Healthy Options Play a Vital Role in Warren and Detroit Area Micro-Markets

healthy options in the warren and detroit area

The demand for fresh, natural and organic products is on the rise. With the continued interest in healthy eating, Warren and the Detroit Area vending providers and employers have an opportunity to educate consumers about the newest choices in the better-for-you category. Lucille Beseler, president of Family Nutrition Center of S. Florida shared “that people are interested in nutrition and listening to the newest product options, which includes what is available in the micro market.”

Beseler’s statement is supported by an increased demand for healthy snacks. Automatic Merchandiser’s annual industry report shows the increase in demand as it found that fresh food and better-for-you product sales compromised a larger percentage of overall micro-market sales than before.

Savory snacks are no longer the only type of snack that might be changed to be considered better-for-you. Sweets, especially dark chocolate, are being made with healthier ingredients. A recent report by Convenience Store Designs covered the changes in chocolate sales and determined that better-for-you qualities like the benefits of dark chocolate or the addition of functional ingredients played an important role in increasing sales.

But better-for-you chocolate isn’t the only sweet treat that Warren and the Detroit Area consumers are looking for in their break room. The sought-after bold and hot flavors currently found in snacks have made their way to the candy aisle. In fact, sales of non-chocolate spicy and hot candy products are increasing at rate of 25% compared to non-chocolate candy.

Healthy options in the Warren and Detroit Area

While the health benefits of snacks, fresh food and beverages are very important to Warren and the Detroit Area consumers, they also want to learn about how eating or drinking a specific product will feel and sound. For instance, is it crunchy, crispy or silky? Are there multiple textures within a single product? Products that share information about textures have a higher chance of being purchased. Combine bold and spicy flavors with touch and sound, and you’ll have an experience that consumers are looking for.

Drawing your Warren and the Detroit Area employees into the micro-market with a combination of healthy, bold and spicy, and textually-intriguing snacks can also result in multiple benefits for both you and your employees. A welcoming space where colleagues can spontaneously gather creates opportunities for creativity. Healthy employees who are also satiated and hydrated are likely to be more productive. And as snacks continue to replace meals during the day, they will continue to be a strong revenue driver.

Whether it’s time to update your current micro-market menu or create a new one from scratch, American Vending would like to help. We will help customize the perfect combination of refreshment options from healthy snacks, beverages and fresh food to office coffee service. For more information, please contact American Vending at (248) 895.2606.

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Warren and the Detroit Area, Meet Bubly, a New Sparkling Water Option

sparkling water options in the warren and the detroit area

“Buh-blee” or bubly, PepsiCo’s latest addition to the sparkling water beverage market, is poised to make a big splash. Warren and Detroit Area consumers continue to seek out specialized and personalized hydration options both at home and now more frequently, on-the-go. Bubly is an option that checks all of the necessary boxes.

Euromonitor, a market research firm, has predicted that the sparkling-water market will hit $2.6 billion this year, offering further evidence that sparkling water is an important beverage choice everywhere. This is especially important to understand in foodservice establishments like your Warren and Detroit Area break room because consumers visit foodservice locations more than 200 times per year. That’s a lot more foot traffic than even grocery stores see.

With the increase in demand for refreshing and healthy beverages, bubly is an upbeat and playful option that offers 12 unique flavors with no artificial flavors, no sweeteners and no calories and can be sold in any type of vending services’ environment from vending machines to fountain units.  

sparkling water options in the warren and the detroit area

In addition to traditional bottled water, enjoying sparkling water offers Warren and Detroit Area employees multiple benefits.

Hydration: just like regular drinking water, sparkling water (with no added sweeteners) is hydrating. At its most basic level, being dehydrated negatively affects how the cells in the body function and is something that should be avoided.   

Swallowing: a 2015 study found that sparkling or carbonated water may help with one’s swallowing ability. “Carbonated water showed the strongest ability to stimulate the nerves responsible for swallowing.” 

Hunger: according to the National Institutes of Health, sparkling or carbonated water may increase feelings of fullness by causing food in the stomach to stay there longer. This is great news for those individuals who are concerned about eating too much.  

Productivity: proper hydration levels are not only necessary for one’s body to function properly, but they play an important role in cognitive performance. Dehydrated employees are more likely to have slower reaction times, poorer short-term memory and trouble paying attention which negatively impacts overall productivity. 

What type of sparkling water can your Warren and Detroit Area employees find in their break room? It doesn’t matter which type of vending services you offer, vending machines, a micro-market or pantry service, this type of beverage and others can be added to any menu. 

For more information about updating your current beverage menu or creating a new one from scratch, contact American Vending at (248) 895.2606. We would be happy to help.

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Three Beverage Trends to Explore in Warren and the Detroit Area During 2019

Beverage Trends in Warren and the Detroit Area

Everyone has that one beverage that they can’t live without. It might be a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, a specific brand of bottled water, or a favorite carbonated beverage from childhood. While those beverages often spark feelings of contentment, comfort or happiness, there are new cold beverages out there waiting to be discovered.
In 2019, Warren and Detroit Area employees will find new approaches to three very popular beverages, soft drinks, coffee and iced tea.

Artisan or Craft Soft Drinks

The interest in artisan or craft soft drinks has increased as Warren and Detroit Area consumers look to explore new products and flavors and seek to match their personal beliefs with the products they purchase. Craft soft drinks are thought to be healthier as they are made from natural and organic ingredients and are made by smaller, more artisanal companies who put a lot of care into their products. For consumers and these producers, craft soft drinks are not simply consumable products; they have a story to tell. Whether it’s helping their local community or the environment, each organization and/or beverage has a specific focus and purpose.

Cold-brew Coffee

Cold-brew coffee has been available for a couple years in a small number of locations, but that has changed. Today, this coffee beverage can be found in a variety of Warren and Detroit Area locations in several different forms including ready-to-drink, single-serve containers, bulk containers, and on tap. Crafted at room temperature over a long period of time, cold brew is up to 70 percent less acidic than traditionally brewed hot coffee. The more balanced, lower acidic levels of cold brew are the result of a slower, cooler brewing process and are responsible for a smoother, creamier, full-bodied and less bitter taste profile.

Beverage Trends in Warren and the Detroit Area

Specialty Iced Tea  

While iced tea, as we know it today, has been around since the early 1900s, new and specialty flavors are making their way to the front of the line. For many Warren and Detroit Area consumers, the traditional flavors from unsweetened black or green tea are not enough. Consumers want the benefits of unsweetened tea, but they also want a sweeter flavor without the extra sugar. The hibiscus plant is a popular solution to the problem with its sweet flavor and bright, appealing color, and there has been a 62 percent increase in its use in iced tea since 2014. Offering specialty iced teas in ready-to-drink containers such as cans and bottles has also helped increase the visibility and availability of these tasty beverages.

Can Warren and Detroit Area employees purchase any of these beverage choices in their break room? Instead of going off-site to purchase a craft soft drink, a cold-brew coffee, or a specialty iced tea, meet your employees where they are — at work.

Whether it’s customizing a new vending machine or micro-market beverage menu, American Vending can help. We offer a wide variety of hot and cold beverages as well as snacks and fresh food. For more information or to schedule a tasting, please contact us at (248) 895.2606.  

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Warren and the Detroit Area Love Salty Snacks

Healthy snack options in Warren and the Detroit AreaSalty snacks are here to stay. Warren and Detroit Area individuals will continue to find them at a variety of retail establishments, at home and at work. In fact, a recent report developed by Freedonia Focus Reports found that the demand for corn chips is expected to outgrow the demand for potato chips. But it’s not just the demand for traditional salty snacks that is on the rise. Individuals want to enjoy new salty product offerings that are healthier.

Saltiness like sweetness is one of those tastes that can cause Warren and Detroit Area employees to eat too much of it. The human body needs salt, but it is important to be careful how much salt one eats. Understanding how much salt is the right amount of salt for one’s body is challenging. It’s sort of like “Too little, too much, and just right.”

Let’s take a look at why the “just right” spot is so important.

Salt consists of sodium and chloride, and sodium and chloride play a crucial role in maintaining human health. Since the human body cannot produce sodium and chloride, an outside source is needed. That source is salt. A familiar example of using and replacing sodium and chloride in the human body is when Warren and Detroit Area individuals excrete sodium and chloride by sweating. They then replenish the lost sodium and chloride by consuming salt.

The components of salt are very important.

  • Sodium is essential for nerve and muscle function, is involved in the regulation of fluids in the body and helps to control blood pressure and volume.
  • Chloride, an electrolyte, regulates fluids, transmits nerve impulses, maintains the acid-base (pH) balance in the body, and is a crucial component in the production of stomach acid (HCl).

Healthy snack options in the Warren and Detroit AreaBut too much salt is unhealthy.

  • People who consume too much sodium may develop hypertension or high blood pressure, a condition that can lead to serious illnesses such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.
  • When too much chloride is in the body, the high levels of acid in the blood can cause a condition called hyperchloremia to occur.

Warren and Detroit Area employees should take the time to figure out what their “just right” amount of salt is. Then, when the mood strikes for something salty, try one these better-for-you, salty snacks.

  • multigrain or whole-grain tortilla chips
  • whole grain pretzels, plain or in a variety of flavors
  • edamame with sea salt
  • baked sweet potato or regular potato chips
  • veggie chips
  • baked lentil or brown rice chips
  • popcorn
  • black olives

As a Warren and Detroit Area employer, remember to include a variety of healthy, salty snacks for your employees in the break room vending machines or micro-market. It will provide an on-site refreshment option and help your employees stay healthy and productive. And don’t forget to include cold beverages such as bottled water to balance the salt.

For more information about customizing the perfect combination of snacks, beverages and fresh food in your break room, call American Vending at (248) 895.2606.

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Healthy and Fun Food Trends in Warren and the Detroit Area

Healthy options in the Warren and Detroit areaFinding the right balance between healthy and not-so-healthy foods can be challenging especially if one’s current diet feels boring, but it doesn’t have to be. A variety of new food trends can be found throughout Warren and the Detroit area that will satisfy a healthy craving or offer a bit of silliness and hopefully, bring things into balance.

Healthy Food Trends

Turmeric Milk or Golden Milk: The primary ingredients in this beverage are cow’s or plant-based milk, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Not only does this beverage contain antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but it has also been found to help form new connections in the brain and promote brain cell growth.

Gut-Friendly Foods: This group of foods includes sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir, and pickles, all of which have undergone the process of fermentation or pickling. A short explanation of fermentation is that yeast or bacteria is added to a particular food and then feeds on the natural sugars in that food. The result is a preserved product that contains gut-healthy probiotics and other helpful nutrients.

Drinkable Soups: Easy to enjoy on-the-go or throughout the workday, drinkable soups are made with vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant-packed produce and are packaged in ready-to-drink containers. Similar in consistency to smoothies, drinkable soups offer a more filling, higher fiber, and lower sugar option that can replace a less healthy snack.

Healthy is super important, but we also need a little fun in our lives. Enjoying fun food trends (in moderation of course) is a great way to taste something new and have fun.

Healthy options in Warren and Detroit areaFun Food Trends

Rolled Ice Cream: Part of what makes rolled ice cream so intriguing is its preparation method. Using a process that is similar to the one used to make a classic Yule log dessert, liquid ice cream is poured on a cold slate which freezes the ice cream. The frozen sheet of ice cream is then rolled by hand, sliced, and served with a variety of toppings. Yum!

Doughnuts with Customized-Fillings: ‘Boutique’ doughnut shops have been popping up across the U.S., and the options are endless. Unique ingredients include sweet and regular potato, pumpkin, and fruit jellies. Fillings and flavors such as custard, snickers bars, and banana malt and toppings like bacon, marshmallows, and cereal can also be found. There’s a flavor combination for everyone.

Instead of seeing your Warren and Detroit area employees always going off site to find something healthy or fun to eat, provide them with a reason to stay on site. Offer a balance of healthy and fun beverage, snack, and food options in your break room micro-market or vending machines. To create a customized menu for your organization, survey your employees about their preferences, but don’t forget to include coffee service options in your survey. Coffee, tea, and espresso-based beverages can also be fun and healthy.

Increase the odds that all of your Warren and Detroit area employees can find something in the break room with a custom break room menu designed by American Vending. We can help you create a space that is inviting, fun, and relaxing all at the same time. For more information, call American Vending at (248) 895.2606.

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Coffee, Cells, and the Domino Effect in Warren and the Detroit Area

Office coffee options in Warren and the Detroit areaFour cups of coffee. That’s all the caffeine it takes to trigger a protective effect in the human heart. Researchers have known for awhile that drinking coffee plays a positive role in lowering the risk of developing type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but the how remained somewhat elusive. Until today. Researchers at the Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University and the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Duesseldorf, Germany have discovered new knowledge about how caffeine interacts with cells in the human body.

All living beings, including humans, are made up of cells. In fact, there are about 200 different types of cells in a human body that do everything from creating linings to repairing different parts of the heart muscle. It’s the caffeine in those four cups of coffee that triggers the domino effect which ends with the protection and repair of the heart muscle.

In a very simplified explanation, caffeine is like the hand that knocks over the first domino in a long line of dominoes. Each time a domino falls, it starts a new reaction in the next domino until the very last domino tips over, and the process is complete. For one of the types of cells in the human heart, caffeine creates an environment where the heart muscle cells are protected from damage or repaired when damage happens.  

In a different line of dominoes, caffeine is one of the many components that help Warren and Detroit Area employees stay healthy. Healthy employees then contribute to the process of creating a successful workplace by being productive, alert, and energized. Employers have the opportunity to play an important role in this line of dominoes by providing a variety of snacks and beverages that contain caffeine in the break room vending machine.

Office coffee options in Warren and the Detroit AreaCoffee isn’t the only beverage that contains caffeine. Both hot tea and cold sweet tea contain caffeine although the caffeine levels will vary based on the type of tea. Matcha (tea) has the most caffeine followed by Yerba Mate, black tea, and oolong and green tea. Other cold beverages with caffeine include carbonated colas and energy drinks. Caffeinated snacks include products made with chocolate, protein bars, energy bars, espresso beans, and energy gum.Thankfully, there is a caffeinated option for almost everyone.  

Which caffeinated break room beverage or snack do your Warren and Detroit Area employees seek out the most? Is it coffee, or maybe something else? In any case, it is important to learn your employees’ preferences to be able to encourage them to stay onsite and visit the break room instead of leaving the premises and going to a local cafe or restaurant. American Vending would like to help your organization customize your employee break room to meet your employees’ coffee, snack, and beverage wishes. For more information about about micro-markets, coffee service, or vending services, contact us at (248) 895-2606. We look forward to working with you.

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Find a Bit of Spice in Your Warren and Detroit Area Snack Vending Machine

vending machine options in Warren and the Detroit AreaWith Halloween rapidly approaching, it’s time to reassess the sweet treats in your Warren and Detroit Area vending machine and consider which sweet snacks would be better with some heat. Spicy snacks have been around for awhile, but they were usually located in the ‘not-sweet’ snack section of the break room vending machine. It’s time to explore new flavor combinations and see what happens when your favorite candy is mixed with a bit of spice.

Historically, cinnamon was the most frequently used spice in the U.S. to add heat to candy. With the increased awareness of and interest in Latin American flavors, that has changed. Today, Warren and Detroit Area employees can find a mix of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors from cayenne, habanero, or sriracha in their sweet vending machine snacks. And Warren and Detroit Area employees are buying a lot of them.

Based on recent sales’ data from CandyStore.com, sales of spicy and hot-flavored candy increased 25 percent between June 2017 and June 2018. Larry Levin, EVP of Consumer and Shopper Marketing at IRI, a market research firm, reported that “sales for non-chocolate spicy and hot attributed candy products are growing eight times faster than non-chocolate in general, at a rate of 25%.” A 25 percent increase over a 12-month period is huge considering that growth in candy, as an industry, has been less than one percent.

There’s just one more thing to mention.

Break Room options in Warren and the Detroit AreaIf Warren and Detroit Area employees are not used to the heat from certain spices, it is important to offer them different options in the break room that will cool the heat. The following suggestions might might help when things are just too spicy.

Milk: Plain milk is one of the best remedies, but if it’s not available, yogurt from a fresh food vending machine or a micro-market would be a great alternative.

Sugar: A teaspoon or a single packet of sugar from the office coffee service could also do the trick.

Milk Chocolate: The fat and casein (the protein in milk) content found in a milk chocolate bar from the vending machine can help combat the heat. While dark chocolate may have more health benefits, milk chocolate is a better choice in this case.

What combination of sweet and spicy do your Warren and Detroit Area employees hope to find in their break room? Whether it leans more to the sweet side or the spicy side, we can help you customize a solution that meets your employees needs and wishes. American Vending offers a variety of vending services including micro-markets, office coffee service, and vending machines. For more information, contact us at (248) 895.2606.

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Coffee and Collaboration in Warren and the Detroit Area

coffee options in Warren and Detroit area

Getting together with friends to grab a cup of coffee and catch up is a popular activity for many Warren and Detroit Area residents. But what about at work? Do those same individuals have the opportunity to enjoy a hot caffeinated beverage with their colleagues and talk or collaborate about work-related topics? If they don’t, it might be time to look at a new approach for combining coffee and collaboration at work.

You might be wondering what the connection between coffee and collaboration is. Before we get to that, let’s look at the benefits of collaboration by themselves. Collaboration, at its core, is the act of freely sharing knowledge quickly and easily. The result of collaboration is an increase in innovative products and solutions, which leads to improved employee engagement and satisfaction. In the long run, profitability also often increases. Unfortunately, a third of Warren and Detroit Area employees don’t experience the level of collaboration that they need to be successful.

This is where a cup of Joe comes into the picture.

coffee option in Warren and the Detroit area

Coffee, or more specifically the caffeine found in it, positively affects the outcome of group performance when the individuals in that group consumed caffeinated coffee beforehand. Recent research at The Ohio State University found that coffee made people more positive by making them more alert. This in turn created a better personal and group experience and better overall team performance results. Another related study found that the participants who consumed coffee in a group setting were also more likely to participate in the conversation and spent more time talking on-topic.   

To increase the likelihood that coffee and both spontaneous and planned collaboration occur more frequently, there are a few changes that can be made to your Warren and Detroit Area work environments.

Start by creating “collaboration zones.” That will mean different things to different organizations. For some, it might entail updating the office break room to include a micro-market with lots of smaller tables and seating areas that encourage conversation. Other Warren and Detroit Area businesses might prefer multiple smaller locations throughout the building with coffee service and vending machine snacks and beverages.

The key is to customize the space to fit your organization. That’s where American Vending comes in. We help Warren and Detroit Area businesses discover the right combination of beverages, snacks, and food to create a break room that supports employee collaboration. For more information or to take the first step, call us at (248) 895.2606. We look forward to collaborating with you.

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Sustainable Cocoa in Warren and the Detroit Area Snacks

Chocolate Snacks in Warren and the Detroit Area

Everyone, well almost everyone, loves to enjoy chocolate as one of their daily snacks. Whether it’s dark chocolate or milk chocolate, the key ingredient is cocoa. Without cocoa there are no chocolate snacks in Warren and the Detroit Area. Frank Mars, board member of Mars, Inc recently spoke at the Fourth World Cocoa Conference about his concern about the future of cocoa, and that should concern all chocolate lovers.

According to Frank Mars, the participants at the conference need “to think differently and work harder together; not only on better [cocoa] plant varieties and farming practices and models, but also on pest and disease control.” Mars further explained that the current progress is not enough to make cocoa sustainable unless more change is made.

Sustainable Cocoa

So what exactly is sustainable cocoa? According to the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa, sustainable cocoa is cocoa “produced according to economic, environmental, and social requirements, either through internationally recognized standards such as Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade, or through sourcing comparable to those standards, which have been verified by an “approved method.” Put simply, cocoa farmers need to be able to produce more cocoa seed on less land with fewer pesticides. The increased cocoa yields would allow farmers to plant crops for themselves in place of less efficient cocoa trees thereby improving their own livelihood and quality of life.

Chocolate Snacks in Warren and the Detroit Area

Warren and Detroit Area Employees

Why should Warren and Detroit Area employees be concerned about the cocoa in their chocolate snacks? Because the quality of cocoa used to make chocolate snacks is impacted by the growing, harvesting, fermenting & drying (processing), roasting & grinding, and pressing methods used to make cocoa. Growing, harvesting, and fermenting & drying (processing) are also stages that are directly impacted by sustainable farming practices.

This is important because according to recent research by the Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science, “harvesting and processing of the cocoa seed determines the final cocoa flavanol content,” and “the cocoa seed has a unique combination of flavanols that is found in no other food exactly as it is found in cocoa.” Flavanols are beneficial for Warren and Detroit Area employees’ health. Not only do flavanols support heart health but they also positively impact cognitive function and circulation.

Healthy and mentally sharp employees are great for any Warren and Detroit Area business. One way to ensure that employees have access to snacks with chocolate made from sustainable cocoa is to offer those snacks in the break room vending machine or micro-market. The snacks are healthier, as long as there isn’t too much sugar in them, and easier to find since they are onsite. Don’t forget to offer other healthy beverages such as bottled water or coffee and tea in the office break room to enjoy with a chocolate snack — hydration is also important.

For more information about updating your snack options or customizing a new break room, call American Vending at (248) 895.2606. We look forward to working with you.

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Understanding the Warren and Detroit Area Micro-Market Shopper

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The micro-market is drawing more Warren and Detroit Area employees into their at-work break room than traditional vending ever has. This increase is great news for both employers and vending operators. Now, the biggest challenge is determining which beverages, snacks, and food options to offer to keep bringing those new customers back.

The solution — understand the mindset of the micro-market shopper.

Before getting to know your Warren and Detroit Area micro-market consumers, it is important to acknowledge the three types of shoppers: traditional, traditional-healthy, and healthy.

Traditional

The traditional consumer usually prefers products that are traditionally found in vending machines. Their go-to place for snacks and beverages, these employees have been making purchases from the break room vending machine since before the micro-market was available. The key to keeping traditional consumers coming back to the micro-market is to offer multiple flavors of their favorite snacks and beverages.  

Traditional-Healthy

The traditional-healthy consumer moves back and forth between the two sides. They express a desire for healthier items, but micro-market sales reports show that they still mostly purchase traditional items. One way to engage traditional-healthy consumers is to offer extensions of familiar items that meet new wellness trends, such as snack items with more protein or smaller calorie packs.

Healthy   

The healthy consumer seeks out snacks, beverages, and meals that are good-for-you or better-for-you. Offering an expanded variety of options, the Warren and Detroit Area micro-market is a viable option for the healthy consumer. The biggest challenge is ensuring that the healthy product offerings are customized enough and, at the same time, broad enough for the majority. Balancing healthy items with traditional ones needs to be done carefully to ensure that the micro-market is profitable.

Micro-Market Options in Warren and the Detroit Metro Area

To learn what your employees are looking for in a micro-market consider asking them the following questions.

  • What types of snacks are most appealing? When would you consume them? Do they need to fulfill a purpose such as satisfy a sweet tooth or boost energy?
  • What types of beverages would you purchase? When would you consume them? Do they need to fulfill a purpose such as hydration, a caffeine boost, or a meal replacement?
  • What type of food would you buy?
  • Are you looking for a space that is like a convenience store or a place to sit and interact with colleagues?

By surveying your Warren and the Detroit Area employees about one or more topics, it is possible to have a better understanding about what they want. Identify common themes and overlapping results and choose products that meet the needs of at least two types of shopper. Considering why and when a specific item is chosen is another way to ensure that more employees will be able to enjoy it.

And don’t worry. American Vending is here to help you design a break room that fits exactly what your Warren and Detroit Area employees are looking for. Whether it’s a micro-market, healthy or traditional vending machines, or gourmet-style coffee service, we have a solution for everyone. To learn more, contact us at (248) 895.2606. We look forward to hearing from you.

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