50 Supermarket Tricks You Still Fall For
Food experts, industry analysts, and store employees share their insider strategies on how to save money on groceries, stay healthy, and beat the supermarkets at their own game.
We’re very aware of the role that the senses play in marketing.
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When you walk in the door, you smell bread baking or rotisserie chicken roasting in the deli area because we know those smells get your salivary glands working. When you’re salivating, you’re a much less disciplined shopper. —Paco Underhill, consumer expert and author of What Women Want: The Science of Female Shopping. These are things that your grocer won’t tell you.
The more people buy, the more they consume.
If you used to buy a six-pack of soda and drink six cans a week but now buy a 12-pack because that’s the current standard size, you’re probably going to start drinking 12 cans a week. Be mindful when buying larger sizes to make sure your habits don’t change as a result. —Jeff Weidauer, former supermarket executive and vice president of marketing for Vestcom, a retail services company. Try these surprisingly simple ways to save big at the supermarket.
The average consumer tends to remember the price of only four items:
Milk, bread, bananas, and eggs. Ninety-five percent of shoppers have no idea what all the other items cost and don’t know if they’re getting a good deal when they buy them. —Martin Lindstrom
The produce department is at the front of the store because…
…its bright colors put you in a good mood and inspire you to buy more. That’s why I recommend that you start shopping in the middle of the store, with its bland boxes and cans. —Phil Lempert, grocery industry expert and editor of supermarketguru.com
Over 60 percent of shoppers off-load products as they check out.
So supermarkets started making checkout lanes narrower, with less shelf space, which means it’s harder to ditch goods at the last minute. —Martin Lindstrom
We let you linger … and it’s good for business.
Customers would tell me as they went through the checkout, “I just stopped in to get eggs,” and they would have $250 worth of stuff. —Jason Swett, former bagger and cashier at a grocery store in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This is what you need to know before you start grocery shopping online.
Supermarkets aren’t out to steal from you.
The average supermarket makes about 1.5 percent net profit a year. To give you some idea of how low that is, the profit margin for clothing stores can be several times that. —Phil Lempert.