Now that Wal-Mart Is Going Organic… What About Your Corporate Catering?

Posted by on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 with 2 Comments

By now, you’ve likely heard the big news that Wal-Mart is investing in organic foods. And while the knee-jerk reaction in the media may have been a collectively raised eyebrow, the truth is, Wal-Mart’s move says a lot more about American culture than it does about Wal-Mart’s… and as an employer, it’s worth considering how your own workplace culture fits into the picture, particularly when it comes to your corporate catering and organics. 

Wal-Mart organic food price tag

Organic groceries with lower prices are coming to Wal-Mart.
Image source: Flickr user Walmart Corporate

Consider this: Wal-Mart’s partnership with Wild Oats, and their intention behind expanding their existing organic grocery business (permitting customers to buy organic food at non-organic prices) signals that not only is the organic food game about to change, but that the world’s largest retailer considers it a game worth playing. Organics aren’t a niche market anymore; Wal-Mart’s research shows that 91 percent of its shoppers would like to buy affordable organic food products. So Wal-Mart will do what it does best: give their customers what they want, at cheaper prices than their competitors, because they can make production less expensive and more efficient thanks to the economy of scale.

This is where your office’s corporate catering comes in. If your company hasn’t jumped on the organic food bandwagon when it comes to the office meals and business lunches you feed your staff, this Wal-Mart news should be a wake-up call: it’s not really a bandwagon anymore. If Wal-Mart customers are clamoring for organics, chances are good your staff wants to eat organic as well.

woman shopping at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart shoppers are increasingly asking for affordable organic foods.
Image source: Flickr user Britt-knee

Of course, you have a bottom line to consider, too. And organic corporate catering is usually more expensive than non-organics (at least for now — some experts are predicting, however, that Wal-Mart may shift the entire landscape of organics). So even if your employees would like to eat organic at the office, is organic catering worth the increase in cost?

Scientifically, maybe. There’s little doubt that eating organic means we consume far fewer residual pesticides, but some questions remain about whether the levels we do consume with conventional foods even make a difference — and those levels vary widely depending on whether you’re talking about organic produce, meat, or dairy. The debate about organic vs. conventional in the scientific community is often heated, and rarely results in clear answers.

coworkers around an organic lunch

If organics are important to your staff, they may be worth the investment.
Image source: Flickr user Alana

But a lot of people, likely including your employees, want to eat organic anyway. We want to eat less pesticide-tinged produce, we want our dairy to come from cows that haven’t been pumped full of growth hormones, and we want the animals whose meat we consume to have had a better life. And the current perception is that organic can give us what we want.

In many ways, as an employer, the people who work for you are your customers. It’s part of your job to make them feel appreciated and to keep them engaged. After all, employees who feel appreciated and engaged will work harder, be more loyal, and simply perform at a higher level than those who don’t.

If your employees do place a premium on organic food, then it might be wise to take a page from Wal-Mart: give them what they want. Organic corporate catering could be a valuable way to communicate your appreciation and boost their engagement. The cost may be a little higher, but after all, employee satisfaction is one of the best investments you can make.

You’ll find the perfect corporate catering solution for your workplace at — and a diverse line-up of menus to ensure everyone in the office leaves the lunch table feeling happy, well-fed, and utterly appreciated!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

2 responses to “Now that Wal-Mart Is Going Organic… What About Your Corporate Catering?”

  1. Michael Giavasis says:

    If Walmart is making a serious move to include affordable organic foods, does this also include a systematic phasing out of non organic foods? Will there be two “versions” of most types of foods out there now?

    I truly hope it’s the first. A phasing out of non organic foods would change the landscape to a much larger degree: all the way up the ladder to farming, chemical production, etc.

    What does everyone else think about moving away from non organics completely? Is that even practical?

  2. Jameson says:

    I’ve never considered going organic with the catering choices that we make. The main reason it immediately doesn’t jump to mind is the fact that so many national chains offer competitive prices for events that we frequently hold. However, most of that food is highly processed and lackluster in quality.

    Having understood the points to this article, I think its an absolutely great idea to support local products as well as local businesses. Around here, there are many establishments that will offer unique dishes created with local and organic fair. I’ve found that reaching out to them and seeing if they’re willing to cater work events has been very receptive as well as rewarding for our staff. I know that in these health conscious days, it pays to watch what you put in your body. More often than not, we don’t really think about where the food on hand at events comes from. When we’re mindful with ordering, we can present a better image to our employees as well as our clients.