Snack culture can be as unifying as it can be divisive in daily office life. Friday treats can do more to bolster team relations than a far more costly away-day.
Your choice of snack can, however, be just as contentious as your political affiliation. Which brings to mind a former workplace where the horrified glances I drew as I dunked individual carrot sticks in a jar of peanut butter made me rethink my unintentionally bold grazing habits.
Choice of snacks is, of course, not the only possible point of contention in the workplace. Apparently (don't ask me who decided this), it's not standard office behaviour to indulge in constant grazing from 9am onwards.
Snacking is a skill like any other, which needs careful honing to become a true professional. The issue is not how early you begin, but how well you pace yourself throughout the day - post-lunch desk-side snoozes are a no-no in anyone's book.
I tend to opt for 'clean' snacks in the morning - fruit, rice cakes, nuts - gradually descending into less healthy territory as the day progresses, relying increasingly on sugar to keep me going. This has the added advantage of fooling my more athletic colleagues that I'm a risk-averse snacker. Whilst I might always have a snack on the go, it's always fresh and healthy, right?!
Mealtimes have little impact on my capacity for snacking, either, as anyone aware of my penchant for a Haagen Dazs nightcap can attest to. Although even that, in my book, can be excused - after all it's practically the modern-day equivalent of a warm mug of cocoa before bed, isn't it?
Living on the extremes means snacking on the extremes and this is clear when considering how the choices of snacks evolves as the day progresses. Mintel research found that healthy, energizing and light snacks are consumed earlier in the day, whereas evenings and nighttime snacks progress into indulgences both sweet and savory.