Monthly Archives: September 2014

Smart Snacking

When that mid-afternoon slump hits and you need a snack to get you through the rest of the work day, it’s tempting to head to the vending machine and grab a candy bar or chips. But there are healthy snack options at the vending machine that will satisfy that salt or sweet craving but won’t completely sabotage the hard work you’ve put in at the gym. Some snacks even have nutritional fiber and protein, and protein is your best bet for increasing your energy.

Here are 10 top picks when you need a pick-me-up:

1. Planters Sunflower Kernels
2. Baked! Lays Original
3. Sun Chips Original
4. Snyder’s of Hanover Mini Pretzels
5. Smartfood Reduced-Fat Popcorn
6. Peanut M&M’s
7. Fig NewtonsNature Valley Smart Snacking
8. Nature Valley Granola Bar, Oats & Honey
9. Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts
10. Quaker Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bar, Chocolate Chunk

Other smart options include 100 percent fruit snacks and even Rice Krispie treats. So don’t fear the vending machines, just make smart snacking choices!

Apple Pay Will Change the Way You Pay

This week, many people are rushing out to get Apple’s newest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The new phones are much larger, thinner, and faster than their predecessor, iPhone 5. But one of the biggest features of the new phone, especially as it relates to vending, is its ability to now support near-field-communication (NFC) mobile payments.

With the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple also introduced Apple Pay. A user can place his or her thumb on the Touch ID, and the NFC antenna will transmit the payment from the phone to the merchant. When you add a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted, and securely stored in the Secure Element on your iPhone or Apple Watch. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique number using your Device Account Number, and instead of using the security code from the back of your card, Apple Pay creates a dynamic security code to securely validate each transaction.

NFC Mobile Payment

Dozens of large companies like McDonald’s, Walgreens, Staples, Subway, and Petco have already announced that they will begin accepting mobile payments. With 63.2 million iPhone users in the U.S. alone, according to Statista, Apple just opened up a huge customer base of potential NFC users.

Once users become accustomed to paying for everyday items at their local grocery stores, the mall and restaurants, they will come to expect the same mobile payment experience on their vending machines or micro markets. Many payment acceptors on vending machines and micro markets already have the ability to accept mobile payments using NFC, and with the introduction of Apply Pay, NFC may become the mobile payment of the future.

Making Healthier Choices at Vending Machines

Vending machines and snack carts have their fair share of tempting snack foods, but you can make healthier choices even when you are in a hurry at work and must rely on these options for lunch or a snack to get you through that next meeting.

Here are some nutritional guidelines to follow when selecting an item from a vending machine or snack cart. Healthier choices will meet the following criteria for a single serving, so be sure to read all nutrition labels:

Fat

  • Contains less than 35 fat calories for every 100 calories of the food.
  • Contains 1 gram or less of saturated fat calories for every 100 calories of the food.
  • Contains 0 g of trans-fat.
  • Nuts are exempt from fat criteria as they are high in monounsaturated fat and are therefore a healthy choice.

Sugar/Artificial Sweeteners

  • Contains less than 15g of sugar per serving, excluding sugar from fruit.
  • Sugar-free choices are acceptable if they meet the fat criteria.

Salt/Sodium

  • Snack items: Contain less than 480 mg of sodium per serving.
  • Entrée items: Contain less than 1000 mg of sodium per serving.

Protein

  • Item is a lean protein choice (fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, legumes, beans).
  • Must also meet the fat and sodium criteria.

Nuts/Seeds

  • Plain or spiced.
  • No candy-coated or yogurt-coated nuts/seeds.
  • Nuts are exempt from fat criteria as they are high in monounsaturated fat, as stated above.

Assorted nuts

Fruits/Vegetables

  • Fresh, canned, or dried fruits without added sweeteners.
  • Fresh vegetables and salads. Dressings must meet fat and sugar criteria.
  • 100% fruit or vegetable juices without added sweeteners, and meet salt/sodium criteria.

Whole Grains/Legumes

  • Whole grain breads and cereals must meet sugar criteria.
  • Prepared legume products must meet fat, sugar, and sodium criteria.
  • Items with at least 2 g of dietary fiber per serving are preferred.

Milk/Dairy Products

  • Non-fat or 1% dairy products (including cheese).
  • Frozen dairy items must be made with non-fat or 1% milk or meet fat criteria.

September Specials with Your USConnect OneCard

Take advantage of these great deals by using your USConnect OneCard on any of these products now through Sept. 30, 2014.

Quench your thirst

  • Buy 4 Mt. Dew bottles (any flavor) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Lipton Tea bottles (any flavor) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Mt. Dew Kickstarts and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 regular 7-Up, A&W, or Sunkist bottle beverages (mix and match) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Dr Pepper bottles (any variety) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Snapple bottle beverages and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Crystal Light On The Go Sticks (any flavors) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy an Aquafina bottle and a Sun Chip LSS together and save $0.50.

Satisfy that sweet tooth

  • Buy 4 Snickers bar singles and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Twix bar singles and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Dove Chocolate bar singles and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Welch’s Fruits Snacks single-serve (any variety) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Wonka Chewy Spree or Mini Chewy Sweetarts singles and get the 5th one free. Wonka Candy
  • Buy 4 Chips Ahoy single-serve sleeve or bag cookies and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Nature Valley Oats & Honey or Peanut Butter Granola Bars and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Chex Mix Muddy Buddies 1.75 oz and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Swedish Fish or Sour Patch Kids (2 oz size, mix and match) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Nestle candy miniatures bags (mix and match) and get the 5th one free
  • Buy 4 Gummi Factory Bears or Worms single-serve (mix and match) and get the 5th one free.

Grab a quick snack

  • Buy 4 Pringles cans (any size) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Cheetos Flamin’ Hot LSS 2 oz and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Rold Gold Pretzel Thins Three Cheese and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Combos single-serve (any flavor) and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Cheez-It’s single-serve and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy 4 Kraft String Cheese singles and get the 5th one free.

Make it a meal

  • Buy 4 Hot Pockets and get the 5th one free.
  • Buy any 4 Stouffer or Lean Cuisine meals and get the 5th one free.

With your USConnect OneCard, you earn points on each purchase. Cardholders earn 5 reward points for every dollar spent. Redeem those points online for cash back on your account.

Remember, your rewards also give back. At participating locations, 1.5% of every
dollar spent on your OneCard goes to the charity of your choice. Now that’s truly
rewarding!

For full terms and conditions, visit www.usconnectme.com/promotions.

Take a Tour of Route 66 Coffees!

Travel down Route 66 and discover flavorful coffees from all over the country with USConnect’s custom-roasted,  American heritage coffee line.
route 66 coffee

From the sunny shores of California to the Sonoran Desert to the heights of the Rocky Mountains to the Lone Star State, our Route 66 coffees will magically transport you from your desk to some of the most notable places of our great nation.

Take a tour down Route 66 every day, stopping to savor each of the distinctive flavors along the way. Route 66 offers four unique blends:

California Blonde

A light, sun-kissed roast

California Blonde is a light and lively, perfectly balanced cup that you can drink all day. Mild in flavor, with a light body and lively finish, California Blonde is as mellow as a day in the California sun.

Rocky Mountain Blend

The peak of flavor ­­– 100% Columbian

Flavor erupts from our Rocky Mountain Blend, a rare cup encompassing all of the qualities that first made Columbian coffee famous. Just like the heights of the Rockies, this blend is fresh and heady. You’ll have a 10,000-foot view of your day with this clean, mellow flavor balanced with a pleasant finish and distinctive aroma.

Lone Star Select Roast

An estate blend with the big, bold taste of Texas

Put some kick into your day with our Lone Star Select Roast. This 100% pure estate-grown coffee is as rich in flavor as the Texas soil. You’ll be transported to the ranch with the complex, pleasant aroma rising from your mug.

Sonoran Desert Decaf

A panoramic flavor experience

Take a trip to the Southwest with this seductive blend of our most flavorful coffees, where you’ll find a unique, rich flavor without the caffeine. We start with the finest Columbian and Central American coffees, then gently decaffeinate, blend, and roast them to perfection. You can enjoy this one all day long!

So take a coffee break and take a tour down Route 66.