INSIDE EDITION Investigates Supermarket Secrets
Do you ever rush into the grocery store for just a few items, but you end up buying a whole lot more?
INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero spoke to a supermarket insider who showed her some of the things stores do to help you fill up your basket.
Grocery store designer Tom Phillips said his goal is to get customers to see, smell and taste freshness the moment they walk in the door.
He showed INSIDE EDITION around one of the grocery stores he designed in Portland, Oregon.
"The first thing I notice is fresh flowers and plants," Guerrero said to Phillips as they walked inside the store. "Then I see cinnamon rolls. There are samples immediately when you hit the door."
"There are an abundance of samples throughout the store," Phillips told Guerrero. He said samples offer people an opportunity to try new things they wouldn't normally buy.
That's not the only thing grocery stores use to grab customers attention. They also use special light bulbs, called "3000 Spectrum."
"One thing I'm noticing is the lighting," Guerrero said as she walked through the prepared food aisle. "Look how beautiful these lights make the pizza look. It's camera ready."
Phillips showed us how the special lighting works by holding a grapefruit under the light of a "3000 Spectrum" bulb versus an average light bulb.
Under the normal light, the grapefruit looked dull. When compared to the light from a "3000 Spectrum" bulb, the color of the grapefruit brightens and stands out.
And, have you ever noticed that popular brands are always at eye level on store shelves? That's actually a supermarket strategy known as the "Rectangle of Profit." "It's about 18 inches off the floor, to about 66 inches above the floor and it is 48 inches wide," Phillips explained. Top-selling brands fight to be in the "Rectangle of Profit" because it's the first place consumers look.
What about those staple items we need everyday, like bread and milk? INSIDE EDITION found they're usually not found side by side.
"I'm where the bread is," Guerrero said standing in the bakery aisle. "But, I can't even see where the milk from here."
They're separated to make you walk all the way to the other side of the store. That way, you experience new items like in-store coffee shops, fresh salad bars, a new, growing feature – wine selections.
Consumer expert Andrea Woroch said by knowing some of these little-known facts about supermarkets, customers can save money.
She said if you've got the time to cook, avoid buying prepared foods. "When you buy the ingredients yourself and cook it yourself, you can save up to 60%," Woroch said.
She said shoppers should enjoy the experience, but be prepared. "If you go to the store with a shopping list, you're less likely to make those impulse purchases, and use a small basket instead of a cart. You're less likely to fill it up with what you don't need."