Posted on 08/03/2016 at 08:33 AM by Lia Bahls, RD
Have you ever noticed that when you arrive home from the grocery store you seem to have picked up a few unnecessary items? Think candy, soda, chips, cookies and other snack items. Do you regret purchasing these items? Most people do regret impulse purchases, but unlike clothing, you can’t return impulse food purchases, which leads to consumption of foods you otherwise would have avoided.
Now let’s consider what urged you to make these impulse buys. Perhaps it was because you had to walk through the entire store to get to the back where your food staples such as meats, dairy and eggs are shelved. Maybe it was when you had to walk past the bakery and the sweet smell enticed you to pick up a box of cookies. Maybe it could have occurred when you were getting ready to check out and grabbed a candy bar as you were waiting to checkout. However it happened, the store was able to convince you to purchase foods that were not on your grocery list.
Specific placement of certain foods at the grocery store leads to increased purchasing of these products generally due to impulse. These foods are typically higher in fat, sugar, and salt - all risk factors for chronic disease. Purchase leads to consumption, even if there was no intention to eat the product. Even the healthiest eater succumbs to this marketing strategy and, unless you walk around the store with blinders, there is no way to avoid these gimmicks. So are you doomed to always end up with unwanted food items? We like to think not.
Listed below are some tips to help decrease the likelihood of purchasing these products:
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