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Secrets That Your Supermarkets Won't Tell You

Updated on June 13, 2014

Ever wonder why groceries are designed as such away to entice you to buy more than what is listed on your shopping list? You are manipulated to buy unhealthy food by groceries to earn more profit. This is another eye opener that most of us tend to overlook. Michael Moss, an investigative journalist for the New York Times, opens another can of worms on the Dr. Oz show. They discussed how supermarkets trick you into buying food that is not good for you.

According to Moss, the process food industry is delving into the shopping habits of consumers by trying to make shoppers make impulse decisions. They alter our shopping habits making us change our healthy lifestyle. When you walk into the grocery store, do you notice that fruits and vegetables are placed right next to chips and dips? This is all part of their strategy. The goal is to let shoppers slip up to make decisions on impulse and buy things that these supermarkets want us to buy.

The reason why this is happening is because supermarkets are under huge pressure to make profit. They are managing every inch of the store and is open to the highest bidder and typically the winner is selling the least healthy food. According to Moss, there are 3 ways these supermarkets manipulate your shopping habits.

1. Supermarkets want you to lose your shopping list. They study how we buy, how we shop, and they use distraction to make us focus on neon lights, colors, or smell, and on product placements to get us to change our habits. Herb Sorensen, PhD and the author of Inside the Mind of the Shopper introduced a term called "eye level shopping". This means that shoppers are typically shopping within an eye level range. There is market for the shelf itself . These supermarkets control one's eye level. Your eye changes a hundred thousand times a day which means your eye movement is subconsciously controlled. You may select generally what you may look at. An experiment was done in a grocery with the help of technicians from Applied Science Lab. A shopper used a portable eye tracker to monitor her field of vision and check items which she is drawn to. When she went to the cereal aisle, her pupils dilated when she came across sugary cereals located at eye level. Within seconds, she puts the sugary cereals in her shopping cart. The healthy cereals are located at the bottom of the shelf prompting her to ignore the product and end up not being placed on her shopping cart.

2. Steering your grocery carts. When you enter the grocery, you first walk into the produce area. When you open the door, it leads you to an open space with bright colors and you have the intentions of shopping for healthier options. After the produce area, the natural traffic flow steers you into the bakery department. Why would the bakery be placed right next to the produce section? When you put healthy food on your cart, it gives you the license to indulge. You go to the bakery and start loading your grocery cart. Next to the bakery is the meat and butcher section. If you're feeling guilty, there is no better way to satisfy it but to buy high protein meat. If you would notice, right next to the meat section are highly processed snacks and lunch trays. These commodities entice you to buy more than what you need. The last section of the grocery is the dairy or milk aisle. Why are milk placed all they way at the end? Staple is a key word. It's usually on the shopping list of most people. Some run to the store to buy milk. If it is at the back of the store, they go through the cookies and soda aisles making it difficult for shoppers to resist temptation.

3. Groceries play off your weaknesses. They are studying the way you shop and they are looking for your weaknesses to make you buy products that are profitable. Examples are cookies and sodas. They are no longer placed in their respective aisles and are scattered all over the supermarket. Consumers fall into their prey by picking them up.

Doctor Oz suggested some tips on how to avoid impulse buying in the supermarkets. Knowledge is power. When you get into the store, commit to your shopping list and stick to it. Shop when your full and shop with a clearer mind.

Grocery shopping is essential, but they could be very deceiving. We should be smart in shopping for goods that are vital to one's health. These supermarkets lure their customers into buy things that are unnecessary. We should have a discerning mind whenever we buy items needed in our household.

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