This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Employer Self-Insurance
is Surging


  The Herman Trend Alert

August 3, 1999

Take-Home Meals Will Become More Popular

150 days until January 1, 2000

Today's workers are challenged with a heavy workload, responsibilities at home, stressful commuting time, and precious little time for themselves. The thought of preparing meals after that tiring commute after a busy day is not inspiring. If people can find a way to reduce that load at dinner time, they're highly receptive!

The ability to take a meal home from work, pop it in the microwave, and serve it quickly to a hungry family is quite appealing. For people who live alone, the minimization of the food preparation chore is often a blessing. An increasing number of employees are picking up meals at work--leftovers from lunch service at the company cafeteria.

More women (read: mothers with homemaker duties) will be working full-time or part-time. An increasing number of single mothers will also be in the workforce, facing special challenges around child care and family management. More older workers will stay in the corporate main stream, at least on a part-time basis. With limited capabilities, they will appreciate employers doing little things to make their lives easier.

Another interesting demographic will be an increase in workers who have, until relatively recently, been locked into the welfare cycle. These workers will be concerned about giving their kids decent meals, but will be hampered by an income level that isn't significantly higher than what they'd become accustomed to on public support. The transition period will be difficult for them, so any help they can get from their employers will be quite valuable for them.

The anticipated shift to providing prepared meals as part of the employment relationship will take the "care and feeding" of employees to a new level.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

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