BEWARE: Supermarket Psychology
Most people tend to eat what they have around. The marketing of food is a science — marketing anything is a science. You can bet that a lot of thought has gone into how and where you spend your dollars anytime and anyplace.
From dresses to movies, they know what we want and why we want it, probably more than we do. So the thing to do is to be aware of the wiles of the people who are — make no mistake about it — motivated by pulling the money out of our purses and NOT by getting anything nutritious into our bodies.
“Knowledge is the antidote to fear.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
But it could also be the antidote to buying food neither you nor your body needs, and endorsing a system that can be getting you to buy some expensive but nutritionally not-what-you-have-in-mind stuff.
Here is a PDF file, and it is written by some Germans. But there is some real information here, because they are not afraid to talk about neurophysiology.
More and more consumers decide about what to buy when they are actually at the store (known in the business as “point of sale” or “POS”). This means that the first way to totally beat the system is to go with a list and stick to it.
Frankly, I don’t know anyone (including me) who does this. The seduction of new discovery is just too great. But then I don’t have a family to plan meals for and I don’t usually buy for more than a day or two at a time.
Many sources suggest that you eat right before you go. This is helpful as many details in the store are arranged to increase your hunger — like the smell of fresh bread, which invariably does just that.
Most customers go through a supermarket counterclockwise. Perhaps this has something to do with being right-handed, or having more dopamine in the left part of the brain.
The first things you hit doing a supermarket counterclockwise invariably include the produce, which looks dreadfully good in “natural” light and appeals to us on some visceral animal level.
Of course, there is the smell of fresh bread and the pastry section to make you hungry. Some stores actually pipe through a fresh bread smell to make you hungry, as well as to help you believe that fresh bread and pastry are baked at regular times throughout the day, which they are usually not.
Yet in this academic article, it is hypothesized — and proven, that clockwise direction of arrangements makes people stay in the store longer and spend more money. After all, you can count on the really important stuff (bread, milk) being in the outer aisles of the store, and those who enter clockwise have some sort of sense of security from the wall on the left and are directed to more inner islands, where the bulk of the food is. In general, the better the spatial information and “mental map” a shopper has of the store, the more money spent.
Somehow there are fewer American publications on this than elsewhere, although the folks from Weight Watchers certainly “weigh in” on the matter. (Forgive the pun, please. I promise it won’t happen again. At least, very soon.)
The most details come from the Brits, who have some specific info to share about “post Christmas” sales, always applicable since in my world at least it is always post-Christmas.
Triangular balance puts the biggest and most expensive in the middle of the shelf, with lesser objects arranged around it to make it look like the best. I think by now most folks have noticed the impulse buys by the door. At least kids have surely noticed the candy shelves near the checkout.
The biggest profit margin things for the supermarket to sell are at eye level. Perhaps you have already learned to look beneath them for good deals.
The real staples, bread and milk, are on the farthest walls, so you have to walk the longest possible way to get to them. (Just like the rest rooms in a casino …)
The important thing is to be aware what people are trying to do to you. It is more calculated than you could imagine.
So don’t go to a supermarket when you are hungry. And don’t go to a clothing shop when you are naked. It may be that the more acute your need, the more likely they are to get you. The smarter the head, the better you will get out of this thing.
No related posts.