What you can buy with a lunch benefit at the grocery store?

What you can buy with a lunch benefit at the grocery store?

The lunch benefit not only offers a delicious break during the workday, but also a flexible payment method that you can use to pay exactly when it suits you best. Whether it's a buffet at a lunch restaurant, breakfast at a local cafe, a take-away portion from a restaurant or an assembled salad portion from a grocery store, Edenred's comprehensive lunch network has something for everyone. But what can you buy at the grocery store with the lunch benefit?

Jump directly to the list of products for which the lunch discount goes in the grocery store.

The tax administration determines what can can be bought with the lunch benefit

With different working hours and increased remote work, more and more people are enjoying the opportunity to pay for meals bought at the grocery store with Lounar. Fortunately, our extensive network offers a convenient opportunity to put together a quick and nutritious lunch.

However, when using the lunch benefit in a grocery store, you must take into account the regulations regarding the use of the benefit. These are determined by the Tax Administration. In this blog, we put together a handy list of what you can and can't buy at the grocery store with a lunch discount.

"A meal voucher or other targeted payment instrument can be valued in accordance with the benefit-in-kind decision also in the event that it can be used to pay for so-called take-away portions taken from a grocery store, such as salads, filled baguettes and ready-made take-away portions prepared for sale at the store."


Source: Finnish Tax Admistration

Buy only fresh, ready-to-eat food portions with the benefit

The lunch benefit is intended for buying a meal to be enjoyed during the working day. The tax administration determines that it only goes to the grocery store for certain types of portions. A handy rule to remember is that most fresh food portions that can be eaten without heating can be paid for with the lunch benefit. The benefit is therefore not used as a means of payment for meals or portions that need to be heated before eating.

Meals paid for with the benefit can be hot or cold, such as a self-assembled portion from the service counter or salad bar. The selection may vary depending on the size of the store, but in most well-stocked grocery stores you can find e.g. service counter, salad bar and sushi counter. With lunch benefit, you pay for the portions you have assembled yourself at the salad bar and sushi counter, and at the service counter you can buy several portions such as filled baguettes, grilled chicken leg with your choice of side dish, and other ready-made hot or cold portions.

In large stores, you can find several other ready-made meals, such as poke bowls or pizza slices. You can buy them to your advantage as long as they are edible as they are, without cooking, and they are produced locally only for that grocery store. If a fresh portion needs to be heated in the microwave at home, it cannot be bought with a lunch benefit.

With the lunch benefit, you can buy in grocery stores:

  • A portion and salad dressing built from the salad bar
  • A hot meal, hot grilled products or cold salad portions collected from the service counter
  • Sushi counter servings: sushi, wakame salad, wasabi and ginger serving packs
  • A portion packaged for sale by a local restaurant, which can be eaten without heating or other cooking
  • A portion prepared and packaged by the shop itself, such as a filled baguette or warm Pizza Romana pizza slices
  • Products from the frying station sold by the piece, such as foccacia or a roll on the side of a salad
  • Take away coffee or tea

What you cannot buy with the benefit in grocery stores:

For tax reasons, you cannot buy anything industrially packaged with the lunch benefit. Kindly note that as a beneficiary, you should use your benefit in accordance with the Tax Administration's instructions. Please do not buy the following products with your lunch benefit:

  • Convenience/ processed food portions from the food shelf, hamburgers, triangle sandwiches, salads, paninis, rolls
  • Drinks, even if they become a food drink (e.g. soda, mineral water, juice, smoothie)
  • Frozen products, such as wok dishes or ready-made pizzas
  • Orange juice squeezed from a grocery store juicer
  • Food, such as bread, meat, vegetables or fruit
  • Consumables, such as toilet paper or disposable eating utensils
  • Sweets, ice cream, candy, potato chips
  • Cigarettes or tobacco
  • Alcohol

Numerous grocery stores and gas stations around Finland accept Edenred as a payment method.
So find the nearest place to use the benefit and enjoy your lunch benefit!

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