Sodexo has today announced acquiring the London-based delivered-in office food services provider Fooditude through taking a majority shareholding.
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.
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.
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% 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%).
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 tracker1 found that half of employees stated that when they return to the office, they are less likely to visit the staff restaurant; and 60% 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% stated the ability to order food to be delivered.
The acquisition forms part of Sodexo’s global and regional strategy to develop new, more flexible food service models, responding to accelerated trends in consumer demand. Sodexo UK has also recently partnered with leading food service technology provider Dynamify to develop an app-based digital retail platform to support the growing trend for a contactless food experience.
Julie Ennis, CEO, corporate services, Sodexo UK & Ireland says: “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.
“Using the insight gained from our research we will work closely with Fooditude grow and expand their business and importantly we will use their production capabilities and delivery model to support our growth.”
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.
Dean Kennett, managing director and founder of Fooditude says: “I couldn’t be happier about our decision to join forces with Sodexo to bring the Fooditude brand to new audiences across the UK and beyond.
“We have ambitious plans for growth after 15 successful years as a premium workplace caterer to London’s most forward-thinking businesses and partnering with Sodexo will accelerate those plans.
“Our partnership with Sodexo is a good fit for us and will ensure our success as we seek to develop new opportunities together.”
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Hospitality & Catering News: Sodexo acquires Fooditude – 2 December 2020 – Sodexo acquires Fooditude.
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