Food, sustainability, and health are high on the wishlist for Generation Z when choosing a workplace

A recent study conducted by Compass Group in collaboration with the market research firm Mintel reveals that Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2010) places the highest demands on health, well-being, and sustainability in the workplace. They are willing to seek out other companies if their needs aren’t met. By 2025, Generation Z is projected to comprise 27% of the global workforce (World Economic Forum).

The study is based on data from 35,000 employees across 26 countries and provides insights into attitudes toward food, health, and sustainability in the workplace, and how companies can attract and retain employees.

Cafeteria Vital for Employer Choice Across all age groups, flexible working hours are ranked as the most important employee benefit after salary, followed by health insurance and cafeteria services. In Denmark, the study shows that 63% of Generation Z believe that an on-site cafeteria is a significant factor in their choice of an employer.

Martin Pinstrup, Commercial Director of Compass Group Denmark, explains: “Generation Z and Millennials are soon expected to make up a substantial portion of the global workforce. This means their influence in the workplace will also rise. Generation Z places importance on working for a company that reflects their values of sustainability and a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on a positive work environment. The study confirms that Generation Z values having an employee restaurant that offers healthy and sustainable meals to support their lifestyle. These insights are valuable as we aim to stand strong in the competition to attract new generations of talented employees, together with our clients.”

Generation Z Driving a Meat-Free Revolution All age groups in the study expect the food offerings at their workplaces to support a healthy lifestyle by providing healthy food and beverage choices. This expectation is particularly strong among Generation Z, with 72% holding this belief. Additionally, the study indicates that the younger generations are driving a meat-free revolution in the workplace, with 57% of Generation Z advocating for more plant-based options, compared to only 28% among Generation X and 23% among baby boomers.

About the Study Compass Group’s Global Eating at Work Survey 2023 is one of the largest cross-generational studies of its kind, analyzing data from 35,000 global workers across 26 countries regarding their workplace preferences, including attitudes toward workplace dining, sustainability, digital habits, health, and mental well-being. Over 1800 participants from Denmark took part in the study.

Other Highlights • In Denmark, 63% of Generation Z believe that an on-site cafeteria plays a role in their choice of a potential employer. • Globally, 71% of employees believe that companies have a responsibility to proactively promote sustainability. • 74% of employees with an on-site cafeteria speak more positively about their workplace outside of work, compared to 66% of those without an on-site cafeteria.

Generational Overview: • Generation Z – 1996-2010 • Millennials – 1981-1995 • Generation X – 1966-1980 • Baby Boomers – 1946-1965