When you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, sometimes the very act of grocery shopping can feel like you are walking into a trap that is designed to make you buy more expensive, less healthy foods than what you originally intended. This can, in fact, be the case: there are many tricks that grocery stores employ to tempt you into making certain purchases. Being aware of these traps, however, can make that temptation easier to resist.
Whatever it is that they are selling, grocery stores have found that when they promote a product using numbers – for instance, a sign advertising 2 boxes of cake mix for $3 – that this promotion is more likely to be successful. Consumers apparently find such concrete sales hard to resist, feeling oftentimes that it is too good a deal to pass up. As a matter of fact, research has found that products promoted this way can increase the chance of a purchase from 30-105%!
If you are a healthy shopper, you probably try to stick to the outer edges of the store to buy fresh meat, produce, eggs and dairy and avoid the inner aisles of processed foods. Knowing this, however, grocery stores will make tempting end-of-aisle displays that can be seen from these healthier store sections. It is good in general to avoid these end-of-aisle displays, as they are generally not advertising very healthy foods.
If you are wanting to eat healthy, you may have to work for it in many grocery store aisles. Generally, the most expensive – and usually least healthy! – products will be right at eye level. You will probably have to crane your neck a little or look down to find the healthier products, so be prepared to take your time and not just grab the first thing off the shelf.
The free samples that grocery stores offer for promotional products can look and smell really tempting, but giving the samples lady a polite wave and walking past without stopping is likely to be easier on your budget and your waistline. Again, the products that wind up in free samples are generally processed and high-calorie foods that you are probably better off without and they can be quite expensive as well.
Many stores have been using these “traps” for so long that many customers are used to them and do not even realize that they are being manipulated into buying food that is more expensive and less healthy for them. Once you are able to see that trap for what it is, however, it might make it easier to avoid and to come out of the store with the fresh foods you wanted to begin with!
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