Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Way to Employees’ Hearts Is Through Their Stomachs

Employee retention, especially in quick-turnover fields like information technology, is a perpetual problem for employers. How can companies keep their most valuable resources —their employees—happy? It turns out that the answer is simple: offer them free snacks.

The way to your employees heart may be thru their stomachs!

A recent survey by ORC International for Peapod (a grocery delivery service) found that 66 percent of employees in companies with “nicely stocked” kitchens rate themselves as “very happy” or “extremely happy” in their jobs. Of those who do not have this perk, 40 percent admit to being envious of friends who work for companies that do. Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34), in particular, seek this kind of workplace benefit; 66 percent say they would leave their current company for one that offered perks like snacks. Further, millennials were more than three times more likely to care about the availability of free office snacks than their colleagues who were over age 45.

Peapod, the grocery delivery system that commissioned the survey, has seen grocery deliveries to offices rise in recent years, with a focus on produce and other healthy food. These are some of the most popular items:

  • Bananas
  • Navel and Clementine oranges
  • Strawberries and blueberries
  • Gala apples
  • Red seedless grapes
  • Bartlett pears
  • Soda
  • Granola bars
  • Snack packs of pretzels and other salty snacks
  • Yogurt, especially Greek varieties

Peapod’s experience echoes wider trends governing healthy eating. Indeed, 83 percent of ORC’s survey participants said that having fresh and healthy snacks available is a “huge perk.” Since more than 56 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “I hit an afternoon slump if I don’t have any snacks to refuel my energy,” it makes sense that employers would embrace this relatively low-cost way of increasing both productivity and employee loyalty.

With USConnect’s wireless integrated food service network, providing employees with the healthy snacks they want could be easier than ever. By issuing employees pre-loaded payment cards, they can choose the snacks they want at the times they want them. Keep the millennials happy, and the rest will come!

Foods That Appear Good for You… but Aren’t: Eat Your Veggies Edition

From a very early age, many Americans are trained to see vegetables as a necessary evil: a food that’s healthy but boring, that provides important nutrients but is a chore to eat. Maybe that’s why there are so many products that claim to provide healthy vegetables without the sense of fulfilling an onerous duty. This is a good rule of thumb when it comes to food (and everything else, for that matter): if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here are a few foods that might make you think you’re getting your veggies but really don’t provide much nutritional benefit.

Foods that sound like they would be healthy for  you but really aren't.

Bottled Green Juices

If you throw handfuls of spinach or kale into your homemade smoothie, you’re definitely getting those good antioxidants and nutrients. Some bottled green juices, however, don’t provide nearly the nutrients their color might suggest, and many make their drinks more palatable by adding over 20 grams of sugar. To get the most out of bottled green juices, look for ones that are cold-pressed, not pasteurized. Pasteurizing involves heating the juice to remove bacteria and mold, which is a good thing, but the process also removes many of the important nutrients that the vegetables would have offered.

Vegetable Pasta

Green pasta: it must be healthy, right? Wrong! Most of the time, spinach or other veggie pasta only has enough vegetable matter to change its color, not enough to give you added nutrients. Most veggie pasta is made of business-as-usual white flour with some ground vegetable flour thrown in. The calorie and carbohydrate counts are rarely much lower than white pasta, and the nutrient count is rarely much higher. A better choice? 100% whole grain pasta with some fresh veggies.

Veggie Burgers

A disclaimer here: some veggie burgers are extremely healthy, especially when they’re homemade and you can control the ingredients. But the same rule of thumb applies to veggie burgers as to all foods; when in doubt, read the label. Many veggie burgers are mainly processed soy; technically, it is a vegetable, and it can be a good source of protein. However, it doesn’t provide the nutrients that other vegetables do. Other veggie burgers are, in fact, made out of healthy vegetables, but they’re held together with butter and oil, thus counteracting the value of the healthy vegetables.