This is a common issue- you go shopping with the kids and they get hungry. So you take something off the shelf and pay for it later. The stores in my area don’t have a problem with this. Forgetting about what happened in Hawaii, is this a problem in general? Would there be a difference between Jewish stores and goyishe stores?
I usually have a rule no opening packages until they are paid for. Sometimes, though, my kids get so famished or thirsty that they cry and so, I too, will open a package and pay when I’m done shopping. When the lines in a supermarket are VERY long, I can’t see waiting for 15 minutes to pay for a drink and then return to shop!
I hear your question, though. Well asked.
If you’ll actually pay for it there should be nothing wrong.
Ask the store people if they mind. Although I think the assumption is they don’t, in which case I agree with Sam2.
I would imagine it depends on the policy of each store.
I always knew that opening a package before paying for it is against Halacha, except if you get permission from the store owner. I may be wrong though.
I bring along snacks from home to give my kid while I shop.
Jothar – I assume It depends on if the owner is makpid. No general rules.
Why would you not be required to pay for it? It’s shoplifting otherwise. The store clerk can scan the wrapper without the contents – if you get a curious look it would be a kiddush Ha-Shem to explain the kid couldn’t wait to get home to eat it.