Skinny Daily Post


We all have our regular stores, and we know the layouts, and we have our routes. In fact, many of us don’t even make a list, unless we need to pick up something out of the ordinary.

I had a rude awakening this week, and the shock of the power of positioning and marketing has left me reeling.

It started so simply. Because my regular store was closed on Sunday, the weekly shopping had to move to Monday. So, in the interest of efficiency, I went to a different store in the chain, one that was on my way home from work.

Never again.

The produce was awful, rotten in places. The meat case was a mess, the dairy case was stocked with almost-at-deadline goods, and there was a limited selection of cat food (ALWAYS a major priority in my life!).

In my regular store, there’s a small bakery section at the entrance, and the produce aisles are very visible. In this store, the bakery was three times larger, and the produce lay around a couple of corners.

I expected to have trouble finding things because the store was laid out differently, but I never expected that the LAST aisle that most people would travel on the way to the checkout would be a landmine!

One side was chips of every size, shape, flavor, and color. Never mind that my favorite cottage cheese and yogurt weren’t available. I could have substituted a major chip-fest for those dairy products. The other side of the aisle was ice cream and ice pops.

Good grief. What’s a person to do? Tired after doing the shopping, needing some comfort, and perhaps dragging a child or two along, you hit comfort food and snack heaven! How strong would most people be? From the perspective of someone who’s working hard on weight control, it’s disgraceful, perhaps even cruel. From a marketing perspective, it’s sheer brilliance!

Thank goodness for my regular store! The last aisle before the checkout run is the dairy aisle, with the deli that makes excellent roasted cornish hens. Then I head right past the flowers and balloons, and into the relative safety of a checkout lane.

I’m never straying from my usual store again. The culture shock was just too much for my “delicate” equilibrium!

7 thoughts on “Grocery store trauma

  1. Misty says:

    This is so true! Maybe you should make a copy of this and drop it off at your regular store’s manager’s office. He / she could use a pat on the back for such an accessible and pleasing store layout.

    I love the trend of some grocery stores now having a “no candy” checkout lane. It gives kida AND adults that much less temptation.

    Healthnut Wannabe

  2. stretchy says:

    The center aisles of my regular store are ones I rarely even travel down. I stock up on salsa and canned beans once a month. I have simplified things by staying on the outer edge.

    The wonderful health food section is on the fringes, almost a separate little shop, right next to the produce dept. .(Easy!) On the other side of the store, also on the outer edge, is the frozen veg section and eggs, dairy, etc… convenient!

    I tried a new SUPER store that opened neared to my home, and found it to be huge, crammed with junk, and much harder to navigate. the Items I buy were strew across the store. There was no central area for healthy or organic foods.

    The “healthy snack aisle ” –Yes they had a signage!– ….had one very small area of healthy snacks, completely surrounded by bags of unhealthy snacks. The produce area is surrounded by cookies and cakes on one side and a fast food cafe on the

    But things are getting better. People should know that many store managers DO read letters filled with suggestions, requests and ideas from intelligent shoppers. Introduce yourself to the produce manager–they usually want to sell you the best stuff. They generally like to chat with customers about their depts.

  3. Val says:

    Usually the posts here hit home with me, but I was strangely unsympathetic to the grocery store dilemma (except the part about the awful, rotten produce, that was horrible). I’m at a point right now where I’m steadily losing new weight (after gaining 18 pounds and finally taking it off) and I seem to have hit a point where I’m not even really interested in eating garbage, no wonder how good it feels or tastes. This is a nice place to be in, and I hope it lasts. I also hope it finds you — Since I’ve been looking for this place for a long time and never really found it before, I think it must have found me as opposed to me finding it. (smile)

  4. Greta says:

    My favorite “ordinary” grocery store does a complete food rearrangement about once every 3 years so even if I stick with the same store I am stuck shopping in a new store. I just finally figured out where things are following the last redo. About the time of the last redo, a Whole Foods opened up in town, so after the last remodel I moved the majority of my business to Whole Foods. Then I wrote a letter to the grocery store and told them why I was leaving. I still have to stop back there for cat food and cleaning supplies but not much food. When I am totally “together” and everything is going well, grocery store temptations don’t tempt me. When I am in a weak mode then it can be a problem.

  5. Zsuzsa says:

    Be strong, people… I find these tactics natural now…

  6. Quinn says:

    I learned long ago to never, NEVER go into a grocery store without a list of what I am to buy. Because otherwise I’ll walkout with half the store in my shopping cart, but not a single thing that I actually needed.

    Also, those super-stores? Waaaaaaay too big for me! Doesn’t matter how huge the “selection” is if I can’t find what i went in for without traveling all over the store!

  7. london slimmer says:

    I’ve said this before on this site, but guys, if you can, I can’t recommend more abandoning shops altogether and shopping at the farmer’s market. I buy all my perishables there: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, bread, fruit and vegetables, even ready-made soups and meals when it’s going to be an especially busy week (made by a lovely French woman in her kitchen without any strange ingredients). I go to a little health food store once a week just to buy toilet paper and things of that kind (the health food store is also stuffed with ‘healthy’ organic and fair-traded chocolates and other temptations, incidentally). I haven’t set food in a supermarket for nearly a year and, believe me, I don’t miss it. It feels so much better to eat healthy, seasonal food and not be tempted by crap.

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