Silicon Valley Inspiration for Retail: Provide Healthy, Delicious Meals to Local Businesses

Silicon Valley Inspiration for Retail: Provide Healthy, Delicious Meals to Local Businesses

August 13, 2014

Supermarkets could take a cue from Silicon Valley:  Target business customers with fresh, healthful prepared foods that sustain workers’ energy levels and make them more willing to collaborate with each other. Dietitians can play a key role here shaping menus to feature popular trends with a healthier twist.

Technology companies known for providing meals do so to create more collegial work environments, foster teamwork, keep staffers on premises, and tamp down the pressure everyone feels to produce.  Lunches, dinners and nighttime snacks may not cost employees money, but there is no “free lunch” philosophy.  Food serves as both performance fuel and social lubricant at these companies.  In addition, employers that utilize worker wellness to minimize health insurance premiums can leverage the right food mix to achieve this goal.

If more supermarkets pursued companies more aggressively, they could tap profitable, recurring revenue streams.   By branding their menus, adding healthy picks and related delivery trade dress, they could develop strong reputations among Millennials in their markets for “performance prepared foods” – and that message could translate into Millennials’ needs at home, where everyday life is also hectic, especially in households with growing families.

Millennials would be filled with food ideas for home after seeing the difference inspired food can make at work, and would know where to shop and find other necessary cooking resources.  Cornell University and Dartmouth College researchers released two studies connecting hunger to feelings of entitlement.  They found that “famished team members might be less likely to work together and help each other and hesitant to apologize for their mistakes,” reports The Wall Street Journal.  Cornell Professor Emily Zitek, a study author, told the paper, “[Hungry people’s] priority is to do things to make themselves feel better...once…satisfied…they can turn to other needs, like social connections.”

A sampler of this week’s meals from the Facebook Culinary Team shows the kinds of supermarket food offerings that would resonate with Millennials.  Smoothies for breakfast.  An Asian Fusion lunch features Korean Beef Taco or Miso Yaki Chicken with Smoked Corn Relish – or for vegetarians, Edamame Panzanella Salad or Chili Garlic Eggplant and Thai Basil.  For dinner, a choice of Burmese Style Beef Coconut Curry or, for vegetarians, Bean Cassoulet.  Here’s the link ( ) to explore.

Partnering with your store chefs to create inspired and healthy menus, and possibly even fill the pantries at local companies is an easy fit for supermarkets and their staff.