Good Food at Work

Healthy Workplace Food Is Served, Not Force-Fed

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Healthy office food: Fruit and keyboard on a desk.

Resistance to offering healthy workplace food options — whether it’s raised by cafeteria operators, vending machine operators, or company leaders — is often based on a myth that assumes employees demand unhealthy food, and don’t want healthy unprocessed food.

A new survey provides some evidence that it’s time we toss this myth down the garbage disposal. According to the 2017 Food and Health Survey, conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation:

  • 73% of college educated consumers and 51% of non-college educated consumers use nutrition information when eating out.
  • 76% are trying to avoid or limit sugars in their diet.
  • Healthfulness, along with taste and price, is a top driver of food purchasing decisions.
  • Women favor foods and beverages with no artificial ingredients.
  • 60% of those who regularly use nutrition info when eating out say it’s important that their food contains only natural ingredients.
  • The length of an ingredient list affects the perceived healthfulness of nutritionally identical products.

Overall, Americans say they take steps to eat healthy and understand the importance of expert nutrition guidance.

Undoubtedly, the Foundation brings food-industry bias to its positions. But that doesn’t necessarily invalidate its findings about increasing consumer demand for healthy food.

Other market surveys have had similar findings. A 2015 Workplace Food Insights survey by Sodexo, for example, found that eating healthy is “extremely” or “very important” to nearly 80% of surveyed workers.

I brought this point home in an article just published by Carol Harnett — employee benefits visionary — in Human Resources Executive Online…

Good food isn’t something you’re trying to convert employees to eat. It’s a need you’re seeking to accommodate.

Check out the article to get a taste of how the need for whole, fresh, well-prepared food has been met by at least one employer.


Author: Bob Merberg