Come on, own up: what’s your secret office snack?

by | May 12, 2017

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City Editor Neil Martin discovers some interesting facts about our snacking habits at work.

Some top research came onto my desk this week and no, it wasn’t the usual 26% advisers think their clients need a new car. No, this was more erudite stuff, revealing that 47% of us snack at work and don’t tell their partners.

I wasn’t sure at first if they meant partners as in the one at home, or business partner, but I’m guessing the former.


Further figures revealed that 74% of workers confessed to indulging in a weekly secret snack and that 35% daily snack in secret (well, I could think of worse things to do in the office).

Top workplace snacks were said to be a bacon sandwich, biscuits, crisps and sweets.

When I worked in the City, many moons ago, quite a few of my colleagues would consider elevenses to be a mid-morning snifter. I was sat opposite one old boy, a former Fleet Street hack, who’d arrive at work looking like a belligerent ghost – it was only after his first tipple of whisky at 11 that he’d look like a human being again, nicely flushed and able to participate in office life. After a liquid lunch, he’d be the life and soul of the office, and would even be able to talk to clients.


In our part of London we were blessed with a pub right outside the office – it’s clientele were newspaper workers coming off evening shifts and desperate not to miss out on some drinking time.

I avoided that temptation, but was sat next to the coffee machine, which meant I was fully injected with pure caffeine right from the get go – I think that explains a lot of my current problems!

My favourite snack was two slices of toast covered in marmalade, but the one that caused the most consternation with my colleagues was a spicy chorizo panini which measured about a foot long. It smelt vile, but tasted delicious; I was none too popular with the people around me.


Back to the survey, which was kindly supplied by the catalogue IronmongeryDirect, after they questioned just over 2,000 UK adults. Their research was part of a campaign to find Britain’s Best Bacon Butty.

I’ll let Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director of IronmongeryDirect, do some talking. He said: “The workplace can be a minefield of food temptations and despite best intentions, indulgent treats can replace healthy ones. Our sweet and savoury snacks then become secret and not shared with our partners. However, we want to champion our best loved snack and find the best place in the UK to get a bacon butty.

“Those with demanding jobs are more likely to snack or eat on the go to keep their energy levels high for the physically demanding tasks.”


And here’s some top facts for you, just in case you’re interested in office snacking habits:

Top 10 Workplace Elevenses

  1. Bacon sandwich – 49%
  2. Biscuits – 44%
  3. Chocolate – 39%
  4. Crisps – 36%
  5. Sweets – 34%
  6. Pastries – 21%
  7. Cake – 19%
  8. Breakfast bars – 17%
  9. Sausage sandwich – 14%
  10. Popcorn – 5%

Top Industries For Secret Snacking

  1. Trades (construction, plumbing) – 41%
  2. Information and communication – 36%
  3. Professional service (law and accountancy) – 31%
  4. Marketing – 29%
  5. Utilities – 27%


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