Working and Eating From Home in 2022: A New Reality Requiring Structural Changes

Many European white-collar workers will continue to work from home regularly even after the Covid-19 crisis is over. Consequently, traffic at office canteens, ‘grab-and-go’ stores, and restaurants near the office will remain subdued compared to pre-Covid levels. To assess the potential impact and opportunities for the food industry, Rabobank conducted a proprietary survey of multiple industries across six European countries.

For some food providers dependent on Monday to Friday office trade, this shift may represent a structural loss of more than 20% of their income. “If they want to protect their profitability and even their viability, these contract caterers and foodservice operators need to adjust their business models and reconsider their cost structure and the location of their sites,” states Maria Castroviejo, Senior Analyst – Consumer Foods.  
Food providers in residential areas are in a position to benefit from an increase in footfall, but only if they manage to entice these at-home office workers with an attractive offer. “If they don’t want to miss such an opportunity, they need to make sure that their assortment includes products and brands well suited for these new at-home occasions.”