A festive box filled with wood chips, ragout trays and food cans full of food to survive the bleak winter: the boss's annual thank-you is coming again. The trend this year in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? "A classic package full of premium brands."
The labor market is tight. Employers do not want to lose their staff, so more is being invested in a Christmas package this year, says Julie Oierrié, of Udense kerstpakket.nl. The company processes around three thousand packages a day at this time of the year, and its value is constantly increasing. Customers are mainly employers in SMEs, who spend around 45 euros on a package. "That is really a lot more than about four years ago."
The vouchers are doing less well this year, she says. "The employee is not so happy with a voucher. He wants to be spoiled before Christmas starts and with such a voucher, he still has the idea that the boss is making a mess of it."
"It's Christmas, the brakes are off, so employers opt for a traditional package." Julie Oierrié, kerst kits.nl
SMEs do not want a gadget, but a box full of A-brands
The 50-euro package with all of the A-brands is one of the best, says Oierrié. "Coca-Cola, Lay's chips: all recognizable brands that you don't always buy for yourself. It was the best-selling package of 2018 and this year it is also doing incredibly well."
The employee in the SME does not want a gadget or a trip with the team. He wants a traditional package with good products - at least that's what the bigger employers think. The hip start-ups, says Oierríe, who arrange their own gifts. "We focus on the people in construction, on the belt, on the processors."
What is not going so well this year? The sustainable package, Oierrié notes. "You would think: sustainability is hip and happening, everyone calls that he is a vegetarian and wants to contribute to a better world, but when it comes to the end employers still choose a mass package or barbecue package. It's Christmas, the brakes are off or so, that idea. "
The warehouse in Uden touches army and army, but the Soda Streams, the bird house packages and the smoothie makers for healthy juices are still there. "We were really committed to it, but apparently the companies don't have to do it for Christmas."
The setbacks. A survey on social media shows that not every employer has understood:
- Ineke: "We received a book as a Christmas gift a few years ago in secondary education about how to deal with unruly children. The book was put back by many in the rector's mailbox, who called it an error of judgment. Now we get a plume from 25 euros. Education is not a waste of money! "
- Marianne: "I once sat with one ordinary white Gouda candle in the tram between people with Christmas packages, and once some foldable headrest for the beach. Long live the education."
- Roxanne: "I was working at a restaurant business and we all got a (probably used) bathrobe from the hotel they had closed at Christmas."
- Anouk: "I worked as a trainee doctor assistant at a social workplace and got the job of packing the Christmas packages and delivering them to the employees. I was driving around with a cart in the different departments. Then I heard:" No, you not yourself, trainees never get a Christmas gift here! ' I was terribly disappointed. I packed Christmas packages all week while I was studying as a doctor's assistant. "
- Cynthia: "We once got four half coconuts to put salt in the hospital as a Christmas gift. We donated them back with the entire staff."
Dutch walk to cosiness never far away
Such a classic Christmas package is still in demand, says Arjan van de Knegt from PPP, the branch organization for Christmas packages and promotional gifts. In fact, the tradition is alive and well.
The Dutch desire for cosiness, a warm party feeling, tradition and nostalgia is never far away, but around the holidays it is already completely strong, according to Van de Knegt. So the packages have that romantic, cozy touch: blankets, hot drinks, and see what is in it with the family around the box.
"The choice idea was introduced about ten years ago. People could then choose between a classic package or a coupon with which you select something yourself. That also saved a lot of work logistically. But still: a large group also goes then for the traditional packages. "
"No one is waiting for a chicken grill." Arjan van de Knegt, Christmas package organization
Once gone, the package will not return
Not everyone gets a present from Christmas from the boss, De Knegt knows. Once a company has cut the package away, it will not return quickly. "At ABN AMRO, for example. We once handed out fun packages at the exit. If such a gift has been removed from the budget, as was often the case in the crisis years, there is little chance that it will be reintroduced."
The Christmas package is a form of appreciation that is good, but there are a few conditions. Products in the package must be of good quality, have a link with your work - but not too clearly a work gift - and you must be able to use them more than once a year. "A chicken grill for example, nobody is waiting for that."