8 Ways Supermarkets Make You Buy More

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1. Supermarkets design their stores to facilitate specific foot traffic patterns, and then they put certain foods in your path.


2. They set up displays that pair products together. Looking at strawberries? It’s not uncommon for supermarkets to use berry season to cross-promote shortcakes and whipped cream. Two more examples: chips and soda; pasta and Parmesan cheese.


3. They give out “free” samples to whet your appetite and spur more food purchases.


4. Supermarket bakeries make the whole store smell good. They know that the scent of baking bread or cupcakes can get people to buy more.


5. They put sugary cereals with cartoon characters at children’s eye level to provoke requests for those cereals.


6. Supermarkets use end caps to get people to buy more. Customers often think that because a food item is on a display at the end of the aisle, the price is reduced. However, end caps drive increased sales, even if the price is the same as usual.


7. They use buy-one-get-one-free specials. The signs and the suggestion to get a second box or bag can prompt customers to buy more than they had planned.


8. Supermarkets spur impulse buys of everything from candy bars and full-calorie soda to hand sanitizer and gift cards by displaying them at checkout, where customers must stand in line. Checkout boosts sales so much that manufacturers pay big money to get retailers to place their products there. Click here to view CSPI's healthy checkout resources.


This graphic calls out some of the sneaky strategies supermarkets use to get people to buy more, plus includes smart shopping strategies. Please share the graphic through social media, blog posts, and presentations.