Keep employees fueled all day long with tasty, convenient snacks

August 30, 2018

Keep employees fueled all day long with tasty, convenient snacks

The 3 p.m. slump isn’t just a myth that employees make up as an excuse for lower productivity in the afternoons. This late-day crash could be from having a heavy lunch, a short night of sleep or a stressful day, but whatever’s causing someone’s mid-afternoon snack cravings, it presents opportunity for retailers.

Of course, mid-afternoon isn’t the only time of the day when a worker might need a little boost in the form of fueling-up food. Not enough time at home for breakfast calls for a pick-me-up on the way to work or mid-morning, and sometimes what they packed for lunch isn’t enough. No matter when they’re feeling ready for a snack, employees should have a convenient way to get the foods they’re craving, whether it’s something healthy or a more indulgent option. According to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion report, consumers tend to consume snacks like bagels, cereal, croissants and muffins in the morning—perhaps because they’re looking for something more healthful and substantial to get them started. Later in the day, they’re purchasing indulgent options like brownies, cake, cookies, cupcakes and other sweets.

What employees want

More than 40% of consumers say that they typically eat three meals a day, but make room for a few snacks in between those meals, and nearly 60% grab a snack at least two times a day, according to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion report. And when some consumers snack, they’re doing so to replace a meal entirely—47% of consumers replace breakfast with a snack, while 53% replace lunch with one. For these consumers, offering snacks that are portable, filling and nutritious is key, but another aspect is convenience. New iterations of the workplace vending machine—including onsite convenience stores and even desk delivery (via apps or a snack cart, for instance)—have created new ways for foodservice operators to increase snack sales.

When choosing snacks, 34% of consumers say they’re choosing healthier foods now than they were two years ago, and the top drivers of snack purchases include finding an option high in protein (52% reported this as important), snacks that are energizing (48%) and ones that are high in fiber (43%). With that in mind, offices and onsite c-stores/delivery programs should offer hearty snacks that are filling and nutritious (as well as the standard packs of cookies or crackers for those who want a snack and aren’t concerned with fiber, protein or other health attributes.

Offering snacks for desk delivery

All day snacking isn’t likely to slow any time soon, so when it comes to keeping employees happy, offering a range of functional to indulgent options is key, but giving them the option to acquire the snacks without leaving their desks is perhaps even more important. With busy schedules and days where it’s just not possible to get away from their inbox, desk delivery snacks are the perfect solution. Companies like GoPuff and the Ottawa, Canada-based Desk Nibbles are currently pioneering straight-to-desk delivery, offering users the opportunity to purchase snacks either for themselves or for the whole office and have them delivered. But for foodservice operators, that’s money lost. To keep the costs lower and the money in-house, operators can instead offer these desk-delivery services themselves—it’s as easy as sending out emails, setting up an app or listing a phone number that employees can call when they want a snack.

When buying snacks for a company, whether it’s to deliver straight to an employee’s desk, sell in the cafeteria or stock up in the break room, it’s important to take the data into consideration and choose appropriately. Offering an array of tasty snacks as well as healthful, “guilt-free” options is key for increasing sales.

Choosing from snacks that consumers will be enticed with can include:

  • • High in protein: Snacks are often thought of as high-carb or sugary, but there are options out there that will satiate an employee by giving them an extra-large boost of protein. For example, Protein Bites from Enjoy Life Foods have six grams of protein per serving, while the company’s single-serving Seed & Fruit packages contain seven grams per pouch.
  • • High in fiber: Fiber is another nutrient that keeps employees energized and alert, so it makes sense that’s what they might crave when in a slump. Options from belVita Breakfast Bars are rich in whole grains and are a good source of fiber, and certain options might even combine the need for protein- and fiber-rich snacks. For example, belVita Protein Soft Baked Biscuits have 10 grams of protein and three grams of fiber.
  • • All-day treats: Everyone needs a treat once in a while, so employees will be thrilled to find a little something sweet available to snack on. Consumers like seeing their favorite brands available for purchase, so products such as OREO Cookies, NEWTONS, CHIPS AHOY, NUTTER BUTTER and SOUR PATCH KIDS are likely to be popular.

With an array of options and the knowledge that they can keep working while waiting for their food to arrive, employees can beat the 3 p.m. slump in a delicious, convenient way.

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