The lunch box has become the main ally of the worker who needs to face the advance of inflation or save to keep the budget up to date. A survey by Sodexo Benefits and Incentives shows that 65% of professionals interviewed usually take ready-to-eat meals from home to work. This occurs amid the rise in meal prices outside the home – which is costing, on average, R$ 40.64.
The survey was carried out with 3,931 people across the country between the 13th and 15th of July.
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The survey shows that another 17.22% usually have lunch in restaurants that offer the dish made, followed by those who usually eat in restaurants by the kilo (14.68%) and in à la carte restaurants (3%).
The survey also shows that the option for a lunch box was already adopted by workers before the rise of inflation – 33.15% say they have the habit of taking ready-to-eat food from home because they consider it a cheaper meal. Another 25.36% say they prefer homemade food, followed by 22.82% who started to take lunch boxes after the price increase.
Already 18.67% declared that, even with the high prices, they prefer to eat in a restaurant.
The survey also measured how often the lunch box option is used in the week:
- 51.72%: always
- 20.63%: two to three times a week
- 20.27%: never
- 7.38%: once a week
Smaller adherence to the lunch box is on Saturday
Workers avoid taking a lunch box on Saturday (55.23%), on Friday (43.27%) and on Monday (27.04%). On Tuesdays (13.43%), Wednesdays (15.85%) and Thursdays (14.83%), the rate of workers who do not take a lunch box drops considerably.
Regarding weekends, 43.28% say they still go to restaurants, but not as often as before. Another 40.52% declare that they no longer attend restaurants because they no longer have the financial means to do so, and 16.21% continue to attend establishments normally.
Inflation ‘shrinks’ period of use of food stamps
For Willian Tadeu Gil, director of Institutional Relations and Corporate Responsibility at Sodexo Benefits and Incentives, the challenging inflationary scenario directly affects the food sector and, consequently, the pocket of Brazilian workers, who started to pay out of his own pocket 9 days of the budget for meals away from home.
According to another survey by Sodexo, since the arrival of the pandemic in 2020 until June of this year, the average duration of food stamps has been just 13 days. In 2019, it was 18 days. The research takes into account the granting of food stamps for 22 days, which is the working period of employees.
“For this reason, it is important that companies remain aware of the current scenario to adjust the value of the benefit to their employees whenever necessary in order to cover working days”, he says.
According to Gil, in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, companies of all sizes increased, on average, 4.2% in the value of food stamps and by 8.82% in the case of food stamps. . In both cases, the adjustment was below inflation in June, which accelerated to 11.89% in 12 months.
Increase of 48.3% in the last 10 years
Meal away from home drives up inflation in June
A survey by Ticket, a company in the meal and food benefits sector of Edenred Brasil, shows that the average amount spent on meals away from home grew 48.3% in the last 10 years – in 2013, eating out cost about R$27, 40, and in 2022 this value changed to an average of R$ 40.64.
According to Ticket, the increase in the average price of meals shown by the survey could be weighing even more on workers, as it is below inflationary corrections.
According to the study, the National Consumer Price Index (IPCA) accumulated in the analyzed period was 73.8%. If corrected according to the official inflation measured by the IBGE, the complete meal would cost an average of R$ 47.62 in the pocket of Brazilians.
In the detailed analysis by region, the greatest variation of meals away from home was observed in the Northeast. The value rose from R$23.74 to R$40.28, an increase of 69.6%. The smallest variation was observed in the North region, with an increase of 18.6%. In 2013, the dish cost R$ 30.45. Now, it costs R$ 36.14.
In the Southeast, it went from R$29.85 to R$42.83, an increase of 43.4%; in the South, from R$26.55 to R$36.97, an increase of 39.2%; and in the Midwest, from R$26.85 to R$34.20, an increase of 27.3%.