HR Strange But True!
August 07, 2008

A market research firm recently conducted a study that contained a wealth of information on brown-bagged lunches in the workplace. For example, the study found that while men are more likely to bring a brown-bagged lunch, women are quite often the ones who make them.

The NPD Group's study found that the number of lunches carried from home reached a new high point in 2007. More than 4.25 billion brown-bagged lunches were consumed in the workplace in 2007. The brown-bagged lunches were most often consumed at the employee's desk or workstation. 

Over a third of those who brought brown-bag lunches did so three times a week or more, and in the middle of the week rather than on Monday or Friday.

The most common reason for brown-bagging lunch is that it's cheaper than other options. Health and nutrition concerns ranked second as a reason to brown bag, followed by convenience, taste, diet, quality, and environmental concerns.

Among those who typically brown-bag, nearly half said they are doing so more often. Brown-bagging lunch is more common among 35- to 54-year-olds, white-collar collar workers, and more affluent consumers.  

The study also asked about what the lunches contain. Typically, the brown-bagged lunch contains fruit, chips, and some type of sandwich, but these items differ by gender and age, the study found. Women, for example, are more likely to opt for healthier choices like yogurt and veggies.

The study found that nearly a third of all brown-bagged lunches include a piece of fruit, making it the most popular item. That's good news for your wellness programs. However, the second most common item is potato chips.

Source: NPD

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