Clean label – it’s been an industry buzz phrase for several years. While it’s no secret that consumers of all ages are looking for “free-from” products with real, recognizable ingredients, new research suggests that clean label products are hotter than ever before. Major brands, like entegra’s contracted suppliers Rich’s and PepsiCo, have established clean label guidelines and are making more prepackaged products, like cakes, with fewer ingredients that consumers know and trust and no added chemicals or artificial flavors or colorings.
Hospitals are responding to the trend by improving their healthy vending offerings, adding more clean label foods and drinks that are low calorie, low fat and have less (or no) sugar. Particularly popular better-for-you (BFY) vending machine snacks include high-protein bars, sparkling waters and low-calorie beverages made with real juice, like Naked® Juice from PepsiCo.
Ideas for your operation:
- Launch a new set of real fruit juices, low-calorie beverages and BFY snacks in your vending areas with a sampling event for your staff and customers. Offer tastings of different foods and beverages in your cafeteria or in an open area of your hospital so consumers are aware that you plan to menu new, BFY products at your facility.
- Traditional surveying of your consumers, including staff, will help you find out which healthy vending items they would purchase from a vending situation.
- If there are restrictions on what you can offer in your vending machines, consider adding these options to your micro market or C-store so guests can quickly grab and go.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.