Looking to reward clients who have finished a big project with your firm or employees who have reached goals or met employment milestones? Gift baskets are ideal ways to give a tangible "thanks" to people you value in business. In fact, gift baskets are big business -- the food gifting industry grew by 5 percent last year and sales are projected to continue growing through 2016. 

Whether you're putting together gift baskets yourself or are hiring an expert to customize baskets for you, gourmet foods are an appealing addition. But not just any food will do: Some items are better for baskets than others are. You want to make sure you avoid:

  • Items that will get stale or lose freshness
  • Items that will spoil or rot
  • Items that might set off allergies or sensitivities

Here are five food items to include in your corporate gift baskets that will fit the bill.

1. Jerky

Dried meats make a great snack and you can find some out-of-the-ordinary options, like buffalo or elk jerky, that will help your gift basket stand out. Gourmet jerky is usually free from the types of preservatives that are part of the inexpensive grocery store variety, but it will still keep for long enough to be given in a basket and enjoyed in a few days or a week.

2. Deli cheeses

Not all cheeses must be refrigerated, and many varieties are available as sealed blocks or wheels that look nice in a basket. Cheeses are easy for most people to eat, and even those with dairy sensitivities can often eat cheese.

3. Specialty sauces

Sauces can be stored unopened for several weeks and can be enjoyed over a period of time by gift recipients. Barbecue sauce from a specific region, deli-style mustards or some types of salsas can all be safely included in a gift basket.

4. Packaged spreads or dips

Many types of spreads can be made with packaged herb or spice mixes to which the recipient adds sour cream, mayonnaise or something similar. This allows you to include some fun types of seasonings without worrying about spoilage.

5. Sweets

Everyone loves a treat, especially something high quality that can be enjoyed in small amounts. Think about adding some gourmet chocolates or candies to your basket to compliment the more savory items.

Including gourmet foods in your corporate gift baskets is one way to create a classy and appreciated present for clients and employees alike. For more information on gourmet foods, contact a company like Nossack Fine Meats Ltd.