Snackotherapy: Investigating the Meaning Behind Our Munchies

In an office full of Le Gourmand cookies, do you have willpower, or are you weak? I put our team to the test to find out who’s the ultimate snack snob, and whose afternoon munchies have got to go (yes Jamie, I’m looking at you and your canned chicken).


Have you ever heard of the acronym HALT? I hadn’t either, until I started Googling “the science behind snacking” and took a virtual plunge into a black hole of research that tries to explain why we can’t get through a day without nibbling on — or devouring — everything in sight. Turns out, if you think you’re Hungry, you’re probably actually just Angry, Lonely, or Tired, which means you don’t really want that chocolate bar you have on reserve in your desk drawer.

We’ve all been there – no, sorry, – we’re all there, every day: 3 p.m. rolls around and you’re digging through the kitchen cupboards, looking for that one snack that will soothe your high-stress hormones or help you procrastinate for another 20 minutes. If you’re lucky enough to work in an office like ours, you’ll have chocolate covered almonds on rotation to feed your daily chocolate fix, and sour watermelon slices for when your energy starts to dip (candy really is an underrated food group).

I’m no scientist, nutritionist, dietician, or psychologist, but I am a snacklord. I figured this makes me qualified to chime in on my colleagues’ snacking habits and use them to provide an analysis about who they are as people. After all, you just can’t enjoy a snack these days without someone somewhere formulating a survey and making arbitrary declarations about what it means.

So, I set out to do some very important research myself to better understand my colleagues and consequently, to pit them against one another (hey Andrea, Jamie hates your kombucha). I observed our tech PR manager implore our office assistant to order more Cliff protein bars, and watched as he ate a whole can of beans before heading off to his strength training workout — he’s now aptly named a protein aficionado.

Want to know more? Read on for a definitive guide to each Eighty-Eighter’s snacking habit:

Erin Bury, Managing Director
Snack of choice: Pretzels – LARGE ROLD GOLD. Always twists, never sticks. With a big old Coke Zero on the side.
Least favourite snack: Raisins
What time you snack: 3 p.m.
Why you choose that snack: I love carbs, and salt and pretzels make me feel a little guilt-free
How many times a day you think about snacking: Pretty much all the time
What’s your dream office snack: a cereal bar with ALL THE CEREALS. Also a large fridge with every type of diet pop known to man.

Snacklord analysis: Charismatic leader of the anti-raisin cult.


Andrea Pace, Marketing Coordinator
Snack of choice: Apple and nut butter (or sour grapefruit candy)
Least favourite snack: Off brand candy (I mean, it tastes like poisonous garbage, let’s be honest)
What time you snack: 4 or 5pm or 4 or 5am 😛
Why you choose that snack: I think I legitimately have a nut butter abuse problem. So basically I’m just looking for any excuse to consume it in large quantities, and apples are the perfect vehicle.
How many times a day you think about snacking: mm like 48 times AT LEAST.
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: NEVER. YOU DO YOU!
What’s your dream office snack: a) a machine that spits out perfectly cut apples, and a reasonable amount of nut butter b) Kris Jenner style candy jars that are always full of all my faves.

Snacklord analysis: Nut butter substance abuse and closeted raisin sympathizer.


Erica Salvalaggio, PR Coordinator
Snack of choice: I never snack at the office. Literally never.
Least favourite snack: Raw vegetables. I hate all raw vegetables and watching Jamie eat them disturbs me greatly.
What time you snack: Again, never at work. The only times I snack are right before dinner (when I usually eat a small bowl of Cheerios or some pretzels) and right after dinner (when I eat candy).
Why you choose that snack: Cheerios and pretzels remind me of coming home from elementary school. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I only snack after work. And candy, well, candy is delicious.
How many times a day you think about snacking: 97 times a day. I just never act on it.
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: Only when the snacks are too healthy.
What’s your dream office snack: NO SNACKS (except maybe the occasional cookie).

Snacklord analysis: Clearly a masochist. Thinks about snacks 97 times a day and resists? That must be pure agony. Props on your mad willpower.  


Brittany Giles, Marketing Manager
Snack of choice: Usually a rice cake with almond butter
Least favourite snack: Raisin ANYTHING. Raisins are a waste of grapes that could have been wine
What time you snack: Love a good mid-afternoon snack
Why you choose that snack: Because almond butter is so good and a rice cake serves as a good enough vehicle for it
How many times a day you think about snacking: Never not thinking about snacks
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: Nah. Snack on, snackers
What’s your dream office snack: Popcorn with peanut m&ms is king of snacks

Snacklord analysis: The John Locke of snacking, “All mankind…being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his choice of snack!”


Fatima Almuhtaram, Junior Designer
Snack of choice: Peanut M&M’s
Least favourite snack: Plain unsalted almonds
What time you snack: After lunch
Why you choose that snack: Because it’s the best, and doesn’t get your hands dirty.
How many times a day you think about snacking: A few times, but I try to control myself.
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: Not really, sometimes I judge how much they eat of it.
What’s your dream office snack: Chocolate covered pretzels are life, but also super expensive.

Snacklord analysis: Pathological liar. Who only thinks about snacking a few times a day?


Jamie Gillingham, PR Account Manager
Snack of choice: Veggies with ranch
Least favourite snack: Choc covered almonds (ewie)
What time you snack: Late afternoon
Why you choose that snack: Because it’s tasty but also doesn’t result in me hating myself and/or back rolls
How many times a day you think about snacking: 3 to 4
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: Only Andrea’s kombucha
What’s your dream office snack: A chip wall

Snacklord analysis: Deviously using underhanded tactics to make us think he doesn’t eat canned beans and chicken.


Gabriella Rackoff, Creative Director
Snack of choice: Chocolate covered almonds, bubbly water
Least favourite snack: Bananas.
What time you snack: Pre-lunch, and around 2-3PM
Why you choose that snack: Almonds because they’re chocolaty and not the worst for you, and bubbly water because it’s so refreshing!  
How many times a day you think about snacking: 12-14
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: Yes 🙂
What’s your dream office snack: Something fancy, like artisanal cheese and charcuterie boards.

Snacklord analysis: Highfalutin, but not wrong.


Kaitlyn Ward, PR Account Manager
Snack of choice: Anything peanut butter or Twizzlers (not together)
Least favourite snack: Raisins
What time you snack: 3:30 p.m. slump
Why you choose that snack: Peanut butter is perfect for the salty/sweet combo and most times I can trick myself into thinking it’s healthy
How many times a day you think about snacking: Only when snacks are out in the kitchen – I’m a bandwagon snacker
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: Not unless they go for raisins
What’s your dream office snack: Peanut butter filled pretzels

Snacklord analysis: A visionary. Peanut butter filled pretzels? That’s innovation, people.


Amanda Speers, PR Coordinator
Snack of choice: Apple + PB
Least favourite snack: Rice cakes
What time you snack: 3 p.m., like clockwork
Why you choose that snack: Because I tell myself it’s healthier than your average snack. Also, it’s the perfect combo of sweet and savory.
How many times a day do you think about snacking: Literally all day
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: Yes. ie. Jamie’s entire can of baked beans
What’s your dream office snack: All the fresh fruit – strawberries, mango, grapes, etc

Snacklord analysis: We get it! You make good choices.


Fatima Zaidi, VP Business Development
Snack of choice: Popcorn
Least favourite snack: Nuts
What time you snack: All day every day..
Why you choose that snack:  Relatively healthy compared to chips, but aren’t gross like veggies and fruit
How many times a day you think about snacking: Every hour
Do you judge other people’s snack choice: I judge people who don’t snack
What’s your dream office snack: If being healthy wasn’t a point of contention then pizza, and All Dressed Ruffles

Snacklord analysis: NaCl addict (but don’t worry, because same).