Techopia Live: Ottawa’s Desk Nibbles imagines ‘office kitchen of the future’

While day-old donuts and tupperware leftovers may dominate the majority of office kitchens today, an Ottawa-based startup believes that the future belongs to healthier alternatives, custom tailored to employees’ tastes.

Desk Nibbles co-founders Emil and Cassy Aite joined Techopia Live from the Discover TechNata talent hunt and expo to discuss how the firm is using tech to improve workplace snacking.

The Desk Nibbles service delivers regular boxes of snacks to more than 65 companies across Canada with customers including Uber and Kanata’s ProntoForms and You.i TV. Cassy told Techopia Live the firm has gotten plenty of attention from potential customers south of the border and is beginning its U.S. expansion in New York next month.

Desk Nibbles can also regularly restock the kitchen with the help of a chatbot assistant that plugs right into the workplace communication platform Slack. Chatting with the artificial intelligence builds up an employee’s taste and diet profile, ensuring the office kitchen will always be stocked with whatever the staff desires.

“We know that this person is vegan so they want to try new kinds of vegan chips … it creates that inclusive experience where people don’t feel like they’re getting left out on a process like this,” Emil said.

This process can also build a feedback loop between Desk Nibbles’ customers and suppliers. Sharing data on which snacks are popular and what could be better can improve the products and outcomes for all three parties, Emil said.

Cassy added that while most of the firm’s customers are in a tech field, the startup is getting new interest from non-tech businesses as the concept of integrating healthy eating into the workplace spreads.

“We’re seeing more and more non-tech companies adopt programs like this, because they’re realizing if you care about the well-being of your employees it’s almost a must to implement programs like these,” he said.

“We’re thinking of taking the whole experience of having an office kitchen one step further. It’s all about, ‘What does the office kitchen of the future look like?’”

Watch the video above to hear more about Desk Nibbles’ services and expansion plans.