Office snacks encourage healthy eating

By Doug DeLoach – Contributing Writer

A breakroom stocked with healthy snacks (often free for employees) is a popular perk at many businesses. Sometimes, the in-between-meal edibles are part of a company wellness program, sometimes simply part of corporate culture. Multiple studies have demonstrated that actions such as this, that focus on employee health and wellness, offer companies a solid return on investment, including high employee satisfaction.

According to a survey last year of members of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), nearly one-third of companies increased their overall benefits offerings in the last year. The most popular benefits added were health (22 percent) and wellness (24 percent), and the top reason for adding benefits was to remain competitive. In 2014, 20 percent of companies surveyed offered company-paid snacks and beverages, which rose to 22 percent in 2017. Sixty-one percent of companies last year offered snacks and beverages for which employees paid.

Decisely Insurance Services in Atlanta offers its 90 employees free perishable snacks – such as fruits and vegetables – purchased by CEO Kevin Dunn or his wife. The company also subscribes to a snack service, which twice a month ships shelf-stable healthy snacks such as nuts, jerky and dried fruits to the company’s offices in Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Sacramento, Calif. The snacks are part of the company’s overall employee wellness program, which encourages healthy eating and exercise. With fitness tracking devices and smart phones, employees monitor steps taken per day or steps within a certain period of time, for which they can earn up to $3 per day applied to their healthcare, said Dunn.

The office snacks contribute to a healthy office environment for Decisely, an insurance broker for other small businesses that has been named a Healthiest Employer by Atlanta Business Chronicle.

“We see how this practice actually translates into better economics for the company,” Dunn said, adding that those better economics are measured both in quantitative ways — by tracking the reduction in sick days, for example — and by observation.

“Eating healthy snacks may not be the sole reason why we have so few sick days, but we think it’s highly correlated,” Dunn said. “We also notice that people seem more present and more emotionally engaged, which allows them to accomplish what they need to do in the office.”

In 2013, executives at BIS Benefits, issued a company-wide challenge to its workforce to exercise, eat healthy and stay hydrated. Company leaders encouraged employees to stretch and walk around the building twice a day. They stocked the kitchen with fresh fruits, healthy snacks and bottled water, and ordered lunches from a local deli during meetings.

“We wanted to practice what we preach,” said Marla Mohr, wellness specialist/account manager at BIS.

Two years later, BIS was named Healthiest Employer in the Small Employers category by Atlanta Business Chronicle.

When BIAS Corporation moved into its new headquarters in Roswell, Ga., in 2017, management took advantage of owning the building to customize the office space with amenities related to employee health and wellness. Executives of the Oracle-centric IT services and consulting firm created a social lounge in the building with a pantry stocked with snacks such as granola bars, protein bars, dried fruit, trail mix, nuts, whole grain chips, coconut and banana chips. As a recent study by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that most food consumed at work is high in fat, sugar and salt, BIAS Corporation chose a different direction.

“We want to provide employees with an alternative in hopes they will reach for a healthy snack over junk food,” said John Ezzell, executive vice president and co-founder, adding that the company spends at least $300 per month on drinks and snacks, which averages about $3 per employee.

Like most companies, BIAS does not follow a specific nutritional guide to determine what to offer in the pantry, Ezzell said. However, its stocked kitchen is part of BIAS Fit, a company-sponsored wellness program that includes access to lunch-and-learn seminars that provide nutritional information, he added.

Wellness also has been an integral part of corporate culture at Kabbage, an Atlanta-based financial technology firm. Part of that strategy includes offering employees free snacks each day.

“From low-calorie and organic products to responsibly sourced snacks, animal-alternative options — and, yes, the occasional bag of Cheetos — we give our employees plenty of options,” said Amy Zimmerman, head of people operations at Kabbage.

In addition to snacks and drinks, the kitchen is stocked with fresh edibles from The Fruit Guys, a San Francisco-based company with a nationwide delivery network, which provides whole, unwashed fruit to offices, schools and homes.

“We don’t have a hard time keeping the fruit from the spoiling – everything gets eaten,” Zimmerman said.

Kabbage encourages employee feedback about its snack program, which Zimmerman said costs around $3,000 annually per employee.

“We want everyone to have something they can enjoy eating and feel good about in the process,” she added.

The bite on office snacks

“A significant number of working Americans obtain foods and beverages from work and the foods they obtain do not align with dietary guidance.”

  •  Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of working adults obtain food or beverages at work during the week.
  • It is more common for college graduates, women and non-Hispanic whites to obtain food at work.
  • Acquiring food for free at least once (17 percent) is more common than purchasing food at least once (8 percent).
  • Free food accounted for 71 percent of all calories acquired at work.
  • The leading food types obtained at work include those typically high in fat, added sugars or sodium such as pizza, soft drinks, cookies/brownies, cakes and pies, and candy.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study: Foods and Beverages Obtained at Worksites in the United States, 2018

Snack trends in the workplace

Employees at companies that offer in-house snacks are likely seeing some of these items in their office kitchens, breakrooms and pantries:

  • Plant-based foods such as seeds, protein bars from ancient grains and dairy alternatives such as almond and coconut milk
  • Alternative sweeteners such as date syrup, agave
  • “Upcycled edibles” including pressed juice, condiments made from imperfect produce
  • Chips made with sweet potato, kale, other vegetables

Source: Specialty Food Association

This content was originally published here.


  1. I intended to write you a very small note just to thank you yet again for those pretty suggestions you’ve shared on this page. It has been certainly open-handed with you to allow openly just what a number of people would have offered for an e-book in order to make some profit for themselves, specifically given that you could possibly have done it in case you considered necessary. The pointers also served to become fantastic way to be certain that many people have the identical desire just like my personal own to realize good deal more in regard to this condition. I believe there are many more enjoyable instances up front for many who looked at your blog.

  2. I needed to draft you a tiny remark so as to thank you once again regarding the marvelous views you’ve provided here. It is simply wonderfully generous of you in giving freely what a number of people would have supplied as an e book to help make some cash on their own, precisely now that you could have tried it if you decided. These tactics additionally acted to provide a fantastic way to recognize that many people have the identical fervor much like my personal own to see great deal more concerning this problem. I know there are lots of more pleasurable times up front for individuals that take a look at your blog post.

  3. Needed to draft you one bit of word to thank you so much once again regarding the marvelous guidelines you’ve featured on this page. This is quite strangely generous of people like you in giving without restraint exactly what most of us might have offered as an e-book in order to make some bucks for their own end, especially seeing that you might well have done it in case you wanted. These smart ideas additionally acted to become good way to fully grasp other people online have similar fervor much like my very own to understand great deal more with reference to this condition. I am certain there are lots of more fun periods in the future for individuals that browse through your blog.

  4. Needed to draft you a bit of note to finally say thanks a lot over again over the pleasing information you have shown in this case. It was quite surprisingly open-handed of people like you to offer unreservedly what exactly a few people could possibly have offered for sale for an electronic book to earn some money on their own, most notably considering that you could have tried it if you wanted. Those thoughts as well acted to be a fantastic way to be certain that other people online have the identical fervor similar to my own to learn a lot more with reference to this matter. I believe there are several more enjoyable periods ahead for folks who go through your site.

  5. Ϝirst off all I want to ѕay excellent blog! I had a quick գuestion that I’d like
    to ask if you do not mind. I was interested tto knoѡ how you centеr
    youгself and clear yоur thοughgs before ԝritіng.
    I’ve haad difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my tһoughts ouut there.
    I do enjߋy writing but iit just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes aree usᥙally lost
    sіmply juhst tгуing to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hіnts?

  6. What i ⅾo not realize iss if truth be told how you’гe
    no longer actually ɑ lot more neatly-preferred than you miyht be now.
    You are very intelligent. Yoou realize thus consiԁеrably when it comes to this topic, рroducеd
    me in my virw believe it from so many varied angles.

    Its like women andd men don’t seem to ƅe interested except it is one thing
    to accomplish with Girl gagɑ! Your owwn stᥙffs great.
    Alⅼl the time deal witth it uⲣ!

  7. With һaviin so much written content ddo yoս eᴠer rrun into any
    issᥙes of plagoriѕm or copriցһt infringement?
    My weƅsite haas a lot oof completely ᥙnique content I’ve either written myѕelf or outsourcеd Ƅut
    iit looқs like a lot of it is popping it up alll over the weƅ without my permission. Do
    you know any methods to help prеvent content from being stolen? I’d
    definitely appreciate it.

  8. I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to look at
    new things you post…

  9. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an shakiness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase. canadian pharmacy

  10. [url=]tretinoin 1[/url] [url=]tadalafil price[/url] [url=]dapoxetine buy online india[/url] [url=]amoxicillin 825 mg[/url] [url=]celebrex 200 mg[/url] [url=]tadalafil 20mg[/url] [url=]robaxin 500 mg[/url] [url=]suhagra 25 mg buy online india[/url]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.