4 Ways Your Grocery Store Manipulates You and How to Avoid It

Grocery store, shopping, list

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Have you ever walked into a grocery store and taken a good look around? The next time you’re there take note of the carefully placed displays, the music that’s playing, and even the paint on the walls. Those choices aren’t just to ensure the store is nicely decorated. In fact, the store’s layout is designed to do one major thing: manipulate you to spend as much as possible.

It’s no big secret, either. In fact, in a report titled Shopper Marketing: Capturing a Shoppers Mind, Heart and Wallet by the Grocery Manufacturers Association said that they’ve realized that the store is a great marketer all in itself and are now targeting shoppers through shopper marketing (read: displays, lighting, and music.) Ready to learn about how you’re being manipulated each time you walk into a grocery store? A report titled Grocery Goliaths: How Food Monopolies Impact Consumers details just how your store is luring you in to buying more. Take a look at these four ways grocery stores are manipulating you.

1. Senses

From the moment you walk into a grocery store, your senses are going crazy with the stimulation being thrown your way. From wall colors to aromas to bright lighting, you are being bombarded with sensory overload from the very beginning. For example, listen to the music being played the next time you’re at a grocery store. Supermarkets know slower paced music decreases the flow of traffic in the store, slowing customers down and resulting in more sales. You’ll rarely hear fast, upbeat music, because by substituting slow jams for a catchy beat, customers are more likely to shop faster and buy less.

You should also try to avoid the sight of the perfectly decorated cakes, cookies, and treats that are set out and displayed — that’s another attempt to get you to buy more. The hope is that by putting out some of the best and most delectable looking bakery items, you’ll make an impulse decision to walk away with an unplanned cake. The produce and floral displays also have an impact on your purchases. The Grocery Goliaths report says that fresh fruit and vegetable sales account for about 11 percent of a grocery store’s revenue, but a beautifully arranged display leaves shoppers with a good impression of the store. Grocery Coupon Guide writes that hot bars are also in grocery stores to lure shoppers to spend more. Try shopping with the scent of rotisserie chicken wafting through the aisles; there’s a good chance the scent will convince you to wander over and purchase a hot bar item.