‘Grazers’ in UK supermarkets are costing the retail industry almost £3 billion per year.
The study found up to a quarter of UK shoppers admitted to eating produce while shopping - and not paying for it at the checkout.
Sweets and chocolate were the most-stolen items in an average ‘haul’ of £4 worth of products per week.
However, 73% of shoppers stated that they never ‘grazed’.
Among those who admitted to eating and not paying, the top five most popular items were:
1. Confectionery (sweets / chocolate) : 52%
2. Fresh fruit / veg : 41%
3. Bakery goods (cakes / bread / pastries) : 34%
4. Crisps / nuts: 22%
5. Cooked meats: 9%
George Charles, spokesperson for VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, who commissioned the research, said: “I’m sure everyone has been guilty of a bit of supermarket grazing now and then, but it is important to make sure you still pay for the items. Whilst grazing on a pack of sweets whilst shopping may seem harmless, it all adds up and you are contributing to the £3 billion worth of annual losses for supermarkets.”