How many times have you walked into a grocery store for eggs, only to come out with $250 worth of stuff you don't really need? Since the earliest grocery stores opened, people have fallen prey to simple tactics designed to fill their carts and empty their wallets. How grocery stores trick you largely depends on time; the more minutes you spend near the shelves, the more money you're likely to spend. Retailers will do anything to suck you in, from placing the most commonly purchased items all the way at the back of the store to playing slow music that makes you linger.
But don't worry - grocery stores aren't actually out to get you. Overall, they have a lower profit margin than other retail outlets like clothing stores and electronic retailers. But they've got to stay in business somehow. The average person heads to the supermarket one and a half times a week, completely blind to grocery store secrets that suck them in and have them leaving with 10 bags of potato chips and bottles of soda - not to mention that cake.
Read up on the ways grocery chains get you to spend money, and consider trying a few grocery shopping hacks the next time you head out to stock up the fridge.
Spraying Produce With Water To Look More AppetizingPhoto: Marielle / Flickr
You probably thought supermarkets sprayed their fruits and veggies with water to keep them fresh, but that's not actually the case. In fact, spraying vegetables makes them spoil faster than they normally would. The reason supermarkets water down their produce is to give it a dewy, just-picked look that entices you to buy.
Hiding Meat And Dairy Behind The Junk FoodPhoto: Blue Waikiki / Flickr
Most people rely on meat and dairy, which is why supermarkets strategically place them at the back of the store. This forces shoppers to travel through tempting aisles stocked with everything they could ever want before they get to what they actually need.
Lowering The Price Of Staples To Make Everything Seem CheapPhoto: Mike Mozart / Flickr
People generally form an opinion on a store's value based on the price of staples like bread, milk, and eggs. Supermarkets make sure these items are competitively priced, but hike up costs on other items. Most shoppers don't notice they're paying extra for ice cream or yogurt if milk is cheap.
Pumping The Store With Carefully Curated SmellsPhoto: Pinke / Flickr
Ever notice how the deli section of a grocery store smells absolutely delicious? That's because the staff makes sure it does. Aromas like baking bread and roasting chicken cause your salivary glands to kick into high gear and throw your shopping inhibitions out the window.