Millions of Brits say they ‘by no means’ share meals and it is all due to Joey

A survey of 2,000 adults revealed that over a third (38%) are reluctant to share their snacks, with 39% relating to the iconic 90’s sitcom line “Joey doesn’t share food! “. A fifth (22%) have even echoed this phrase when someone attempted to nab a bit of their meal.

The main reasons for not sharing include disliking others touching their food (50%) and wanting to savour what they’ve paid for (40%). However, 17% of those who don’t usually share would be more open to it if they could dictate exactly how much they give away.

Krispy Kreme, which conducted the study to promote its FRIENDS-themed doughnut range, collaborated with psychologist Dr Rachel Taylor, who emphasised the benefits of sharing food. She stated: “Sharing food and eating together have deep-rooted social and neuropsychological benefits. Eating together triggers positive feelings of trust and empathy – a primal need that evokes safety and comfort from years of evolution. Research has shown that after a food-sharing event, circulating oxytocin levels, also known as the love hormone, increase, so when we share food our brains associate it with social bonding and feelings of belongingness. You could say food sharing is quite literally sharing the love.”

“Looking specifically at sweet treats, like doughnuts, there’s the added benefit of the brain seeing it as a reward – so when we share these, or see someone else sharing a sweet treat, our mirror neurons allow us to empathise and build stronger connections to those people. In today’s world, anything that can promote friendship and belonging – like food sharing – is something to embrace.”

The study also revealed men are nearly twice as likely as women to never share their food (14% compared to just 8%). With women more likely than men to share their food in general even if it’s just sometimes (69% compared with 57% of men).

Among the foods adults are least willing to share were chocolate (22%), pizza (17%) and chips (15%). Whereas, sweets (53%), crisps (43%) and doughnuts (23%), were among the treats that people would be most willing to split.

Of those polled via, 31% said they are least likely to offer their food to colleagues, while partners (39%) are most likely to be on the receiving end of some shared treats.

If others offer to share food with them, people feel happy (39%), included (36%) and valued (28%).
If others offer to share food with them, people feel happy (39%), included (36%) and valued (28%).

More than a third (36%) say it’s a great way for everyone to try different flavours, and 28% believe it’s a good way of breaking the ice and bonding with people they don’t really know.

If others offer to share food with them, people feel happy (39%), included (36%) and valued (28%). Six out of 10 people believe that sharing food with someone is a sign of affection.

Krispy Kreme is offering limited-edition doughnut slicers from 17th to 18th June at their stores to customers who say “Joey Dozen Share Food” at the counter, which also provides a half-price discount on a box of assorted dozen doughnuts.

A spokesperson for the company stated: “To share or not to share food is a debate we’re all familiar with, and it’s hard to talk about the topic without thinking about Joey’s famous catchphrase ‘Joey doesn’t share food’.”

“To celebrate 30 years of the iconic TV show Friends, we wanted to do something that helps the ‘Joeys’ of the UK see the benefits of sharing food, something we’re very passionate about.”

“Doughnuts are the perfect treat to share with family, friends and even colleagues, so we’ve launched this range for fans of the show to enjoy together.”

Dr Rachel Taylor has provided five tips to help ‘Joeys’ share their food:

  1. Buy Some Extra: When you’re next buying some treats think about getting a few extra. Having more than you need encourages sharing without feeling like you’re giving away your entire stash!
  2. Slice and Share: If you struggle to share food, a great first step can be controlling the amount of food it is that you share. Cut off the amount you’re comfortable with giving away starting small and building up.
  3. Share the Experience: Talk about the taste, texture and smell of the food you’re sharing. Describing the sensory experience makes it more enjoyable for both you and your mate.
  4. Random Acts of Kindness: Surprise someone by sharing with them. This unexpected gesture can trigger those mirror neurons and you’ll also benefit from seeing their reaction and the joy it brings them.
  5. Celebrate Together: Sharing grub can be something you save for special occasions whether it’s birthdays, job promotions or even just making it to Friday arvo. That way you’re not doing it constantly and it’s something that you can associate with positively.