Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coffee Breaks and #EqualCanada (#CBias)

I haven't been in the office much this month, between vacation and being so sick. But I ventured in for a meeting last Wednesday. (I thought I should probably remind folks I still worked there too.) The meeting went well, and pretty much everyone I encountered that morning agreed I was not well enough yet to return. So they sent me home with orders not to come back before Monday. I think they were right, and I thank them for it.

But, since I was at the office, I allowed myself to indulge in a favourite treat - coffee break!! I don't always remember to take a break at work I admit, but the coffee break is such a wonderful invention. Step away from the desk, stretch your legs, clear your head and re-caffeinate. Yes. I had extra motivation this time, as I was on a #CBias mission for #EqualCanada.

mmm, icing
My favourite caffeine destination is Tim Horton's, and I'm lucky enough to have one in our building, so I headed over around 10:30. Since I was feeling under the weather I opted for a large steeped tea. I honestly don't know what they do with their steeped tea, but it tastes amazing. I find it a great pick-me-up in the afternoons especially, when I try to back off the higher caffeine content of coffee. And, lucky me! It's October, so Tim Horton's has brought back a seasonal fave - the pumpkin spice muffin! They also have a  doughnut, timbit, and tea in this flavour, if you're interested in more.

I usually have a little bit of sugar in my tea or coffee, but many of my friends and family opt for artificial sweeteners, whether for issues of health or weight management. My Dad switched to sweetener decades ago when he was diagnosed with diabetes, and Mom switched with him, for weight management and support. I noticed that this location offered white sugar, plus two brands of artificial sweetener. Equal was not one of those offered, and I asked. The staff looked a little confused to be honest. I'm not sure if they'd been questioned before. I suggested that they should consider adding this third option, and she agreed to pass on my feedback to the manager when they came in. (They had no comment cards available unfortunately so I later filled one in online at TellTimHortons.)

Then I decided to take a little walk down the hall and check out our other two sources of hot beverages - Starbucks and the cafeteria. Starbucks had white and raw sugar, plus another brand of sweetener. The cafeteria had only white and raw sugar on display! I did ask one of the ladies at the cafeteria, and they had sweetener under the counter, including Equal. (And Equal was provided, along with another brand, with the coffee they sent for our meeting that morning.)

Cafeteria
Starbucks

All three of these locations are under the same overall management of our food services department. I think what I found particularly interesting then was that the sweeteners seemed to be considered interchangeable. But from all that I have heard from my friends that use sweetener, this is not the case. The formulations and sugar substitutes are different across brands, as is the resulting taste. Many people are quite brand loyal to their sweetener. I think it makes sense to provide a variety of options to ensure individual taste can be accommodated.

In reading the #EqualCanada website, I learned that the company is responding to individual taste by expanding their own line of artificial sweeteners. They now offer both saccharin and sucralose varieties of Equal for their customers in addition to the original. To learn more about the brand and how artificial sweeteners may fit into your life, you can visit their website, follow them on Twitter @EqualCanada, or check out Equal Canada on Facebook.

In the meantime, I will continue with my Timmie's coffee break habit. I'll be interested to see if Equal shows up on their counter in the next couple of weeks.








Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions shared are my own

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