Parents Snack When Kids Aren’t Looking

Snack spending is up and so is snacking, especially in the afternoon.

August 07, 2020

NORTHBROOK, Ill.—A new study by food maker Wasa has uncovered how snacking habits have changed among U.S. parents as they juggle ever-evolving schedules, working from new places, entertaining the kids all day and navigating the new normal. More than half are snacking even more today than they were during the first few weeks of quarantine.

From scarfing down a treat while muted on a conference call to hiding their favorite snacks to keep them safe from their kids, parents are adopting a whole host of new snack habits to get them through the pandemic.

Here are some of the survey findings:

  • Three out of four parents snack in the afternoon, and 3:45 p.m. is the prime time for parents' snack cravings to hit.
  • Close to nine out of 10 parents prioritize their kids' needs over their own when it comes to food and snacking. And with so much quality time together, most parents (nine out of 10) have been eating the same snacks as their kids during quarantine.
  • When parents do take the time to make a snack for themselves, nearly nine out of 10 agree that if they eat a snack in front of their kids, their kids will want to eat it, too! And while sharing is caring, it's no surprise nearly eight out of 10 parents hide or disguise snacks to keep their kids from eating them sometimes.
  • Almost half of parents snack in front of the TV or on the couch. Many parents eat directly from the fridge (55%) and scarf down a treat while muted on a conference call (52%).
  • With new routines, parents are finding snack breaks when and where they can, quickly grabbing leftovers from another meal (65%), snagging a store-bought snack (65%) or eating whatever is about to go bad in the fridge (58%).
  • Moms are most likely to grab a snack because of boredom (50%), hunger (44%) or stress (40%), while dads are most likely to snack because of hunger (39%), happiness (36%) or excitement (34%).