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6 Ways Your Supermarket Might Be Tricking You

April 21, 2015 2 min read

1. Lefties have it easier:

Your local supermarket is probably set up the same way most grocery stores are: so you make your trip counter clockwise. Does it make a difference in how much customers buy? You might be surprised to learn that it does - by 7%. Left-handed shoppers have less of an immediate connection to the shelves. Since only around 1 in 10 of us are lefties, it's an easy way to boost sales. it's one of the things covered in detail in Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy by Martin Lindstrom.

2. Real Life Product Placement:

Everything in the store is there for a reason. And the counter clockwise layout of the store isn't the only way stores are subtly encouraging sales. The entire placement of products from cookies to noodles and snack foods are often engineered to maximize buyability. Products aimed at the attention of children are often placed lower on shelves than adult-themed products.

3. Bananas Are Special:

In particular, the arrangement of bananas, and their colour are key to their sales as well. The ideal colour is known affectionately as 'Buttercup' but more clinically, it's Pantone colour 12-0752. [caption id="attachment_72719" align="aligncenter" width="650"]perfectbanan Don't they look just... perfect?[/caption]  

4. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Are a Gamble:

When a supermarket sprays it's produce with that water mist, they're taking a bit of a gamble. There are two major reasons why misting is done: it makes that leafy lettuce look more appealing, but it also increases the water weight a little bit, and there for how much it costs. But while maximizing appeal, they're also cutting down on it's shelf life, as moist produce rots more quickly.

5. Take a Better Look at the Meat:

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.58.30 PM According to Matt Adams, a supermarket butcher veteran of almost 30 years, it was a regular practice at his employment to change the best before date on outdated items. He says that nail polish remover could remove the date listed on the package done in-store so they could reprint it to sell again. It should be noted that expiration dates are not nationwide regulated, and in fact 30 of the USA’s states don’t regulate most items at all, making it easy for certain supermarkets that butcher and package in house to manipulate the sell-by date.

6. Let's Do The Time Warp Again:

Except for that big glass entrance, many supermarkets choose not to have windows or keep them high up and small. Not only does this allow them to utilize valuable shelf space, but it helps them keep you proverbially in the dark about how long you've been in the store. You may have noticed a lack of clocks for the same reason. Lack of windows, small floor tiles and tight isles all feed into the illusion. They want you to slow down, so you can buy more.

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