What Is the UK’s Favourite Office Snack?

Snacking is a big part of office culture in the UK. A mid-morning cup of tea and chocolate digestive or an afternoon pick-me-up is what helps us get through the working day. It’s an excuse to socialise and gives us something to look forward to, but it’s also cause for debate. The ‘best office snack’ is a controversial subject that has led to many passionate disagreements across desks around the country, and there was never a right or wrong answer, until now… 

Here at Furniture At Work, we have used survey data and social media polls to settle the argument once and for all. We asked 1,000 office workers around the UK to list their favourite office snacks, then used polls on Instagram to separate the most popular. We even spoke to a psychologist to find out why we are a nation who can’t resist a snack at work.  

The Results  

We used the data to put the nation’s favourite office snacks into a pyramid with four different tiers: 

Top five office snacks, as voted for by the nation 

  1. Chocolate digestive (57%) 
  1. Hula Hoops (43%) 
  1. Kit Kat (42%) 
  1. Fruit (25%) 
  1. Doritos (23%) 

Worst office snacks 

  1. Graze (3%) 
  1. Nuts (3%) 
  1. Space Raiders (6%) 
  1. Wotsits (7%) 
  1. Nik Naks (7%) 
     

Why is Office Snacking So Popular in the UK?  

We spoke to Jane Ogden (PhD), Professor in Health and Psychology at the University of Surrey about why the office snack culture is so big in the UK, she said the following: 

“The working day is often punctuated by snacks, sometimes at the desk eaten mindlessly whilst working and sometimes with colleagues over a cup of coffee in the common room.  Snacking serves many functions and can help the day pass by more easily. 

“First, snacking can act as punctuation to mark the passing of time. It can reflect ‘arriving at my desk’, ‘a mid-morning treat’, a mid-afternoon pick-me-up’ or a ‘reward at the end of a long day’. These act like markers of time and signal time passing to give the day momentum. 

“Snacking can also act as a break from work if it involves ‘popping to the shop’ or ‘making a quick cuppa’. The snack provides the reason for the break and justifies time out from a busy schedule. 

“Eating is sociable and snacking sanctions chatting if it involves going to see a friend or sitting in a café.  The snack is the excuse, and the chat is the reward, but they go hand in hand and make the day for fun. 

“Snacking can be harmless and helps make work-life more fun, if the snack is healthy and the chat worthwhile.  But sometimes snacking can be mindless with people eating food they don’t even register. It can involve large amounts of calories that aren’t really remembered and if working from home, near the fridge or biscuit tin, it can lead to weight gain.” 

It’s important for business owners to provide the best possible working environment for employees. This should also include providing healthy snacks, helping employees socialise and keep their energy levels high.  

If you agree with the nation’s top picks, are outraged that your favourite snack is in the lowest tier, or want to learn more about the benefits of snacking in the office, you can reach out to us on our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/furnitureatwork/.   

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