Sodexo announced today (3 December) that it has taken a majority shareholding in Fooditude, the London-based delivered-in office food services provider.
Sodexo said the move represents a significant milestone for the company in off-site 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.
Fooditude produces high-quality fresh food from a 20,000-square-foot central production unit in London that is delivered to corporate clients. Its client base is predominantly media and technology organisations – key clients including Netflix and Pinterest.
By investing in Fooditude, Sodexo said is not only adding a successful food brand to its portfolio, but it is also adding significant off-site food production capability, which will accelerate the roll-out of delivery models such as Good Eating Company Delivered, launched in August.
Changes in lifestyles caused by the global coronavirus pandemic have led to big 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).
Consequently, it said, 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 to support their productivity at home, with healthy food deliveries.
A growing trend is the acceleration of food delivery and consumer demand to access food services digitally. This trend, said Sodexo, is likely to challenge traditional on-site food services, as consumers seek more flexibility and choice.
The Harris poll found that half of the 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 work from home stated they wanted the ability to order food to be delivered.
The acquisition is part of Sodexo’s global and regional strategy to develop new, more flexible food service models to respond to accelerated trends in consumer demand. Sodexo UK also recently partnered with leading food service technology provider Dynamify to develop an app-based digital retail platform to support the growing trend for contactless payment for food.
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.
“Using the insight gained from our research, we will work closely with Fooditude to grow and expand their business and, importantly, we will use their production capabilities and delivery model to support our growth.”
Fooditude founders Dean and Sam Kennett will retain shares in the company and continue to operate the business under the Fooditude brand alongside their existing team.
Dean Kennett said: “Our partnership with Sodexo is a good fit for us and will ensure our success as we seek to develop new opportunities together.”
Image credit | Sodexo