The Benefits of Buying Bulk
As we transition back into the office, employees will be looking for healthy snacks in your break room. According to the CDC, one of the most important things we can do for ourselves is “continue following basic steps for food safety and eat nutritious foods to take care of your physical and mental health.’’ We have you covered at Sigona’s Office Deliveries. We deliver local, seasonal fresh fruit, snacking veggies, as well as all-natural dried fruit and nut snacks from Fruit For Thought that are unsweetened, 100% gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly. We strive to offer premium-quality fruit, vegies, dried fruit and nuts brought to you in the simple snacking form.
While you might be hesitant to bring back food in the office due to the COVID pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated “there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19.” In fact, healthy snacks like fresh produce, dried fruit, and nuts contain important nutrients like Vitamin C and D that contribute to a healthy immune system. As you transition back into the office, this is a great opportunity to swap out highly processed snacks for better-for-you options to put a focus on employee health.
Why Bulk is Better
Once you’re ready to start placing your break room snack orders, you might be tempted to go straight to packaged single-serving snacks. While they make a great grab-and-go option, single-use plastic and other packaging is rarely recycled and poses a major setback for environmental efforts. During the pandemic, single-use plastics were used significantly more in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. However, the CDC said that the virus is primarily transmitted from person to person. Additionally, over 125 scientists have gone further to say that reusables can be used safely during the pandemic. The statement goes on to say that single-use plastics are not inherently safer than reusables, and causes additional public safety concerns once it is discarded. It’s clear that we need to move to a more sustainable option, and buying in bulk is part of that solution.
For the office, buying in bulk means higher quantities of a product in unpackaged form. Bulk products like nuts and dried fruit can be offered to your employees in bulk bins, also known as gravity bins, or in glass or plastic tabletop storage containers. One of the most important and compelling reasons to buy in bulk is because it’s more eco-friendly. It reduces the plastic waste from individually packed snacks as well as packaging waste like multiple outer product boxes and shipping boxes. Additionally, according to Phil Lempert, a Consumerologist and food trend personality, is “bulk food also streamlines the transportation needed for delivery, helping to reduce CO2 emissions. According to BIG [Bulk is Green Council], there is an average reduction of emission by 48 percent each time a product is refilled from bulk versus the same product bought in traditional packaging.”
Not only is buying in bulk better for the environment, but it offers a more budget-friendly option. Without all the additional cost of extra packaging, bulk products net out to be less expensive than packaged products, ounce by ounce. If you’re working on a tighter breakroom budget, bulk products can help you save serious cash - you typically see savings of 30-50% the cost versus packaged goods. Buying bulk also provides your employees with more autonomy to take as little or as much as they want.
How to Safely Administer Bulk Products
Wondering how to administer bulk products to your employees safely? The key components are sanitation, hygiene stations, high-visibility signage and either single-use containers or encouraging employees to use their own, personal reusable cups, bowls, and utensils.
- Sanitation: The CDC recommends establishing a policy for routinely cleaning all high-touch surfaces that are frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, desks, light switches, faucets, toilets, workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, printer/copiers, and drinking fountains, and in the case of break rooms, bin handles, serving spoons, counters, etc. The CDC recommends first cleaning surfaces with detergent or soap and water, followed by an EPA-approved disinfectant. When employees grab their favorite dried fruit from bulk bins or other storage containers, they can trust those high-touch surfaces are regularly sanitized.
- Hygiene Stations: For the times between scheduled cleanings, it’s also important to provide employees with easily accessible hygiene stations like hand washing stations or hand sanitizer in frequently utilized areas of the office, like your entrances, meeting rooms, and break room.
- Single Use Containers and/or Personal Reusables: Offering employees single-use cups, bowls, plates, and utensils (all preferably compostable) can also help keep your employees healthy and safe. Alternatively, you could encourage employees to bring their own personal reusable cups, bowls, plates, and utensils, and wash them after each use as a more eco-friendly option.
- High-Visibility Signage: To promote safety and personal hygiene, enhanced signage will help make employees aware that bulk bins are hygienic, safe, and cleaned regularly. Other signage to consider includes friendly reminders to regularly wash hands, especially before eating and how to properly wash produce before consuming (print and post our handy produce washing guide). And don’t forget any necessary signage to mark hygiene stations or the locations of single-use containers and utensils.
If you’re truly invested in a sanitary and environmentally-friendly break room, there are also self-dispensing bulk bins available that offer a no-touch environment.
In summary, buying in bulk can save you money and the environment and is safe to administer in your office with the proper cleaning and safety policies. When you’re ready to start offering your employees fresh fruit and healthy snacks again, consider buying bulk!