Millennials Driving Fair Trade Recognition in Atlanta

According to MaryEllen Molyneaux, President of the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), “consumers want accountability, responsibility and sustainability from the companies with which they do business.” This could explain why 59% of consumers now recognize Fair Trade Certified labels on the products they purchase.

What does Fair Trade Certified mean?

According to Fair Trade USA, the leading third party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, Fair Trade products are quality products that improve lives and protect the planet. Fair Trade Certified™ products were made with respect to people and planet. Their rigorous social, environmental and economic standards work to promote safe, healthy working conditions, protect the environment, enable transparency, and empower communities to build strong, thriving businesses. When you choose products with the Fair Trade label, your day-to-day purchases can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives.

vending machines and office coffee service in Atlanta

Why is Fair Trade Awareness Growing?

In general the growing awareness to Fair Trade products seems to be largely attributed to the Millennials who are not only interested in Fair Trade products but also in aligning themselves with products that promise to make a positive difference or support their favorite cause.  Studies by NMI and Fair Trade USA estimate that 65% of Millennials recognize Fair Trade Certified labels and 40% of the general population look for proof of social claims when purchasing products.

In addition or maybe in response to this growing demand driven by the Millennial generation, growing awareness has been attributed to an abundance of new Fair Trade items hitting store shelves (133 new items have been added since January 2016 and in 2015 almost 550 items were added in all).

What Does This Mean for Your Atlanta Business?

By 2025 it’s estimated that 75% of the workforce will be Millennials. Plan for the future and help the planet now by offering Fair Trade coffee in your break room and offering Fair Trade beverages and snacks in your vending machines and micro markets in Atlanta. Keep in mind that although the demand is growing there is still a lot of growth to go (i.e although it is very possible to start working in Fair Trade items to your break room solutions it may not be practical/possible to go 100% Fair Trade).

Some fun products to start exploring: Honest Tea, TCHO chocolate, Kashi Go Lean Bars, Annie’s Organic Cereal and decomposable plates, cups and utensils.

For more information on Fair Trade products to offer in your break room call your Atlanta vendor, Eagle Vending at 770-426-1969. While you’re on the phone make sure to ask us about the ways we give back to our community and to the planet.

Your Next Vacation Destination: The Breakroom in Atlanta

Peter Drucker, an American management consultant is credited with contributing to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business world. He’s known for sayings like

“Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.”

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said” and….

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Although traditional business practices may disagree, companies like The Container Store, Facebook, Google, etc. are proving Drucker right, putting company culture and employee happiness at the top of their priority list, having fun and making millions/billions.

Want to follow suit but not sure how to do so on a budget? Here are suggestions from Howard Chapman, Royal Cup Inc.’s Office Beverage Division President, on how to be a competitive business in this new platform by focusing on changes in the breakroom.

fresh food vending machinesCoffee is one of the cheapest employee benefits but has one of the highest perceived values. In other words, coffee, even premium brands are relatively inexpensive but by offering premium coffee in your break room you are: keeping employees on location increasing productivity, increasing energy through caffeine intake, showing your employees that you value them and their time and improving your bottom line.

$ – Drip brew coffee (ideally portion packs to contain mess and provide a consistent pot)

$$ – Bean to cup machines that use whole bean coffees to create black coffee as well as fancier beverages including lattes and mocha.

Cool Way to Save – Reach out to local coffee roasters (not the hipster kind the wholesale kind) and get coffee that’s fresher than the name brands and cheaper. Ask about branding with your company’s logo. If they can’t, make up your own names and labels for airports

Don’t Forget – A large percentage of Americans (especially Millennials) are drinking tea more than ever. Spend a couple extra cents per bag and invest in a premium selection (think Tazo, Numi, Mighty Leaf). Also, remember that when it comes to coffee and teas these days, cold is hot. Consider getting an ice machine or cold brew on tap if budget allows.

When creating your beverage menu make sure you include condiments, aka sugars and creamers, as it’s likely that a majority of your employees won’t enjoy their beverage black.

$ – Powdered creamer and sugar in canisters, after all, something is better than nothing.

$$ – If possible always get the real deal. Keep half and half in the refrigerator, flavored creamer capsules on the counter and in addition to cane sugar include sugar in the raw.

office coffe service in atlantaDeciding What Stays and What Goes – If budget doesn’t allow for flavored creamers and half and half, or for sugar alternatives and sugar in the raw cut out the imposters and keep the real deals.  Ultimately these options are healthier for your employees and healthier employees are happier employees.  With that in mind don’t forget a soy/almond milk alternative for your lactose employees.

Extra Bonus – When thinking about your break room condiments, if budget allows, include mayo, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, salt and pepper, etc. Save money and the environment and by providing family style options instead of individual packets.

And what’s a break without snacks?

$ – Vending machines are a lot different now than they were even 5 years ago in Atlanta. You can offer your employees healthy snacks and easy payment solutions (including credit cards and mobile pay) at no cost to your company.

$ – For Atlanta companies with 250 employees consider micro markets in place of typical vending machines. These systems operate like mini convenience stores and are run by a self-checkout kiosk. Benefits include more product variety and fresher options.

$$ – Take a page out of tech playbooks and offer beverages and snacks free to Atlanta employees. Benefits include: encouraging employees to eat healthier by only offering healthy options and increased productivity by keeping employees on location longer.

Cool Way to Save – Get a service provider and DO NOT try to manage snacks and cold beverages on your own. If you only look at unit cost it may seem cheaper to go with a bulk store or insta service but when you factor in your time and efforts a provider is significantly more affordable.

Finally, no matter what you decide to offer in you break room it could mean nothing if you don’t pay attention to overall ambiance. You want your breakroom to be a place where company culture is cultivated, where employees become friends and where team bonding happens. You also want your breakroom to feel like an escape, a mini vacation from the day.

$ – Paint the walls different colors than the rest of your office. Have a bookcase where employees can swap favorite reads.

$$ – Get comfy couches and lounge chairs, a family style farm table, maybe even a TV.

For more ideas on how to cultivate company culture in your break room call your Atlanta expert, Eagle Vending at 770-426-1969. We can help you develop a plan that fits your culture from what coffee to order to what color you should paint the walls.