Category

Health & Well Being

Micro Markets Sound Great……But What About Potential Theft?

Australian employers are excited about healthy micro markets but the new concept of an open food market often triggers the question...'what about potential theft?

Micro markets, otherwise known as an unattended food and drink market, can now provide employees with convenient access to fresh and healthy food, 24/7. An employee is able to pick a product from an open rack display, or reach-in refrigerator and scan the item at a self-checkout kiosk. The open market concept, however, raises the question of potential theft.

Whilst micro markets are new to Australia, they are not new to the United States, the UK and other European countries. The theft rates across these countries have proven to be low. Total shrinkage rates including theft, waste and accidental theft are 2.5% in the US and even lower at 1.4% in the UK.*

Why are they so low?

Firstly, micro markets only exist in secure access environments serving a known group. As a result, secure access workplaces are ideal locations for micro markets.

Secondly, there is a formal payment facility via the self-checkout kiosk. Sadly, the honour box systems of the past rarely worked due to the lack of a formal payment process.

Lastly and importantly, the markets are operated within a monitored framework focussing on prevention, control and management:

  1. Prevention – micro markets are equipped with 24/7 surveillance cameras and signage;
  2. Control – The operator undertakes regular inventory checks to verify if there are any discrepancies in stock levels; and
  3. Management – Reporting and video evidence of theft is provided to the employer.
The question is; are employees willing to put their job at risk for a protein bar?

 

The answer is; 98% of employees will do the right thing and appreciate the benefits that a micro market brings to their workplace. The other 2% who do the wrong thing, will be identified through the surveillance measures and reported to their employer. It’s then up to the employer how they wish to manage the issue.

Given the overwhelming benefits that a micro market can bring such as:

  • Improved employee health and wellbeing
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Increased employee productivity; and
  • Enhanced company culture

……the decision becomes an easy one for any employer.

For more information on how Morsl can provide your workplace with a convenient and healthy micro market, visit www.morsl.com.au

*Source: 365 Retail Markets

4 Ways Micro Markets Can Impact Employee Health and Happiness

If you haven’t yet heard of a micro market, you will likely hear of them soon. Micro markets are a healthy food solution, popping up in Australian workplaces.

A micro market is a self-service market, often situated in a company’s kitchen area, that provides packaged foods, drinks, fruit and fresh food using a fully-automated payment system.

In the open market, the employee picks a product from an open rack display, or reach-in refrigerator, and scans the item at a self-checkout kiosk. The markets which are available 24/7, are operated within a monitored framework, supported by surveillance cameras.

Let us show you how it works;

https://youtu.be/UqAjfH6KQTM

As you can see, micro markets are set to change the way Australian employees access food at work. Let us now highlight 4 ways micro markets can impact employees’ health and happiness;

 1. Enhances personal health and wellbeing

According to a recent survey by News Corp Australia, “93 per cent of Australian adults are not meeting their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables which could be putting them at risk of reduced life expectancy.”  With over a third of our lives spent at work, it is often at work where our diets fail. Our challenges include being time poor, lack of access to nutritious options combined with the temptation of free unhealthy snacks at work.

Micro markets are designed to offer fresh and healthy food at work with no restrictions to the type and number of products. This means micro markets can cater to an individual’s daily dietary needs covering fruit, salads, wraps, veggie pods, yoghurts, muesli, nuts etc. Operators like Morsl, ensure their products are selected according to nutrition guidelines whilst being appropriately portion sized, which is critical for maintaining a healthy diet.

Consistently eating well ensures we are more productive at work, are less fatigued and less prone to disease and illnesses.

2. Unrivalled convenience

One of the biggest issues for employees today is the struggle to balance healthiness against convenience. Very few have the time to traipse through the supermarkets reading the nutritional labels during their work day and most struggle to find something good to eat when all the surrounding cafes have closed for the day.

Micro markets ensure that employees have on-site access to fresh and healthy food, snacks and drinks, at any time of the day. You can’t get more convenient than that!

3. Saves time during each work day

Let’s do the maths. If every day an employee leaves the office to;

  1. get their morning coffee and snack, let’s add 15 minutes,
  2. grab their lunch which includes walking or driving time, selecting which café/take-out shop, standing in the queue and then making their way back to the office; let’s add 30 to 40 minutes, and
  3. pick up their afternoon drink and snack, let’s add 15 minutes.

Employees are losing a good hour every day that could be used for exercising, socialising with friends, completing those personal tasks or simply having some quiet time to refresh each day.

Micro markets are a grab and go solution with fast and easy checkout that allows employees to save time during their workday. The technology allows an individual to set up an account so that they only need to scan, press their fingerprint and walk away. Their purchases go straight off their account. The total time at a micro market can be less than one minute out of someone’s day.

4. Better morale

If employees feel like their company supports and cares about their health and wellbeing, this type of culture leads to higher morale across the company.

A company that helps employees practice healthy eating behaviours in the office is one crucial and often missed part of the employee wellness experience. By companies taking away the traditional unhealthy vending machines, skipping the free biscuits and muffins and installing micro markets with healthy nutritional choices, this can lead to happier and healthier employees.

For more information on micro markets in Australia and how they can benefit your workplace, visit www.morsl.com.au

2019 Practical Guide To Healthy Snacking

To eat healthier is one of the most common New Years’ resolutions, but according to Statistic Brain only 9.2% of us will actually achieve our wishes. The day that most of us give up on our resolutions is also shorter than we think. According to recent research conducted by Strava, it's January 12th.

Here at Morsl, we have taken it upon ourselves to help people last beyond January 12th by providing our 2019 Guide to Healthy Snacking. Our guide highlights this year’s most relevant wellness trends with practical examples of grab and go snacks you can eat at work.

All the snacks and drinks highlighted have been selected according to Morsl’s proprietary nutrition guidelines, which focuses on natural and clean quality products with less saturated fats, less salt and sugar and lower calories than other foods. They have also been extensively taste-tested and selected for their appropriate portion sizes. In other words, we’ve done all of the hard work for you.

1. Prioritise snacks which improve cognitive brain function

In today’s highly competitive world, as people pursue a more effective approach to their work day, we have seen an abundance of new food and drink products coming into the market that retain and improve cognitive brain function and health. This can mean better focus, improved memory, mental endurance and greater clarity.

Alongside a fresher approach to broccoli, spinach and kale snacks, we’ve seen a more nutritious approach to dark chocolate snacks, as well as better portion sizes of nuts and seeds. For nuts and seeds, make sure to focus on pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

Morsl’s Favourite Brain Snacks; Morlife Dark Chocolate Coated Blueberries, Munch Pumpkin Seeds, DJ&A Crispy Broccoli Florets, Chocolaty Raw Handmade Chocolate

2. Include snacks and drinks which are good for your gut health

Prebiotics and probiotics are able to assist with your gut health, which impacts key bodily functions such as digestion, immune system, as well as brain and heart health.

Drinks such as Kombucha, Apple Cider Vinegar, Kefir and tonics or ‘gut shots’ continue to become mainstream, while we have also seen snack bars, crisps and breakfast options provide tasty solutions.

Morsl’s Favourite Probiotics and Prebiotics: Kreol Prebiotic Drinks, Remedy Kombucha, Farmhouse Culture Kraut Krisps, Piranha Snaps

3. Incorporate more plant-based snacks into your diet (if you haven’t already)

With Australia being the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world, according to Euromonitor, it’s no surprise this is where we have seen some of the biggest growth in snack foods.

You can find vegan options in all snack categories today, there’s even vegan jerky, but having the label of vegan doesn’t always ensure it’s the healthier option. It’s still important to review the nutritional information and ensure you’re obtaining the necessary nutrients.

Morsl’s Favourite Vegan Snacks: Happy Snack Company Roasted Chickpeas, Sneaky Wholefoods Super Bites, Sunny Fruit Organic Figs, DJ&A Veggie Crisps

4. Focus on natural protein in your snacks

Protein has been a trend for many years, given it provides the building blocks to our muscles and bones. High based protein products of 5g or more per serve have often used synthetic based proteins such as whey and soy protein isolate to achieve the levels of protein.

Today we see more products providing natural sources of protein from beans, quinoa, peas, meat to egg whites. These alternatives are healthier options for you to obtain your protein.

Morsl’s Favourite Protein Snacks: Bounce Plant Protein Balls, Chobani Fit Yoghurt, Googys Protein Bar, Griffin Beef Jerky

2019 is the year your snacks start working for you. Functional snacks with better ingredients are here to stay and we hope we’ve made it a little bit easier or you to keep your New Years’ Resolution of a healthier eating lifestyle.

For more information on Morsl and our self-service markets in the workplace, see www.morsl.com.au

How US Employers Successfully Provide Access to Healthier Food Choices

One of the big challenges companies face today is how to provide their staff with access to healthy food choices in a way which is integrated and sustainable within their everyday working lives. Encouraging employees to make healthier food options can assist in the reduction of their health risk factors whilst also having a positive impact on their overall productivity and engagement.

The challenges that Australian companies face today in providing staff with access to healthy food options include:

  • Longer and more flexible working hours
  • Expansion to outer suburbs due to scarcity in land and rising rents where there are limited food options
  • A stagnant vending industry providing limited healthy food options
  • Significant costs of providing in-house cafeterias which are also limited by its hours of operation

Companies in the US such as Amazon, IBM, Unilever, Target, DHL, Amex and Nestle have solved these challenges and have, for some years now, been using micro markets as a key strategy to provide their staff with onsite convenient access to healthier food options.

What is a micro market?

Micro markets are an unmanned food establishment, also known as a self-service food market. It is an open market that provides packaged foods, drinks, whole fruit and fresh food using a fully automated payment system.

In a micro market, the consumer picks a product from an open rack display, or reach-in refrigerator, and scans the item at a self-checkout kiosk. The markets are operated within a monitored framework, supported by surveillance cameras.

Micro markets are not accessible to the general public and are typically found in workplaces with secure access.

Quick and easy to operate self-serve checkout for speed and convenience
Reach-in coolers providing fresh food and drinks
Open shelving providing snacks, fruits, ready to go options and breakfast options
The markets are operated within a monitored framework including surveillance cameras
Micro markets are designed to be turnkey, modular solutions. You decide how many snack, food and drink sections you have

A proven success in the United States

Today, micro markets are the fastest growing segment of the US foodservice channel, largely driven by companies as a means to deliver convenient and healthier food solutions to their employees.

In 2012, there were about 2,642 micro markets installed across workplaces in the United States. In 2017, this number increased to almost 24,000 markets. Research firm, Bachtelle & Associates project by 2022 that the number of micro markets will reach 35,000.

The success in the US, has seen the recent expansion of the micro market concept to other international locations with companies in the UK, Italy and Canada now providing the solution to their employees. Germany and France will begin in 1H2019. Asia has been slower to adopt the concept, with Australia now the first Asia Pacific country to introduce micro markets to the workplace.

How can micro markets help improve employee health?

The key benefit of a micro market is the unrivalled convenience of being onsite and available 24/7. This caters more to today’s flexible and time poor working environments and solves that undisputed challenge of employees balancing healthiness and convenience.

The solution allows for a large variety of healthy products without the restrictions of typical vending machines. Products which cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the snacking in between. It allows for the provision of fresh food options such as fruit, salads, wraps, ready to go meals and cold pressed juices. Importantly, it can provide a range of products that allow for an employee to eat a balanced diet throughout the day.

Why Australian employees are ready for micro markets?

We believe there are four key reasons Australian employees are ready to adopt the micro market concept at their places of work:

  1. With Australia’s high obesity rate, Australians are becoming more informed about their health and want to make healthier eating choices;
  2. The majority of Australian employees believe it is important for their employer to have a wellness program in place;
  3. Australians are spending $2.6 billion each year on food and drink delivery according to new research from comparison site finder.com.au. With stories of workers getting their coffees delivered by Uber Eats, it’s clear we are a time-poor nation obsessed with convenience;
  4. Whilst Australia was initially slow to adopt the self-service revolution, it is now well and truly embedded in our everyday lives.

For more information on micro markets in Australia and how they can benefit your workplace, visit www.morsl.com.au

Chart Source: 1 “State of The Industry”, Automatic Merchandiser, Emily Refermat, June/July 2018

Why Traditional Vending Machines No Longer Suit Today’s Workplace

Traditional vending machines have long been a way companies have provided their employees with convenient and fast access to snacks and drinks.

Whilst the typical snacks of salty chips and high sugar chocolates often satisfy people’s 3pm cravings, their regular consumption are linked to weight gain and the development of chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes.

According to Diabetes Australia, 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes, with more than 100,000 Australians having developed diabetes in the past year. Given this, a healthier eating lifestyle is absolutely necessary in today’s place of work.

Vending in Australia

Over recent years, employers have been demanding their existing vending operators introduce healthier options in their machines. Various government initiatives, including Get Healthy At Work NSW have released guidelines on creating healthier vending machines.

The majority of traditional vending operators in Australia have, however, been reluctant to adopt the recommendations, largely for fear of loss of sales. The reality is, unhealthy food and drinks will often cannibalise the one row of healthy options in a machine due to their lower pricing and well-known brands.

Why is the Global Vending Industry in Decline?

A recent report by Automatic Merchandiser, “State of The Industry”, details the fall in the number of US vending machines from 3.5 million in 2016 to 2.1 million in 2017. That is a whopping 40% decrease over one year.

At the 2017 AVEX conference in the UK, Cyril Lavenant of NPD, the largest market research company in the foodservice industry, highlighted the decline in the global vending industry has been driven by 6 important consumer trends:

  1. Perception of freshness; consumers want convenient access to fresh food and the ability to view expiry dates
  2. Quality of product; consumers want access to healthier options
  3. Experience; consumers want a more interactive experience
  4. Mega convenience; consumers want cashless and the ability to pre-pay
  5. Transparency of sourcing; consumers want to buy locally sourced products
  6. Experiment & customise; consumers want variety and products more suitable to their daily work and eating habits

Why Micro Markets Are The Future

The consumer trends causing the decline in traditional vending are exactly why the micro market industry in the US has been experiencing solid growth year on year.

A micro market is an open market that can provide fresh food such as salads, wraps, ready to go meals, fruit, snacks and drinks using a fully-automated payment system. The consumer picks a product from an open rack display, or reach-in refrigerator, and scans the item at a self-checkout kiosk.

Micro Markets vs Typical Vending

Micro Market Typical Vending
Catering to fresh, healthy foodsUnhealthy snack foods
Large variety of 150-400 items with no restrictionsLimited range of up to 45 items with restrictions
Open product access with ability to view nutritional informationNo product access until purchase
Multiple payment options and product purchasingLimited payment options and single item purchase
Minimal delivery problems being completely cashlessCommon issues of payment and product jamming
Customisation of product offering to the locationStandard product offering

Helping Employees Be Healthier with Morsl

Providing employees convenient access to healthy and fresh food is just one of the ways that an employer can enhance an employee’s overall health and wellbeing.

Morsl is one of Australia’s first micro market operators, offering employers a sustainable and fully integrated food solution via its self-serve food and drink marketplace. With onsite convenience and a focus on healthier options, Morsl is a key strategy for employers to make a healthy workplace a little easier.