor work environment.

5. Partner with a Healthy Vending Machine Operator
One of the simplest and most effective changes you can make to enhance worker productivity is to install a healthy vending machine. You can’t control the quality of food your employees bring to work, but you can provide them with healthier snacks that fuel the body throughout the workday. By putting the right types of food within your employees’ reach, you can boost energy levels and reduce sick days.
If you currently have vending machines that offer only junk like potato chips, candy and soda, you’re serving foods that can ultimately impact productivity levels. Instead, you can contact Healthy Choices Vending about getting a vending machine in your location. Your employees can snack on nutritious, protein-packed foods such as lentil chips, black bean chips, apple slices, fruit strips, Smartfood popcorn, and veggie crisps while at work. Brain food can contribute to your employees’ health, energy, and all-around success.

10 Top Snacks You Should Be Eating to Stay Healthy

When you have a busy schedule and don’t want to miss out on work or play, healthy snacks to fuel your body are essential. Unfortunately, the busier you are, the harder it seems to find healthy snacks that conveniently fit into your lifestyle.

Thankfully, many food companies are making healthier options so you can make better choices without sacrificing too much of your time or money.

10 Top Snacks You Should Be Eating to Stay Healthy



A handful or two of almonds provide a lot of healthy benefits. They provide protein and healthy fats, which help fuel the body with energy and satisfy food cravings. The crunch of almonds is extra satisfying. Plus, almonds are easy to eat on the go.

Hummus with Veggie Crisps or Pita Chips

Hummus packs protein and fiber into your snack. Veggie crisps, pita chips or pretzels are great companions. These are a better partner to hummus than potato chips and still provide the salty crunch that you may be craving.


Lightly salted, unbuttered popcorn is actually a fantastic snack. It’s filling and satisfying without loading you up on wasted calories. A lot of food companies are coming out with flavored varieties while still keeping it a healthy snack alternative.

Sargento Balanced Break Snacks

This trifecta snack pack includes healthy fats, calcium, protein, and antioxidants. All these elements contribute to a healthy and balanced diet. It’s a great snack option too for those looking for a little bit of crunch, a little savory snack, and a little sweet treat. Rolled into one convenient pack, it’s a perfect energy boost.


This little nut packs healthy fat, fiber, and protein all great components for a healthy snack! Plus, having to remove the shell slows down how fast you can eat it, which helps you feel more satisfied with a smaller helping.


Yogurt with Berries

Yogurt, especially the Greek variety, is a great snack when you’re looking for something a little sweet. Packed with protein and calcium, you’re giving your body proper fuel without any sugar rush or crash. Choose your favorite berries variety for an extra punch of vitamins and antioxidants.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is still sweet enough to satisfy the chocolate craving, but the darker it is, the less sugar it has. Even dark chocolate fans don’t tend to scarf down a whole bar of dark chocolate at once, so a little bit goes a long way!


Fruit is a great snack. Pick your favorite fruit that’s in season or find a healthy fruit cup. Both options are convenient and give your body essential vitamins and nutrients.

Peanut Butter with Fruit or Veggies

Adding peanut butter or nut butter to bananas, or apples, or celery is a great way to pack protein, fiber, and healthy fats into a delicious and sweet snack.

Chocolate Milk

A childhood favorite has its place in a healthy and balanced diet! A serving of chocolate milk, like Horizon, is sweet and satisfying while still giving your body essential nutrients like calcium and is a balanced snack with both carbs and protein.


Healthy snacks do exist and they can be convenient, too. Healthy Choices Vending is dedicated to improving the accessibility of healthy food in DuPage County. To learn how to get one of our healthy vending machines at your location just call us at (630) 642-1439 or email

What You Choose To Snack On Matters

A lot of us are snacking more than ever and adding a lot of calories between meals. Snacking is not inherently bad as it can provide much-needed energy and nutrients. Smart snacking on foods with natural fiber, protein & healthy fats keeps us full longer and stabilizes blood sugar levels. At Healthy Choices Vending we aim to provide the best selection of smart snacks available to help get you through your day.  Check out this article to see why snack timing and size are also important.