As the holiday season approaches, the UK’s coffee chains and cafes are bustling with the festive spirit, unveiling an array of mouth-watering limited-edition delights that go beyond the traditional mince pies and gingerbread lattes (though if you’d like to read our thoughts on the top festive drinks from the big chains, read our article).
What’s intriguing is that these seasonal treats are no longer confined to the shelves of supermarkets or the counters of high street chains alone. In recent years, the culinary celebration of the holidays has expanded further into our lives, including workplace micro markets and fresh food vending machines.
So despite it being too late to order in some last minute festive foods for the office this year, why not read on and see how you can make a festive food change for next year?
Embracing Festivity in Every Bite
Coffee chains like Costa, Starbucks Café Nero, and Pret a Manger have become synonymous with special festive menus – so much so that the hype of the menus being released is almost as big a deal as getting hold of the food itself. We’d almost go so far as saying that as the hype for the release of Christmas adverts by retailers has dissipated over the last five years, hype for great festive food on the high street has skyrocketed.
From malted bread sandwiches adorned with succulent turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing to wraps and bechamel-filled toasties bursting with Christmas flavours, these offerings have evolved into a significant part of the UK’s Christmas culture. But as a UK consumer we only have so many hours in the evenings or weekends to enjoy these delicious limited edition foods.
Fear not, through the introduction of micro markets, an innovative concept gaining traction in workplaces, are now providing an alternative source for these seasonal delights. These markets, equipped with fresh food vending machines, smart fridges or standard fridges, offer a convenient way for employees to access high-quality, seasonal food without stepping out of the office.
That’s right. No longer will you need to limit yourself to the odd weekend toastie, you can enjoy many of the same delicious Christmas specials from the comfort of your office, meaning no need to step out in sub-zero temperatures or be battered by the famous British rain.
Why Micro Markets?
The concept of workplace micro markets has gained momentum as companies seek to enhance employee well-being and productivity. According to a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 73% of organisations with wellness programs reported improved employee morale and 72% reported increased productivity.
There are many ways that a micro market helps support wellbeing of staff, from the convenience and reduced stress of having access to amazing food and drink just a short walk from your desk, to knowing that your employer is willing to invest in making your workplace and overall work experience much more comfortable. These micro markets often have free or subsidised food and drink, including festive fresh food items and great quality bean to cup coffee. According to a report by Global Workplace Analytics, 77% of employees believe that the availability of fresh, high-quality food options at work positively impacts their job satisfaction. It continues to be one of the most underutilised areas for improving staff perks, whilst also offering some of the greatest return on investment.
And with a recent report by Allied Market Research predicting a compound annual growth rate of 17.6% in the global micro market industry between 2021 and 2028, many businesses are realising these benefits and putting their staff’s health and wellbeing at the forefront of both their HR and food and beverage strategies.
Seasonal Food Trends Beyond the High Street
The shift of festive foods into micro markets signals a broader trend in consumer behaviour. Employees are increasingly looking for diverse and high-quality food options within arm’s reach. Workplace micro markets and fresh food vending machines offering seasonal specialties, are aligning with this demand, as well as other major trends such as the emergence of veganism and vegetarianism.
According to a survey by the British Sandwich & Food to Go Association, 52% of respondents consider limited-edition festive food options important in their decision-making process when choosing where to buy lunch during the holiday season. This reflects the changing landscape of consumer preferences and emphasises the significance of readily available, seasonal offerings.
The evolution of festive food specials from exclusive offerings at coffee chains to readily available delights in workplace micro markets signifies a paradigm shift in how we approach festive food. As the demand for diverse, high-quality, and seasonal options grows, fresh food vending machines and micro markets are proving to be not just a workplace convenience but a culinary destination in their own right.
This festive season, let the workplace be a hub of celebration, bringing joy and delectable surprises to every employee’s lunch break. And if you’ve left it too late this year, don’t sweat it, you’ve plenty of time to get a micro market, commercial smart fridge of fresh food vending machine into the workplace for 2024!
Find out more about fresh food vending in the workplace by speaking with one of our vending experts on 01865 341011, or by sending us an enquiry. We’d love to hear from you.