The snacks most likely to be snatched by a sneaky food thief

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A recent study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Ben & Jerry’s found that quite a few of us are currently dealing with a sneaky food thief.

Do you know where your snacks are? Four in 10 Americans admit to being food thieves, according to new research.

Americans’ biggest targets are our friends, co-workers and partners, with one in 10 even literally taking candy from a child.

In fact, the average American says they have food stolen from them three times a week.

These statistics emerged from a new study of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Ben & Jerry’s, which found that quite a few of us are currently dealing with a sneaky food thief.

According to the results of the study, the biggest food thieves in our lives are actually our partners.

And while a partner taking your food is easily forgivable, it’s less forgivable if it’s a friend or co-worker, who were found to be the next biggest sneaks.

In fact, nearly half of the country (41 percent) say they’ve dealt with a co-worker stealing food from them before, with 60 percent saying their food gets stolen so often they actually had to confront somebody about it.

How do they respond? While confronting directly is the most popular technique, one in three Americans retaliate by stealing food right back, while 35 percent prefer to leave a handwritten note.

Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) have had their food stolen out of the communal fridge at work, while another one in four (25 percent) say somebody has swiped their meal straight out of the microwave.

So which food of yours should you keep a special eye on? According to the survey, potato chips and ice cream were the most popular targets for thieves at home, with candy rounding out the top three.

At work, chips, fruit and candy are the biggest targets for thieving co-workers.

Food thieving is an epidemic in America, so how are people combating it? One in three Americans has actually completely stopped bringing lunch to work as a result of the thievery, and another six in 10 have resorted to actually hiding their food.

“Clearly, people will go to great lengths to keep their favorite food protected from poachers,” said Eric Fredette, Flavor Guru at Ben & Jerry’s. “I can’t say I blame them.”

The survey went on to find out some of the most unusual spots Americans have actually hidden their food, and it proved some people will go above and beyond for the sake of their snacks.

One respondent resorted to hiding food in their washing machine, and another said they dug a hole in the snow outside and placed the package of snacks there with a rock so they could find it later.

Other wild responses include a plastic bag in the top of a toilet, inside the oven and in their own underwear.

“We’ve known for a long time that our chunks and swirls are irresistible,” said Fredette. “We also know our fans feel very attached to ‘their’ flavor and rarely share. Instead, they like to eat it straight out of the pint, while sitting on the couch.”


  1. Chips 40 percent
  2. Ice cream 40 percent
  3. Candy 38 percent
  4. Fruit 35 percent
  5. Juice 34 percent
  6. Milk 30 percent
  7. Bread 30 percent
  8. Meat 29 percent
  9. Cereal 26 percent
  10. Coffee 26 percent
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  1. Chips 31 percent
  2. Fruit 28 percent
  3. Candy 27 percent
  4. Coffee 26 percent
  5. Juice 26 percent
  6. Milk 23 percent
  7. Bread 22 percent
  8. Ice cream 20 percent
  9. Bagged lunch meat 19 percent
  10. Nuts 17 percent
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  • Behind the cleaning supplies
  • In the washing machine
  • In a hole in the snow
  • In the oven
  • In their underwear
  • In the toilet
  • In the sofa
  • In a tampon box
  • In a vase
  • Under the computer

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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