How MicroMarkets are shaping lunch breaks of the future
Paleo, low carb, clean eating, these popular health-conscious nutrition trends have one thing in common: they show that people are conscientious of their own eating habits. While this is particularly true outside of the office, it’s also a growing topic in the workplace. After all, we do spend a lot of time there and employees have begun to expect healthy office lunches and snacks. MicroMarkets are gaining attention as a great solution.
Clear trend: healthy convenience food
In the US, MicroMarkets have been on the rise in recent years. The first companies started setting up their own MicroMarkets in 2011, and by 2015 more than 10,000 companies had already invested in this type of catering solution. The amount doubled over the following year and experts expect to see the number of companies offering healthy office lunches rise to 35,000 by 2022.
MicroMarkets are a response to the changing needs of society and the working world, including a huge growth in flexibility and the desire to eat healthily at work. Furthermore, food should also easily accessible. There isn’t enough time for a proper lunch break at work, so many employees prefer takeaway lunches. However, for some, 'convenience food' is seen as too expensive and unhealthy.
Express HUB MicroMarket: canteen meets convenience
An Express HUB MicroMarket combines convenience, time-saving and a variety of healthy food options.
Time has become a scarce and valuable resource in the modern working world. Choices of a healthy snack between meals can be quite limited. Those who can’t make it to the canteen during opening hours ultimately fall back on vending machines and convenience foods. In this sense, MicroMarkets combine both worlds: a comfortable atmosphere where employees like to relax and where they can also help themselves to a diverse range of easily available food products.
A real alternative for production and shift workers
An Express HUB MicroMarket can also be a real alternative for production staff, since food selection in traditional vending machines is typically limited and canteens are often located too far away from their actual place of work.
...and appealing options for the health-conscious millennials
MicroMarkets are also popular with millennials. Not only do young people account for an increasingly large share of today’s job market, but they also have greater awareness in terms of consumption. This awareness brings about a level of trust with specific manufacturers and healthy products.
Wage and other benefits are not the only factors playing an important role in today's “war for talent”. Millennials often place great importance on work-life balance, as well as the meaningfulness of duties and the company’s reputation. Companies that actively seek out modern food concepts to provide to their staff are seen as more appealing employers and are likely to retain employees in the long run.
Social benefits of MicroMarkets
One of the most important advantages of MicroMarkets is that employees can catch up with one another in a friendly location and strike up casual conversations with other colleagues. After all, these corporate mini supermarkets can be designed based on the company’s particular preferences, so that employees enjoy spending time there.
Similar to a trendy café, personal interaction with colleagues in an enjoyable and modern atmosphere can increase employee motivation, which will lead to an increase in productivity.
Which companies can benefit from a MicroMarket?
MicroMarkets have been shown to be particularly suitable for companies with more than 100 employees. Businesses with a larger number of employees can also supplement their traditional staff canteens with MicroMarkets, ideal as they can be customised to differing requirements. A variety of options are available: a space-saving version, which needs nothing more than a free wall; or companies with a bit more space can use an empty corner; and -- when resources allow for the maximum upgrade – a whole room can be furnished with seating arrangements and a wide variety of food products.
No matter which option is chosen, a MicroMarket can increase employee satisfaction and productivity in the long term, especially as part of an overall corporate health management system.
An Express HUB has the potential to enrich future workplaces. Please contact us if you want to find out more about how to integrate a MicroMarket into your company.