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I Don't Understand Modern Grocery Stores

Saturday, May 24, 2014

I know there are a lot more products than there used to be, so the stores have to be bigger. I enjoy the bigger variety of produce, but the packaged foods seem to be crowding out the basics.

Why are the same products in multiple areas? There is basmati rice in the Asian section, short grain rice in the Latin section, and all of them in an American section. It's all rice.

I couldn't find the peanut butter at my local Harris Teeter, only to be told it's with the bread. Really? Is that the only use for peanut butter?

It seems that barley is now in the soup section. It used to be just another grain.

The horseradish that used to be with the refrigerated condiments is now in the fish section. Most applications for horseradish don't involve fish.

Canned tomatoes aren't a vegetable, I gather, but in the pasta section.

The new arrangement may be helpful for people strolling the store looking for inspiration (a dangerous idea to me!), but for those of us with a plan and a list, it is quite the hunt.

Maybe that's the point: if you have to cruise the entire store looking for something, other items will jump into your cart.

Someone must see organization in what looks to me like chaos. I must be getting old.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow! Lots of replies. I agree with everybody but sometimes I imagine what it would be like to own a business. If I did, I would want it to be successful.
    It would be naive to think that we are not being managed left, right and centre and not just by grocery chains.
    "Buyer Beware!"
    Let's continue to make our own decisions, as much as possible.
    I do believe that some manufacturers are responding to some public outcry and creating better products, or at least less damaging. Our Nova Scotia-owned supermarket chain is selling Jamie Oliver products and I've loved what I've sampled so far.
    1454 days ago
  • BRADMILL2922
    It can be a real pain!
    1457 days ago
    emoticon I am right there with you!
    1458 days ago
    So true! It's not about organization at all! It's about getting us to buy more stuff.
    1458 days ago
    We move frequently, and trying to learn new grocery stores and their idiosyncrasies is one of the joys of moving. Why would you put pancake mix here, but bis quick over there?
    1459 days ago
    I have the same issue when I go to buy a certain magazine at the bookstore. Every time I have to look through all sections because the one I buy is placed in a different area every time. I was told that the publisher tells them where to place it.

    It is OnFitness, a personal trainer magazine, and I have found it in the food section, running section, men's interest, women's fitness. It is never in the same spot. I suppose next time I will find it in the travel section (lol)
    1459 days ago
    Thanks for the great blog. As others have suggested, there is nothing random in the arrangement of a grocery store. My wife's cousin is in marketing and designs grocery store displays. She says that with some strategic placement, a grocery store can sell more high-dollar name brand items rather than identical "economy" brands.

    She also says that people in different regions have very different buying habits. She studies demographics and knows people with young families are different shoppers than retirees.

    I have a come to believe that is something does not appear make sense - follow the money!

    1459 days ago
    emoticon It is a marketing ploy so you may pick up other things. Annoying but think of it as getting extra steps.
    1459 days ago
    I think you got it right that it's not about organization at all, but making us walk around and buy more stuff on impulse.
    1459 days ago
    I used to think that as time went by, routine tasks like grocery shopping would continue to get simpler, easier and smarter. Instead there are simply more opportunities to buy products I don't want or need. It's not chaos, it's just marketing techniques in action.
    1459 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Like the others, I believe they do it to get shoppers to buy more...."power of suggestion" No matter what goes on in a store of any kind the bottom line is $$$. How sad.

    I know I am getting old...and I would not want to be one day younger in this world...
    1459 days ago
    1459 days ago
  • SHERYLP461
    Stores do this periodically, just to be sure they get you down every isle. I worked in one just our of high school, they call it a breakdown and actually schedule it out of the corporate office.
    Trick number one, do not by processed foods
    1459 days ago
    emoticon it does seem as though the store you talked about is trying this out on the unsuspecting public --- "Maybe that's the point: if you have to cruise the entire store looking for something, other items will jump into your cart."

    Our area grocery stores aren't quite that bad; however, at times we are left wondering the whys of the choice of placement for some products.

    God bless!

    1460 days ago
    Their plan is definitely for us to buy more by hunting for what we come there to buy!
    1460 days ago
    It takes longer to grocery shop now. There is a plan for us to buy items that we do not need. Everytime one of our stores remodels; it is more confusing.
    1460 days ago
    I definitely think it's not that you are getting old! I agree that stores shift things around to make hunt for what's on your list and maybe you'll make an impulse purchase of the thing that's next to it on the shelf. Warehouse stores like Costco make no bones that they operate to give shoppers a "treasure hunt."
    1460 days ago
    so true
    1460 days ago
    If you're getting old, me too. I know what I want to buy and it's getting harder and harder to find it with this new and random organizational approach. Please: put the veggies in one place. The grains in another. And so on. Thank you! (And: get me outta there faster. Shopping is not entertainment for me, neither is eating!!)
    1460 days ago
  • DR1939
    Stores reorganize on a regular basis in order to get you to spend more time there. More time spent in the store = more impulse items purchased.
    1460 days ago
    No doubt it was arranged by a man! What do they know?
    1460 days ago
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