Sodexo has taken a majority shareholding in Fooditude the London-based delivered-in office food services provider.
This represents a significant milestone for Sodexo in offsite food production and food delivery, allowing the business to grow new digital-enabled and consumer-focused food services to support its mission to keep its clients’ employees happy, healthy and well-fed.
Changes in lifestyles brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic have resulted in huge shifts in both working patterns and consumer food habits. Sodexo’s latest (October 2020) Harris Interactive tracker revealed that 88 per cent of UK workers who worked from home during the pandemic would like to continue to do so, with three days the most popular option (35 per cent). As a result, organisations are reviewing their real estate and looking at the role of food as a benefit, either as a way to entice people back into the office, or indeed to support their productivity at home, with healthy food delivered in.
A growing trend is the acceleration of food delivery and consumer demand to access food services digitally. This trend is likely to challenge traditional onsite food services, as consumers look for more flexibility and choice.
Indeed, the Harris Interactive tracker found that half of employees stated that when they return to the office, they are less likely to visit the staff restaurant; and 60 per cent of those wanting to continue working from home stated they were interested in food delivery (lunch & snacks) and when asked what improvements could be made by their company’s foodservice provider, 26 per cent stated the ability to order food to be delivered.
Fooditude produces high quality fresh food from a 20,000 sq ft central production unit (CPU) in London that is delivered to corporate clients. Its client base is predominantly with media and technology organisations, with key clients including Netflix and Pinterest.
By investing in Fooditude Sodexo is not only adding a successful food brand to its portfolio, it is adding significant offsite food production, which will accelerate the roll out of delivery models, such as Good Eating Company Delivered, launched in August 2020.
Julie Ennis, CEO, corporate services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “Last week we launched Vital Spaces, a bringing together of our diverse expertise to help our clients transform their workplaces with a connected, people-centric approach. Our investment in Fooditude is an exciting step in the evolution of Vital Spaces and the transformation of our food services in the UK and Ireland. Fooditude is a well-established and dynamic food brand, putting food right at the heart of employee experience.
“The world is changing at pace, and it is imperative that we have the right brands, production capability and digital solutions to deliver the best food services in the market, across all sectors.”
Founders Dean and Sam Kennett will retain shares in the company and will continue to operate the business under the Fooditude brand alongside their existing team.