Survey Reveals the Nation’s Bathroom Snacking Habits

Close up image of a charcuterie board laid across a bathtub
Author: James Roberts
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Odd bathroom habits are usually something we keep to ourselves – from using your phone on the loo or brushing your teeth in the toilet. But we polled over 2,000 people across Britain to discover that while we all enjoy a relaxing bath at the end of the day, some of us really like to get comfortable and mix a soak with a snack.

Read below to discover what the nation enjoys eating in the bathtub, from a glass of white wine to cheese and chocolate cake.

Who’s Eating in the Bath, Anyway?

Lifestyle image of a woman drinking a coffee in the bath

According to the British public, a staggering 30% of us bring a little something to the tub, whether it be a simple glass of wine or even a takeaway. Based on current population figures, this equates to approximately 16 million adults enjoying a snack or drink in the tub at least once a year, with data showing that Brits are likely to enjoy this on average at least twice a month.

It seems like an unusual habit but the results show that it is perhaps more common than thought, with over a third (34%) of men saying they eat in the bath, compared to 26% of women,

Age-wise, like on many subjects at the moment, there’s a clear generational gap.Over-55’s are overwhelmingly against the very idea with 91% saying they’d never eat or drink in the bath, while it might seem like Gen-Z and Millennials have something in common after all, over half (54%) of 16-34 year olds polled saying they have, with a further 1 in 14 (7%) saying they hadn’t but would in the future.

Despite less doing it in the 35-44 bracket at just 48%, those that do are more likely to do it on average more frequently at 4 times a month, or roughly once a week, compared to 3 times a month for younger generations and barely at all for the over 55’s (0.38 times a month)

London was the most popular city for bathroom gourmets, with 37% admitting to eating or drinking in the bath regularly, enjoying cheese (43%), pub snacks (32%), a bit of toast (30%) or a takeaway (31%). Below them, it seems most major cities enjoy confectionary in the tub with Newcastle leading at 41% and more than anything else, 51% in Cardiff have enjoyed a pasty or a pie in the bath…imagine the crumbs.

  • London: 37%
  • Newcastle: 34%
  • Belfast: 33%
  • Birmingham / Manchester: 32%
  • Cardiff: 31%

What Foods And Drinks Are Popular in the Bath?

Graphic image displaying statistics of different foods and drinks that the UK population enjoy while in the bath

When it comes to a bath, the traditional stereotype is an indulgent, relaxing experience perhaps with a tipple of choice minus food. However, Brits are a wonderful bunch and will give anything a go once, particularly after a hard day at work or heavy night out and we are snacking and drinking many varied items. While many people don’t want to be settling in with a Sunday roast (despite 23% of those who have eaten/drank in the bath trying this or another full meal of choice), it seems we prefer to opt for ‘finger foods’, a treat or even more healthier alternatives, such as fruit and veg. Even a sneaky takeaway was a strong option.

The Most Popular Foods to Eat in the Bath Were:

  • Confectionary (Chocolate/Sweets): 39%
  • Cheese: 33%
  • Biscuits: 28%
  • Fruit: 27%
  • Cake: 26%
  • Takeaway (McDonald’s/Pizza/Fish & Chips etc): 26%
  • Fruit 27%

It doesn’t stop there either, with the lowest eaten item being cured meats but at a still high 1 in 5 of those who have eaten in the bath trying this. Other more obscure eaten items include soup (22%), Pot Noodles (24%), pasties & pies (24%) and even a salad (23%) being prepped before the tap is turned on.

Many were also willing to or even considering giving certain food or drinks a shot in the future with cake (45%), crisps (44%), a sandwich or toastie (44%), toast/bread (44%) and cured meats (43%) all something people hadn’t tried but would like to do so in the future.

When it comes to our drinking habits, the results were quintessentially British with both a good brew, a household favourite, and- as a nation that enjoys a tipple, bath or no bath - alcoholic beverages scoring highly. A whopping 72% of those who ate or drank in the bath admitted to enjoying at least one alcoholic drink before.

Close up image of a hand holding a glass of wine in the middle of a bubble bath

The Top Five Drinks to Have in the Bath Were:

  1. Water: 37%
  2. Tea: 36%
  3. White Wine: 32%
  4. Sparkling wine: 32%
  5. Soft Fizzy Drinks: Lemonade/Coke (32%)

Of course, we can’t just stop at wine, with 23% sipping on a cocktail, 19% channelling their inner Bond with a Martini, 23% “yo ho ho”-ing with a Rum and 24% really going all out with a Sherry, Brandy or another strong spirit to really take the edge off a hard day.

Why Aren’t People Eating or Drinking in the Bathtub?

Two thirds of us (66%) are still reluctant to eat in the bath and say they never would in the future with some interesting reasons as to why:

  • 45% never considered the bathroom as a suitable place for eating or drinking
  • 35% stated hygienic reasons
  • 24% simply didn’t want to get their food wet
  • 22% of people just aren’t hungry when they have a bath

Of course, hygiene and the practical idea of eating in the bath came up on top, but surprisingly, 14% of those in Brighton would consider it if they had the time.  Otherwise, people just don’t want to get their food wet – as indulgent as chocolate cake or a pasty in the bath might sound, you’re sure to be put off if it splashes off the side…

What is the Best Food and Drink For Eating in the Bath?

Close up image of a charcuterie board stretched across a bubble bath

While these results might seem silly – who really eats cake in the bath? - we asked Chris Allsobrook – a qualified Nutrition Coach from the OriGym Centre of Excellence – who says that there are certain foods that will help with hydration and relaxation:

Spicing up your bath with a selection of your&;favourite foods is a great way to add an extra level of decadence to a well-earned soak, but choosing your platter can be a tough one. I’d suggest opting for foods that feel indulgent, but still provide your body with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Let’s look at a few ways to build the ideal healthy charcuterie for your next bath.

Chris also suggests that while many of us opt for an alcoholic refreshment, it’s not a good idea for the bathtub: As tempting as it might seem to pair your healthy platter with a glass of bubbly or a cold beer, drinking alcohol in a hot bath can cause serious side effects, including dizziness, nausea and, in extreme cases, fainting.”

Otherwise, it’s fair game, with Chris suggesting olives, feta cheese and various fruits, from melon slices, apples and even grilled peaches as a healthy addition to any bath-time: “Peaches are a superbly healthy fruit, offering a substantial dosage of essential vitamins (including Vitamin C), minerals and nutrients. They’re also a great natural source of fibre, which is essential for promoting good digestive health. However, where these delicious fruits really shine is after grilling. Placing these fruits on a piping hot grill for a couple of minutes brings out a rich, caramelised flavour that means they taste similar to salted caramel ice cream, with a fraction of the calories and none of the mess!”

High angle image of a charcuterie board stretched across a bubble bath

There are still some foods to avoid, however: “crumbly or flaky foods will fill your tub with more crumbs than they’re worth. Even softer pastries, such as croissants or cinnamon rolls, are often messy to eat in the bath, and any fillings will melt or can even curdle in the heat. Chocolate and ice cream aren’t ideal…as they’ll melt,”

It’s also important to ensure that you don’t over-indulge and make a bathroom charcuterie board a regular occurrence: “From a nutritional perspective, you don’t want to over-indulge by making this a habit, especially if you’re opting for more indulgent choices when you’re enjoying your soak. Making this a treat you experience one every couple of weeks, or even once a month, ensures you’re still able to have a balanced diet that allows you to push the boat out every so often.”

Close up image of a charcuterie board laid across a bathtub