3 Things That Grocery Stores Don’t Want You To Know

3 Things That Grocery Stores Don’t Want You To Know

It’s fair to say a majority of us get the bulk of our groceries from the grocery store. In case you were curious or questioning where else you would get food from, there are farms, farmers markets, and co-ops.

I also believe it’s fair to say we all have our favorite grocers. For me, it’s HEB and Whole Foods. I think that was born out of proximity at first. The first apartment my wife and I lived in was a stone’s throw from a lovely HEB that I visited daily. I also work right down the street from a wonderful Whole Foods. They each fill specific niches in my life.

As much as I’d love to talk about the love I have for fresh made HEB tortillas, I must dive in to the real reason I am writing.

I hate it to break it to you but the grocery stores you shop at, yes even your FAVE, is conspiring against you.

You see, grocery stores are business. They know you rely on them, need them, and they will take advantage of that in as many ways as possible. I’m going to touch on 3 of them here.

  1. The produce section is closest to the entrance for a reason. Walking into the produce section gets your purchasing experience to start off on the right foot. Your senses are awakened by the colors, smells, and sounds of fake thunder going off as they water the produce (which is unnecessary might I add). All those fruits and veggies give off the illusion of freshness and familiarity. Perhaps you’ve also noticed that the bakery and floral departments are nearby as well. All of these appeal to your senses and make you hungry and ready to shop. Essentially you are being primed to SPEND some money.
  2. Grocery carts are there for more than convenience. The goal of the grocery cart is to help you spend more money. The bigger the cart, the more you have the ability to carry, the more money you have the ability to spend. In fact, the grocery cart has TRIPLED in size since its inception. Shoppers originally had to carry everything in a hand basket or bag. Stores realized that shortened the amount of time their customers were spending in their stores leading to fewer dollars spent per person. Tip: Get the smaller push carts and go in with a list!
  3. The samples are strategic. This one you probably knew. Of course they have the sweet older lady/ gentleman serving small cut up sausages on a stick that taste okay but aren’t great. Of course she has a coupon for a dollar off of those same sausages. Maybe she converts you into purchasing those “ehhhhh ” sausages. Well guess what….that is some grocery store psychology at work. Samples are set out to not only get you to buy something you weren’t planning on but also to get you hungry. We have all heard what happens when you grocery shop while you’re hungry: you buy more than you need. Don’t take this as an invitation to be rude to the sample lady, she’s only doing her job. Just be smart about what you do post indulging in the sample.

So there you have it, 3 things the grocery store doesn’t want you to know. Take that knowledge and shop smarter, more efficiently, and save yourself some time and money. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Ben MacMillan

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