min read

The Future of Food at Work

We've surveyed 200 companies in over 5 countries to find out the answer to one burning question: What is the future of food at work?

Askhat Zhumayev
January 20, 2021

We are very excited to share our view about the FUTURE OF FOOD AT WORK.

COVID has put a dent in the occupancy rates of offices and, as such, temporarily reduced the volume of food consumption at work. In the regions returning to the office we see an acceleration in the underlying shifts in corporate food demands and behaviors that were already emerging in the years before.

In the following we outline the demand shifts and resulting trends. Our insights were developed along with our top 200 customers and 50 suppliers around the globe.

We are observing 4 significant demand pattern shifts within our market:

1. Employees expect better food at work

Employees increasingly care about what they eat.

At home, they have access to a continuously increasing offering: from improved assortments in supermarkets, to home-delivered meal kits and food from their favorite local restaurants conveniently ordered through an app. An infinite variety of high-quality food available to everyone at any given moment.

This is now becoming the standard for what employees expect at the office and they do not want to settle for anything less.

2. Employers value “good food” as a low-cost/high-return company perk.

Tech companies started a trend with providing healthy, quality food for free at their premise to employees. Whilst initially not taken seriously by the “old economy”, many corporates have realized that the overall benefits of providing healthy food to employees outweighs its financial cost.

Indeed, studies have shown that providing healthy food increases productivity, morale, and employee satisfaction and retention levels, whilst also promoting a better company culture and reducing absenteeism.

3. Local sourcing and sustainability matters regardless of the times

Many companies have begun to fully integrate their CSR strategy into their business by adding sustainability metrics and share of locally sourced goods to their key procurement KPIs.

Employees identify with their employer’s CSR effort and value the meaning of “everyday” tangible initiatives: reduction of in-office plastic usage, support of local businesses and communities, sourcing of sustainable food with reduced carbon footprint and reduction of food waste etc.

4. Flexibility is king.

In the past, 10-year contracts with an all-in-one supplier were the norm for corporate services (and the preferred model by the Procurement department).

Such contracts have proven to be challenging, especially in ever faster changing times like these, without regard to the current challenges due to COVID, customers are now looking for a high degree of flexibility and customization, without long-term commitments.

As a result of the above, corporations are aiming to optimize their setup for each individual occasion across multiple dimensions: quality, variety, sustainability. To achieve this, they are increasingly splitting contracts for corporate food between multiple “food providers”. In addition, they use “technology providers” as integrators and the interface to their employees and users to ensure a frictionless experience. Technology is also used to reduce the CAPEX and gain flexibility.

We are very excited about the development of the market which is following the purpose of our company: Eat better at work.

Contact us to learn more how the most forward looking companies are implementing the above and how can you do it: requests.nl@ohmylunch.com

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