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Well-being at work 25 November 2019

8th FOOD barometer survey: European employees consult more online dietary information and want a more balanced lunch

The 2019 FOOD barometer survey points to growing use of new technologies, with a strong increase in people consulting online information about how to eat healthily— not just employees during their lunch break, but restaurant owners, too.

For the past 10 years, the European FOOD (Fighting Obesity through Offer and Demand) program, coordinated by the Edenred Group, has promoted healthier eating in the workplace.

In 2019, Edenred and its partners surveyed more than 47,000 employees and almost 1,800 restaurant owners in 10 European countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden) to analyze their food-related habits and needs.

Arnaud Erulin, Edenred’s Chief Operating Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa commented: “Edenred is the everyday companion for people at work. Our involvement in the FOOD program demonstrates our belief that the workplace is the ideal location to take concrete measures to support healthy eating. Thanks to our unique network of businesses, employees and restaurant owners who have partnered with our Ticket Restaurant solution, we have our fingers on the pulse of the latest lunchtime trends, as reflected by the FOOD barometer survey, and that allows us to promote balanced nutrition at work, the cornerstone of our offer.

Apps promoting more balanced eating habits

  • Taking a lunch break is still standard practice: 71% of Europeans take a lunch break during their working day. But for the first time since 2012, Europeans prefer to have their lunch in a restaurant (23%) rather than at the office (20%).
  • According to 65% of the European employees we surveyed, new technologies can play a positive role in food in the workplace. 50% of European employees think that apps offering recipes and nutritional advice are the best way of eating more healthily, followed by apps making recommendations when buying products (29%) and calorie-counting apps (26%).
  • More and more restaurant owners are also embracing new technologies: 45% of them think new technologies could help them prepare new and healthier dishes (up +4 points on 2018). 86% of European restaurant owners claim to be knowledgeable about what makes up a balanced diet (vs. 60% in 2012).

Some typically French characteristics

  • As staunch defenders of the lunch break, 81% of French employees take a lunch break every day, and 30% eat their lunch in a restaurant on a daily basis (vs. 23% of Europeans).
  • More and more people in France also use digital tools to improve their eating habits. 54% of them believe new technologies can help them adopt a more balanced diet (up 3 points on 2018).

In France, the 2019 FOOD barometer survey highlighted growing awareness among employees of the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet at work.

  • 72% of French employees choose a restaurant according to the nutritional quality of the dishes they serve.
  • 80% of French restaurant owners claim to be knowledgeable about what a balanced diet requires, and 20% have seen stronger demand for balanced dishes among their customers in the last year. 48% of them think that new technologies could help them prepare healthier menus that meet these new expectations. 42% of them think that online courses would be the best source of inspiration (16 points higher than the European average).


Edenred is a leading digital platform for services and payments and the everyday companion for people at work, connecting more than 52 million users and 2 million partner merchants in 45 countries via close to 1 million corporate clients.

Edenred offers specific-purpose payment solutions for food (such as meal benefits), incentives (such as gift cards, employee engagement platforms), mobility (such as multi-energy, maintenance, toll, parking and commuter solutions) and corporate payments (such as virtual cards). 

True to the Group’s purpose, “Enrich connections. For good.”, these solutions enhance users’ well-being and purchasing power. They improve companies’ attractiveness and efficiency, and vitalize the employment market and the local economy. They also foster access to healthier food, more environmentally friendly products and softer mobility.

Edenred’s 10,000 employees are committed to making the world of work a connected ecosystem that is safer, more efficient and more responsible every day. 
In 2022, thanks to its global technology assets, the Group managed some €38 billion in business volume, primarily carried out via mobile applications, online platforms and cards.

Edenred is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and included in the following indices: CAC 40 ESG, CAC Next 20, CAC Large 60, Euronext 100, FTSE4Good and MSCI Europe.

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