4 Ways Grocery Stores May Be Tricking You Into Buying Food You Don't Want

grocery cartBy now, many of us know all the sneaky tactics grocery stores use to lure us into buying junk food we know we shouldn't buy. But did you know -- at some grocery stores something even more sinister lurks. Some stores are actually tricking shoppers into buying HEALTHY FOOD. (Horror flick scream!) NO! Yes. Innocent, unsuspecting shoppers are being lured away from the neon-colored sodas and the radioactive-orange cheese puffs and toward the (shudder) dreaded produce aisle. What are these devious tricks, and how can you outsmart them?


1. Mirrors in your shopping cart. Now that's just mean. There you are, reaching for that bag of cookies, when you happen to look down and see your big face, all puffy from refined sugars and grains. The traumatizing shame spiral forces you to get your sugar fix with bananas and strawberries, which aren't even crunchy. Oh the horror.

2. Passive-aggressive duct tape. At some stores, your grocery cart is divided by bright yellow duct tape and a note telling you to fill the first half with fruits and vegetables. What are you, my mother?!?

3. Big, green arrows. Shoppers habitually head to the right when they enter a grocery store, away from the produce aisle. But when researchers placed big mats with green arrows pointing to the produce section, shoppers go there instead. Like the leek-eating lemmings that we are.

4. Peer pressure. Some grocery carts actually tell you how many fruits and vegetables the other shoppers are buying. So basically you feel like a total loser if you're under-cucumbered relative to the other shoppers. Great. As if the pressure to get a smartphone weren't enough, now we have to keep up with everyone else's celery consumption.

These are real-life tactics some researchers used on unsuspecting customers to try and get them to make healthier choices at the grocery store. And they actually worked. What else could they do to us? I shudder to imagine.

  • Funhouse mirrors in the soda aisle.
  • Scales you have to step on in order to open the ice cream freezer doors.
  • A hologram of Gwyneth Paltrow's disapproving scowl that appears every time you reach for pork bacon.
  • A sad trombone sounds loudly and a spotlight shines on you every time you pick up anything high in sodium.

I just have one question. So we're tricked into buying all those fresh fruits and vegetables. Then what, huh? Who's gonna make me cook and eat it all?!?

Do you think these tricks would work on you?


Image via Corey Balazalwich/Flickr

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