Healthy food orders double in the UK

: A growing number of people are choosing to adopt more balanced lifestyles, with healthy food orders doubling since 2019, according to new reports from Uber for Business, the leading platform for managing global trips, meals and local deliveries.

the reports’What’s the deal with lunch?‘ examines Uber Eats orders between June 2019 and July 2022, as well as responses from over 2,000 UK workers and their views on the lunch break.

Changing attitudes towards health

As of July 2022, there has been a total of 2,800 healthy food orders per day on Uber Eats, compared to just 1,800 in 2021, and 1,400 in 2020. The data also reveals a significant rise in interest in eco-conscious food, with meat -free orders increasing by 562% since 2019 in larger UK cities; as 85% of UK consumers aim to live more sustainably.

With the average person spending around 35 hours per week at work, employers play a significant role in whether or not their teams are making healthy life choices. Prioritizing building lunch breaks that accommodate healthy meals will not only encourage more people to eat healthier options, but it’s proven that a well-balanced diet can drive productivity and motivation too – the World Health Organization states that adequate nutrition can raise national productivity levels by 20 %.

Lunchtime motivators

The overall popularity of food ordering can also be directly linked to boosting staff retention and employee satisfaction. Over a fifth of respondents (21%) see lunch as an opportunity to bond with their colleagues. Additional research also reveals 69% of people say taking a break to have a meal with a co-worker reduces their stress levels, so prioritizing food incentives can help employers build workplace cultures for their teams to thrive.

When workers ask what makes them happy and motivated at work, financial bonuses are understandably the biggest mood booster amongst respondents (65%), especially as the economy remains uncertain. However, with many businesses unable to increase salaries in response to this, employees are open to other incentives to help offset struggles. Just under a quarter (23%) of employees would like free or subsidized meals provided by their company.

Beñat Idoyaga Burón, EMEA Lead, Uber Eats for Business comments, “Food has long been considered good for the soul, but today, employers should realize that it’s also good for a lot of other things. The foods that we put into our bodies affect our daily lives, including our productivity at work and in everyday tasks. Including food as an incentive for employees can be part of what keeps them happy, motivated and healthy, all while potentially softening the blow of rising prices.”

The ‘new’ lunch time

Hybrid working has also played a big role in eating habits, by prioritizing speed, variety, and flexibility in their meal choices, to align with many people’s lockdown-induced desire for greater efficiency and productivity.

The data reveals that there is a clear link between people working either hybrid or back in the office, and the volume of food orders. Just under two-thirds (65%) of Uber’s food orders happen during the week. A fifth (20%) of these orders occurred on Thursday, most likely due to this being the most popular day for workers being in the office.

Beñat Idoyaga Burón continues, “While our data shows how food ordering continues to soar in popularity, it’s up to businesses to utilize that popularity for mutual benefit. For many, lunch is the break in the day we need during lockdown; the social event we could go out to enjoy as restrictions eased – and now the thing we should be protecting as our weekly structures continue to adapt.”

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