5 Trends dominating Food Services in 2021

Anytime, anywhere, healthy, hygienic and nutritious meals.

Published on : 8/11/21
  • Health and Hygiene Meals at Workplaces to Enhance Work-life

    And this change has prompted a cascading effect in the ecosystem to ensure a comfortable working environment can be provided to the people so that business can be carried on uninterruptedly. Since food is an indivisible part of this ecosystem, there have been several changes in this space too.

    According to a survey carried out by Longitude, a Financial Times company, for Sodexo in early 2021, 96% of business leaders in India concurred that access to healthy food options at the workplace has assumed a lot of importance in the last 12 months. This finding has further put in perspective several interesting trends in the food space. Sodexo is progressively redesigning its food services based on these trends.

    Onsite and Central kitchen – People are now operating from 3 places - the workplace, their home or a co-working space. Employees attending offices avail food from their regular onsite kitchen. However, people working remotely also expect a similar food experience to be made available to them. This can only be possible through a central kitchen that caters to employees working at a designated distance from the kitchen.

    More and more clients are looking at this model of food service in the hybrid work era.

    says Karan Totlani, Segment Director for Corporate Services, Sodexo India.

    Employees working from home can benefit from the central kitchens near their residence. Our digital solutions will act as the vital enabler; employees can be mappedto the nearby central kitchen and they can access the digital menu and place their order. These central kitchens will then produce food and deliver at the employees’ doorsteps or collaborate with a logistics partner for last mile delivery. The employees can choose to rate their experience through the app; this feedback can help in further streamlining the process

    he added.

    Menu re-engineering –A handsome platter was served to people in the pre-pandemic times that mostly consisted of a lavish buffet spread. However, with good health and safety now being the prerequisites, the emphasis has shifted to pre-packed meal boxes and takeaways delivered touch-free. Food options have thus changed; preparations that can easily be accommodated in meal-boxes are given preference. However, expectations regarding taste of food remain intact.

    Sodexo consumers continue to expect a variety of food in the correct proportion. A complete meal offering consisting of seasonal vegetables is the usual requirement. Regional delicacies also add the personal touch. Multi-faceted snacking is also in vogue – energy in the morning, nutrition and satiety in the afternoon and fun and indulgence later in the evening. Evening snack is usually accompanied by tea or coffee. Although culinary experts continue to recommend food that travels well, but ‘Flavour Rules’ remains the guiding principle. No wonder, Biryani remains on top of our ‘most ordered delicacy’ as per recent surveys

    remarked Irfan Khan, Urban Food Segment Lead, Corporate Services, Sodexo India.

    Health and Hygiene –  People are looking for healthy food options. Rice and wheat are being replaced by millets; plant based proteins instead of animal proteins are in demand. People want nutritious and balanced meals that can help them build immunity. They are also more conscious about the carbon footprint and hence want sustainable food packaging too that can also be placed in microwave. Plastic is out; reusable containers are in.

    Sodexo ensures that food delivery is as per FSSAI guidelines, the accredited food authority in India. Also, standardized recipes, modern cooking equipment like combi ovens, induction-based cooking systems that enable precision cooking are a part of the kitchens. Emphasis is placed on fresh food sourcing from local vendors and the entire food supply chain that includes processing, packaging and last mile delivery are given prime importance. Temperature, taste and nutritive content of food is retained”, says Srikanth Vasanthanrajan, Food Platform Head, Sodexo India

    Technology –Cafeteria management has evolved. The entire process of food ordering, delivery and payment is being done through an app. Since there is a need for social distancing, staggered entry and monitoring of temperature inside the cafeteria, people can now order their food in advance, book tables, take touch-free delivery of their food box and pay for it, all through the app.

    Our partnership with the country’s leading food tech platform assures us of giving safest cafeteria experience to our end customer where they can track the congestion in the cafeteria, book their slots and place order accordingly. Also, the workplace team gets real time visibility for various touch points in the cafeteria ensuring better control. These changing times require us to bring in new tools to enhance customer experience and we thrive on brainstorming more customized offerings for our customers.

    Overall experience –With social distancing in play, people are feeling isolated even after coming to the workplace. According to the Longitude survey, 80% of business leaders in India feel, food and catering facilities at the workplace is going to be extremely important when a widespread return to physical workspaces becomes possible. Hence, the food hall experience at the workplace carries great significance. People are looking for a mix of all options – buffet, grab & go as well as vending options for both food and beverages. They still want the best of food brands to offer them the finest experience in the food halls.

    At Sodexo, an eclectic mix of our branded food concept - Foodiverse - offers a unique food hall experience at the workplace. An array of expertly curated brands, each in an engaging environment, is key to delivering a complete experience; one that caters to Indian dietary requirements.  The unique taste stems from incorporation of global best practices. Foodiverse is tailored to induce excitement and engagement to the cafeteria ecosystem, converting cafeteria into spaces where people can connect, collaborate and celebrate.

    To sum up, employees are trying their best to adapt to the new normal and work efficiently in this hybrid workspace of home, office and co-working place. And organisations also need to rise to the occasion to provide their workforce with the best food experience that enhances their Quality of Life.

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