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Meal Vouchers & Employee Benefits Solutions Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type [Meal Vouchers (Book Card and Digital Card) and Employee Benefits (Meal, Gift, Travel, and Others)] and Regional Forecast, 2023-2030

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104412



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The global meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions market size was valued at USD 214.36 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow from USD 221.99 billion in 2023 to USD 346.65 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period.

Business organizations mainly invest in meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions to improve their employees’ financial health and wellbeing. These solutions include meal coupons, travel & gift vouchers, health-related policies, and many others. Furthermore, these solutions help employers keep their employees motivated and improve the overall productivity of their workplace. In addition, these solutions enable organizations to enhance team engagement at their workplaces.

Nowadays, key players operating in the meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions industry, such as Circula GmbH, Sodexo Group, Edenred SA, and others offer meal cards, travel vouchers, gift coupons, and other employee benefits to improve the health and financial wellbeing of working professionals. For instance, in May 2021, Sodexo launched the 'Lunch Pass card', a digital meal card in Luxembourg. The card is beneficial for office professionals, restaurant staff, and employees working from home.


Closure of Restaurants Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Hampered Market Growth

COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions forced restaurants, food courts, and hotels to shut down their business. As a result, working professionals faced difficulty in obtaining meals from restaurants and cafeterias. This factor significantly impacted companies’ revenues from meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions segment, and the market experienced a slowdown in revenue generation. For instance, Edenred S.A. reported a 2.8% decline in its business revenue from its meal voucher & employee benefits solutions, reaching USD 1,071.85 million in 2020. This decline in the company's sales revenues was attributed to the shutting down of its merchant partners' businesses.

However, continued preference of employers for giving their employees discounted coupons, gift cards, and other benefits to maintain their employees' income level supported the market’s growth during the pandemic. For instance, in May 2021, Sodexo Group launched 'Lunch Pass,' an electronic voucher that helped people fulfill social distancing norms during the pandemic. In addition, in 2021, Edenred SA created a multi-benefit employee platform, 'Ticket Superflex,' for employees in Brazil, Mexico, and France. Employees could use the restaurant and other gift vouchers securely, quickly, and easily through such a platform.

Furthermore, since companies were providing multiple-employer benefit solutions to client employers, the market witnessed notable recovery during the pandemic. For instance, in November 2021, Embroker, an employee insurance services provider, partnered with Health Advocate, a U.S.-based health advocacy company, to provide employee healthcare benefits and solutions to organizations during the COVID-19 outbreak.


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Increasing Adoption of Electronic Vouchers by Employers is a Prominent Trend

Nowadays, tracking paper-based coupons is becoming more difficult for voucher issuing companies as there is an increase in theft and misuse, causing voucher wastage. As a result, the demand for electronic vouchers is increasing, simplifying business processes and allowing voucher issuing companies to track real-time data based on coupon usage. This factor will contribute to the demand for electronic vouchers.

Government agencies are also eager to develop new policies that benefit employers and employees, assisting organizations in any crisis or economic downturn. Supportive government measures are being developed to enhance the employee welfare policies implemented by organizations and increase the employee retention rate. This may lead to an increase in demand for employee benefits services across companies. For example, the Government of Czech Republic launched a "flat-rate meal program" in 2020 to enable employers throughout the country to provide meal vouchers to their employees.

Edenred SA, Sodexo Group, Circula GmbH, and other key players are emphasizing on harnessing employee productivity by introducing various employee benefits solutions. This factor will increase the demand for these solutions globally. For instance, in February 2021, Circula GmbH launched the Circula Benefits product, wherein employees could receive a digital meal voucher in the existing Circula application.


Increasing Percentage of Working-Class Population to Augment Market Progress

The usage of various vouchers, such as prepaid cards, for availing services across restaurants, travel, fuel, and other expenses will drive the adoption of such facilities among the working population. So, the increasing percentage of the working population is set to fuel the demand for employee benefits services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the country’s civilian labor force participation rate increased from 61.5% in March 2021 to 62.4% in March 2022.

Nowadays, companies are offering lunch and breakfast coupons to enable employees to purchase their meal kits without any hassle. This factor will support the demand for employee meal cards.

Furthermore, the increasing incidence of job-hopping is surging the demand for products, such as meal vouchers and employee benefits solutions. This is attributed to the fact that these solutions can increase productivity and satisfaction of employees and, in turn, enhance a company’s retention rate. The rising attrition rate will allow companies to focus more on such benefits to improve their employees' well-being, which will surge the demand for such services.

Growing Awareness of Financial Benefits to Boost Market Growth

The voucher system is beneficial for both employees and employers due to its financial benefits. The employers can waive off their social insurance changes by offering a voucher, and the employee receives tax benefits. Furthermore, such initiatives have been observed to increase employee productivity. Therefore, employers play a crucial role in boosting employee engagement in organizations by introducing benefits, thereby aiding the global meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions market growth. According to a report named ‘2021 EBRI Financial Wellbeing Employer Survey: Focus on COVID-19 and Diversity Goals', published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), in 2021, the percentage of American employers interested in implementing financial wellbeing programs in their organizations increased from 20% in 2018 to 34% in 2021.


High Cost of Meal Vouchers & Employee Benefits Solutions to Limit Market Development

The high cost of meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions can limit their demand among small-sized organizations. Additionally, data security issues in digital meal vouchers may decrease their demand.

Furthermore, paper-based meal vouchers can lead to misuse, making it a challenge for employers. However, few employees face issues in transactions and security concerns. These factors are collectively responsible for hampering the demand for meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions. According to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the total cost that employers had to bear for their civilian workers in the U.S. averaged USD 42.48 per hour in December 2022.


By Product Type Analysis

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High Demand to Keep the Employee Benefits Segment at Dominating Level in the Global Market

Based on product type, the market is segmented into meal vouchers and employee benefits.

The employee benefits segment is expected to hold a major share in the global market due to significant demand for employee benefits solutions among business organizations to improve the purchasing power and motivation level of their employees. Additionally, the rising need for companies to increase their operational performance has allowed them to emphasize on health and wellbeing-related employee benefits to create a healthy work environment. The growing focus on maintaining a healthy work-life balance for both male and female employees has boosted employees' productivity levels in workplaces. This will further drive the demand for employee benefits services including medical insurance, mental health services, gift hampers, coupons, and others.

The employee benefits segment is further sub-segmented into meal, gift, travel, and others.

The meal segment holds the leading share of the employee benefits segment due to growing concerns regarding the ill effects of poor-quality meals on employees' health and wellbeing. This aspect allows employers to prioritize health and offer fresh meal benefits to workers to boost physical health conditions and improve their wellbeing.

The growing popularity of corporate gift vouchers during festivals and other special occasions to boost employee engagement will also contribute to the expansion of the gift segment.

The growing demand for travel and tourism activities among working professionals as part of their leisure activities is accelerating the expansion of the travel segment.

Furthermore, companies are becoming more aware of the availability of various employee benefit options, such as health & sports vouchers and cultural coupons, boosting the others’ segment growth.

The meal vouchers segment is likely to witness the fastest growth rate during the forecast period of 2023-2030 as meal vouchers allow employees to use them and visit the restaurants of their choice. Furthermore, these vouchers offer convenience in choosing the meal from specific restaurants, and employees can select as per their meal preferences. This factor will boost the engagement of current employees and improve the company's internal and external reputation. For instance, in May 2021, iFood and Ole, two food delivery startups, partnered with Link, a payment solution, to launch corporate meal cards and vouchers. The employees can use this card in restaurants, supermarkets, and other online purchases across groceries, bakeries, and retail stores.

The meal vouchers segment is further sub-segmented into book cards and digital cards.

Increasing employer preference for cost-effective meal vouchers is surging the demand for book-based meal vouchers, driving the book card segment growth. As the usage of digital meal voucher cards is increasing the incidence of data thefts, companies are opting for book-based meal vouchers, thereby accelerating their sales.

The growing adoption of advanced corporate management solutions among employers is driving the digital cards segment growth. Furthermore, enterprises' continuous development of novel meal vouchering solutions will inspire employers to use such solutions, resulting in the digital card segment expansion.


Europe Meal Vouchers & Employee Benefits Solutions Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)

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The global market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Europe is anticipated to hold a dominant meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions market share as companies are receiving tremendous support from their governments. For instance, according to data published by the Government of Czech Republic, in June 2020, it proposed a meal voucher reform, which would help employers contribute to their employees' meals without using paper vouchers through a "flat-rate" meal program. Furthermore, global players in the employee solutions market are concentrating their efforts on expanding their presence in the European markets by acquiring the region’s employee benefit providers, such as CIRFOOD, Circula GmbH, and the UP Group. For instance, in March 2022, EML Payments Limited (EML) entered the meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions industry in Europe by introducing employee benefit solutions and meal vouchers through a multi-year agreement with Up Spain. The Europe market will witness a fast growth rate owing to the growing establishment of infrastructure in the hospitality and hotel industry in the region.

North America is expected to hold a significant market share due to the presence of leading employee benefit solution providers and greater awareness of employee perks among American businesses. The vast working population in the U.S. is also expected to enable players to expand their employee benefits solutions business in the country. Furthermore, the region has a robust innovation hub as there is fierce competition among organizations to provide futuristic solutions. These factors are expected to accelerate the North America’s market growth.

Asia Pacific is projected to display vital growth as many businesses are employing millions of people in their workplaces. Players are focusing on various strategies, such as partnerships and collaborations to offer value-added solutions to their clients and increase their market share. Developing countries in the region, such as India are offering numerous opportunities as employers in the region are trying hard to retain high-quality talent and are keen to adopt employee benefit solutions. For instance, in August 2020, Axis Bank Ltd. redefined the conventional employment processes by launching GIG-A-Opportunities that embrace alternate work models to attract the finest talent.

The increasing female employment rate will boost the demand for employee benefits solutions in the South American region. According to the World Bank figures, Argentina's female labor force participation rate reached 43.21% in 2020. Also, the presence of prominent companies, such as VR Beneficios, Edenred SA, Monizze Nv SA, and others in Brazil, Belgium, and Argentina has largely supported the market’s growth in the region.

In the MEA region, the market for meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions is predicted to grow slowly throughout the forecast period. Increased business-related investments in the region and growing involvement of major players in the employee benefits market to support the region's working professionals are expected to drive the market expansion throughout the forecast period.


Merger & Acquisition Strategies Adopted by Key Players to Favor Market Expansion

Key players operating in the market for meal vouchers & employee benefits solutions are expanding their geographic presence to gain a competitive edge. For instance, in May 2020, Edenred acquired Brazil-based Cooper Card’s client portfolio, which is involved in providing employee benefits solutions. This acquisition was expected to strengthen Edenred’s position in the South American market. Therefore, subsidies and voucher systems are among the best employee retention strategies adopted by organizations to improve employee engagement and increase their productivity, and prevent the loss of a talented workforce.


  • Edenred SA (France)

  • Sodexo Group (France)

  • Circula GmbH (Germany)

  • CIRFOOD (Italy)

  • Monizze NV SA (Belgium)

  • Spendit AG (Germany)

  • Alelo Brasil (Brazil)

  • Axis Bank Ltd (India)

  • Rakuten Group Inc. (Japan)

  • Unum Group (U.S.)

  • Cinqo Group (Bahrain)


  • March 2023: Texas, U.S.-based Securian Financial’s subsidiary company Empyrean Benefit Solutions acquired Enspire, an employee communication & engagement platform, to deliver people-centric employee benefit-related administration technologies and compassionate support services to American businesses.

  • December 2022: PIB Group Ltd. (PIB) strengthened its employee benefit solutions’ business by acquiring the employee benefits division of the U.K.’s Creative Benefit Solutions Limited.

  • July 2022:  Alera Group, an independent national insurance & wealth management services firm, acquired Core Benefit Solutions, a prominent employee benefit, compliance, and human resource outsourcing services provider, to build its market presence in the U.S.

  • August 2021: Up Group acquired Leeto to strengthen its services by providing a complimentary digital solution to Up Group's existing services, including a platform allowing employees to access their benefits.

  • July 2020: Zeta India declared its expansion into the Southeast Asian market. The company launched its technology Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) in the Philippines and Vietnam, with Sodexo becoming the first client in these countries.


An Infographic Representation of Meal Voucher and Employee Benefit Solutions Market

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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies and product types. Besides, the report encompasses the latest market trends, market segments, and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market analysis encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market’s growth in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 6.6% during 2023-2030


Value (USD Billion)


By Product Type

  • Meal Vouchers

    • Book Card

    • Digital Card

  • Employee Benefits

    • Meal

    • Gift

    • Travel

    • Others

North America (By Product Type and Country)

  • U.S.  

  • Canada

  • Mexico

Europe (By Product Type and Country)

  • Germany

  • France

  • Italy

  • Spain

  • U.K.

  • Rest of Europe

Asia Pacific (By Product Type and Country)

  • China

  • India

  • Japan

  • South Korea

  • Australia

  • Rest of Asia Pacific

South America (By Product Type and Country)

  • Brazil

  • Argentina

  • Rest of South America

Middle East and Africa (By Product Type and Country)

  • South Africa

  • UAE

  • Rest of Middle East and Africa  

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 214.36 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 346.65 billion by 2030.

In 2023, the market value stood at USD 221.99 billion.

The global market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.6% throughout the forecast period of 2023-2030.

The employee benefits segment is expected to be the leading segment under product type during the forecast period.

Increasing percentage of the working class population and growing awareness regarding the financial benefits of these vouchers and benefits will drive the market growth.

Edenred SA, Sodexo Group, and Circula GmbH are the leading players in the global market.

Europe dominated the global market in 2022.

Employers increasing adoption of electronic vouchers is expected to surge the product adoption.

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