While the modern business landscape continues to change at a rapid pace, the importance of workplace amenities remains constant. One of the often underestimated but immensely important conveniences at work is office snacks. While providing workplace food and drinks may seem like a small gesture, it can ultimately be a game-changer for your organization — helping your team reach new levels of employee morale and productivity.
Read on for a closer look at the true value of workplace snacks and the top drinks and healthy snack options you can consider offering to your employees moving forward.
Why Are Office Snacks Essential?
Healthy snacks and tasty beverages are typically viewed as a pleasant perk — a little something to brighten up the workday for your valuable team members. However, the importance of these amenities goes beyond mere indulgence. These convenient food and drink options are ultimately an essential ingredient in maintaining a satisfied, productive, focused, and energized workforce.
The 2023 Food for Work report by ezCater not only highlights that 20% of HR professionals consider workplace food as the top perk providing the best value for its price, it also indicates that more than 80% of surveyed employees agree that office snacks promote teamwork and strengthen connections with co-workers. Plus, 46% of workers said that receiving healthy snack options at work makes them more likely to stay at their jobs.
With packed schedules, looming deadlines, and the demands of the modern workplace, it’s easy for employees to skip meals or resort to unhealthy snacks and drinks for quick energy boosts. This can lead to decreased productivity levels, not to mention adverse effects on your workforce’s overall health. Herein lies the value of providing healthy snack options at the office.
A high-quality snack station or office break room gives your team access to a convenient, accessible source of nourishment and hydration that supports greater energy, sharper concentration, and enhanced efficiency. And, by offering a variety of healthy and intentional snacks and beverages, you can empower employees to make better dietary choices both inside and outside of the workplace.
The Best Workplace Snacks and Beverages To Provide
In increasingly diverse and health-conscious workplaces, it’s not just about providing snacks and beverages at work; it’s about ensuring they’re also nutritious and contribute to the well-being of your team. This is key to building a happy and productive workforce in the long run.
Here are some of the most popular drinks and healthy snack ideas to consider adding to your snack station or break room:
1. Protein Bars or Granola Bars
A granola bar or protein bar is a convenient snack your employees can grab that doesn’t require any preparation — making them an ideal choice for team members on their busiest work days. They also provide a sustained energy boost, so they’re perfect for helping your workforce maintain focus and productivity. Because bars are typically rich in protein and fiber, they ensure that employees feel full for longer and prevent energy crashes later in the day.
2. Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix
Mixed nuts or trail mix are smart choices for workplace snacks, offering a balanced combination of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. This is another ideal snack option to provide sustained energy and keep your employees’ hunger at bay. Plus, research from Foods, published in the National Library of Medicine, indicates that nuts are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, supporting the overall well-being of your workforce.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that approximately 1.1% of the general population, or about 3 million Americans, have a peanut or tree nut allergy. This makes it crucial to ask team members about their dietary restriction information before choosing snacks to add to your break room.
3. Fresh Fruit or Dried Fruit
When it comes to healthy snacks for the office, you can’t go wrong with fresh or dried fruit. Fresh fruits, like apples, bananas, and oranges, provide workers with a natural burst of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that supports improved wellness. And, these naturally sweet fruits are a great way to steer employees away from snacking on foods with a ton of added sugar.
Dried fruit, on the other hand, offers a concentrated source of nutrients and natural sugars to give workers a quick energy boost. Not only are both of these options easy to consume without any fuss, but they also cater to a range of dietary preferences and restrictions.
4. Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are an ideal healthy office snack because of their simplicity and versatility. They’re low in calories and provide a satisfying crunch, making them a guilt-free choice when your team members need a pick-me-up. A rice cake is also easily paired with a variety of toppings, from nut butter options like peanut butter or almond butter to hummus.
5. String Cheese
If your employees are looking for a practical and nutritious option, you might opt for string cheese. It’s portion-controlled, so your workforce can enjoy a protein-rich, low-fat option that keeps them feeling full and energized. What’s more, its individual packaging minimizes mess and ensures workplace hygiene. This quick, grab-and-go snack is a convenient way to promote productivity and well-being in the office.
6. Whole Grain Crackers or Roasted Chickpeas
Whole grain crackers are a healthy office snack idea that’s a great alternative to less nutritious options like potato chips. Offering team members a beneficial dose of fiber and complex carbohydrates, crackers promote greater energy levels and aid in satiety (i.e., feelings of fullness). Roasted chickpeas are another ideal substitute for unhealthy chips because they’re tasty yet protein-packed. Both of these snacks are convenient, minimally processed, and versatile, making them smart choices for a more productive workday.
7. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has quickly become a favorite snack in the workplace due to its remarkable combination of protein, probiotics, and satiety. Full of the essential nutrients that your workforce needs to thrive, yogurt supports increased levels of engagement while aiding in digestion and weight loss and promoting overall well-being.
8. Dark Chocolate
If you have employees with an unrelenting sweet tooth, it can be a good idea to add dark chocolate to your break room snack roster. While delicious, it’s also a healthy office snack idea that’s surprisingly nutritious. According to Healthline, dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content is a good source of nutrients, including iron, magnesium, and copper, and antioxidants while supporting blood flow, blood pressure, and heart health. But, if team members want the benefits of dark chocolate without the added calories, it’s important that they consume this snack in moderation.
9. Sparkling Water
Don’t forget that alongside delicious workplace snacks, refreshing beverages can elevate the experience, and sparkling water is a great choice. Keeping your workforce well-hydrated is crucial for their engagement, motivation, and overall happiness, but if your office only provides plain water, it might not be doing enough to ensure proper hydration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 63% of adults nationally, aged 18 or older, reported drinking sugar-sweetened beverages at least once daily. This means that sparkling water can add a zesty twist to hydration that helps employees both boost hydration and avoid drinks with a lot of sugar. This empowers your team to make healthier beverage choices, benefiting their well-being and the company’s success.
Quench gives businesses access to a range of sparkling and specialty products, including plain sparkling water and our Bevi 2.0 machine, which offers flavored sparkling water on demand. Or, you can optimize your hydration solutions with a combined still and sparkling water machine, so your employees, guests, and customers have access to a clean and endless supply of either option.
The Benefits of Providing Tasty Snacks and Drinks to Employees
By taking your break room offerings to the next level, your business stands to see a host of benefits as a result, including:
- Enhanced productivity and focus: The most crucial benefit of giving employees access to nutritious and satisfying snacks and beverages is the boost in energy they receive. This, in turn, promotes greater productivity, and instead of experiencing energy crashes from snacks with added sugar, team members can maintain their focus on important tasks and deadlines.
- Strengthened mental alertness and problem-solving abilities: A well-nourished workforce is more mentally alert, making your team better equipped to tackle complex problems. Nutrient-rich snacks like fruit and nuts provide the brain with the essential elements needed to operate optimally. As a result, you can anticipate improved decision-making and problem-solving skills in your workforce.
- Increased wellness and health: When workers are hungry or thirsty throughout the day, it’s easy for them to grab a delicious treat or sugary soda for a quick burst of energy. Providing healthier snacks and drinks supports more sustainable energy and fosters a culture of well-being. By reducing their consumption of processed and high-sugar foods, employees promote weight loss, improved heart health, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
- Boosted energy levels: Healthy snack and drink options enable sustained energy levels — without the rollercoaster of sugar crashes. Food items like protein bars of fresh fruit provide a steady source of energy, which can be vital for maintaining concentration and motivation during demanding work hours.
- Improved workplace culture: By prioritizing the well-being of your employees and offering wholesome snacks and beverages, you can create a positive and supportive office culture. This sends a clear message that you care about the health and happiness of your team members, which ultimately fosters a more inclusive and harmonious work environment.
- Greater employee satisfaction and retention: Simply put, a well-fed workforce is a satisfied one. And when employees feel that their needs and preferences are taken into account, you can expect to see higher levels of job satisfaction. Considering that the 2023 ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage survey reveals 77% of employers are struggling to find skilled talent — an all-time high — this simple workplace perk can quickly become your competitive advantage, helping you keep your best employees around long-term.
Elevate Your Drink Offerings With Quench
Providing tasty snacks and drinks in the workplace goes far beyond just satisfying the hunger or thirst of your workforce. It’s an investment in the well-being, productivity, and ultimate success of both your employees and the organization.
If you’ve been searching for a reliable partner in the process of upgrading your beverage and snack offerings, Quench can help. With a comprehensive range of options, Quench ensures that your break room is always fully stocked and ready to meet the needs of your workforce. From an extensive selection of savory snacks — including popcorn, goldfish, trail mix, pringles, and granola bars — to beverages, covering coffee, filtered ice water, and sparkling water, Quench ensures your employees have access to a variety of choices to satisfy their cravings.
To make the process even more convenient, you can order everything you need for your office with the Quench Customer Portal. This user-friendly platform enables you to order coffee, snacks, and breakroom supplies directly online. Plus, you can automate shipments to make sure your snack station is always full — without the hassle of manual ordering.
Ready to elevate your snack and drink offerings with Quench? Get a free estimate or check out our customer portal to get started.