What do you mean “you don’t like the cup?”

To Press Releases listMontreal, QC,Nov 24, 2010

What to give and not give at the office gift exchange

Are you running out of ideas for your gift exchange at work? During this holiday season, extraordinary gifts do not have to be expensive. According to a recent Leger Marketing poll conducted on behalf of Nestlé NOIR regarding the worst gifts you can receive from coworkers during holiday season gift exchanges, Quebecers are somewhat split between two options regarding gifts in bad taste that cause disappointment. Topping the list is the gift you gave someone last year (32%), closely followed by a cup bearing your company’s logo (26%). Without a doubt, exchanging gifts between colleagues is often an activity that requires tact and consideration.

Why complicate matters when you can give a simple, stylish gift?

Whether you’re running out of ideas or wondering what’s appropriate, a traditional box of premium chocolate, like new Nestlé NOIR Mousse Délicate milk chocolate, with its smooth, rounded forms, will definitely help you steer clear of potential pitfalls this year.

According to Julie Faucher, etiquette expert, food chemist and professor at the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), “several classics such as quality chocolates, a bottle of wine or spirits, a locally produced liqueur or alcohol, kitchen items or a cookbook are gifts that never go out of style.”

A few etiquette basics from Julie Faucher

But there’s more to it that simply giving your colleague an appropriate gift; you also need know the basics of office gift exchange etiquette. “We have to keep in mind that exchanging gifts between colleagues is actually more of an excuse for a party, so some basic rules and tips are in order,” says Ms. Faucher.


  • Give a personalized gift: Once the names have been drawn, it is important that you make discreet inquiries regarding the person whose name you’ve picked to become familiar with your colleague's tastes, sports activities, culinary and cultural interests. This will make it easier for you to find THE perfect gift that will please your colleague.



  • Comply with the cost guidelines: When you organize a gift exchange, I suggest you get together as a team at the outset to establish a specific amount for the gift. It is important to that participants comply with the amount. Normally, gifts within 10% of the preset amount suit everybody.



  • Pay special attention to your gift wrapping: I recommend that you select the wrapping wisely and carefully consider the manner in which you give your gift. These details are just as important as the gift itself. For example, a person interested in the environment would enjoy receiving a gift in original, tasteful and environmentally friendly wrapping.


Some pitfalls to avoid

  • Inappropriate gifts:
    • Perfume – because that’s too personal
    • Any off-colour humour items
    • Any items of a sexual nature
    • Any gift that highlights your colleague’s physical or psychological shortcomings
  • Impersonal gifts:
    • Any gift not in line with your colleague’s personality or values
  • Regifting:
    • Giving the gift you received last year
    • Regifting a gift you hated

If unfortunately, you happen to receive a gift that you do not like, control your emotions so the person who gave it to you will not feel badly.

A tasteful gift idea that tastes good!

This year, brand new Nestlé NOIR Mousse Délicate milk chocolate will be offered as a gift package during the holiday season at grocery stores and retail outlets across Canada (including Quebec) at a suggested retail price of $4.99 for the 90 g box and $7.99 for the 180 g box. A 180 g dark chocolate gift box will also be available. Nestlé Noir Mousse Délicate received the 2009 Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award in the confectionery products of the year category.


Backed by more than a century of research and experience, Nestlé Canada's vision is to be the most trusted and respected food and nutrition company in Canada, bringing Good Food, Good Life to Canadians. Nestlé in Canada manufactures some of the world's most recognized and trusted brands, including NESTLÉ PROFESSIONAL, STOUFFER'S, LEAN CUISINE, NESQUIK, NESTLÉ GOOD START, POWERBAR, HÄAGEN-DAZS, KIT KAT, NESCAFÉ, NESTLÉ PURE LIFE, NESTLÉ DRUMSTICK and NESTLÉ PURINA BENEFUL. NESTLÉ in Canada employs approximately 3,600 people in more than 20 manufacturing sites, sales offices and distribution centres across the country.