Supermarkets aren’t as straight with you as you might think.


Kate Browne (CHOICE) brings forth the tricks that supermarkets utilise to make sure that you spend more money. While supermarket tactics are clearly evident, “Supermarket sales tricks”, dated March 30, 2010, presents details on exactly how this is done. As a consumer, the ways in which supermarkets trick us to spend more money is quite interesting and not often thought about.

It’s clear that marketing managers and supermarkets put deep thought into product placement within the stores. But it is surprising to find out some of the less obvious tactics used. It is not by mere coincidence that the candy bars and magazines are placed by the checkout aisles.

Nor is it a coincidence that you usually need to walk through the entire supermarket to reach the dairy section. It seems as though everything has been placed where it is for a reason.


Here’s a thought—supermarkets set up different marketplace areas, so that our mind is misled to believe that we are visiting several stores as opposed to one.


Each of these ‘stores’ has been given different lighting, floor covers and counters. Thus, it could be deduced that smaller supermarkets are better to shop in than big chains for this reason. Though, even the smaller supermarkets heed the strategy by putting candy bars and magazines at the front checkout aisles. So the next time you do the shopping- take a closer look at where different products are placed. Or see if the products at the end of aisles succeed in attracting your attention.

CHOICE compiled a list of tips to think of when you’re next out doing the grocery shopping. Here are a couple of my favourite ones:

  • Eat before you shop: with a full stomach, you’re less likely to add in unnecessary extras on a whim.
  • Take a list with you: People who shop with a list tend to spend less.
  • Avoid the extras: An example is a product offering 100g extra for a little more cost. It’s an economy of sale- you don’t save money, you’ll just eat more.


And here are my tips:

  • Use the web! Supermarkets have cottoned on to the fact that people are finding less and less time to do their groceries, so they have started an online revolution of online grocery shopping, which is delivered to your home. I’ve listed a few websites for you to look at the bottom. And the best thing about them is that you aren’t tempted by all the “specials” that are offered to you while you shop in-store.
  • Send a man out to shop – they tend to spend less… however expect to be missing something- garlic bread… toothpaste… or the bacon you specifically asked for (even though he said that he didn’t need to write it down because he’d remember…before sheepishly admitting he forgot it when questioned). PS. No intent to offend our male readers!
  • Or here’s another one that seems to work – give yourself a set amount of time… say, half an hour, to complete your shopping. Obviously a shopping list will be necessary for this, but by having to swiftly make your way through the supermarket, you’re likely to spend less because you have less time to “um” and “ah” about what you’re buying.


Online Grocery Shopping Websites: