PEORIA, Illinois – Investigative journalists here at Immediate Safety have uncovered a grand conspiracy concerning the placement of produce in grocery stores and supermarkets. This conspiracy goes all the way to the top of the grocery industry and involves some of the biggest families in grocery. What we’ve uncovered is shocking, so brace yourselves to have your minds blown.
It has long been known that human psychology, confirmation bias, and our tendency to operate in herds with a herd mentality make us easy to manipulate. We know that sex sells and that children respond to bright colors and movement. We know that certain colors appeal to certain genders, and that eye level is the best place to put the items you want to sell most. We also know that guilt is a great motivator. Don’t believe us? Just watch the Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA videos and see if you don’t feel like immediately adopting all the cute little puppies.
How does guilt relate to where produce is located? Simple. We all know that fruits and vegetables are healthy, and when we walk past them we feel guilty for not having any in our cart. Once we have some, however, we feel far less guilty about the rest of the absolute junk in the supermarket. Try it next time you shop. Start in the chip and soft-drink aisle. Work your way through the store, and take note of the number of items in your cart that aren’t on your list when you have no healthy food in your cart. After that, head over to the produce aisle and see how you do. Abandon that cart and start over in the produce aisle. Now that you see healthy food in your cart, you’ll be far more likely to load up on chips, soft drinks, and all of the sundry junk in the center.
We all know that if you want to stay healthy, you stick to the outside of the store. Start with vegetables, move to meats, finish in dairy and go home. You can literally skip the entire center of the store and the end caps, and you’ll be fine, provided you can ignore the candy and gum. The people who laid out the supermarket, however, are inside your head. All the tinfoil in the foil aisle can’t keep them out. They know what motivates you to buy, and they have arranged it to make you buy all the crap you don’t need because you’re not guilty about the vegetables.
Once the vegetables are in your cart, your brain is satisfied that you’re dedicated to eating healthy. This releases dopamine, which makes us feel good. When we feel good, we buy whatever strikes our fancy. The monologue in your brain is essentially, “Wow, those Cheetos look awesome. Screw it, I’m getting them. I already bought kale.” The worst part of it is, there’s a tiny voice in your head that you can’t hear saying, “But you know that kale is going into the crisper and you won’t see it again until the bag is a soupy, green water-balloon.” That voice is so quiet, though, it gets drowned out by the grocery store announcement that someone is offering free samples of deep-fried mayonnaise balls, stuffed with cheesecake, and breaded with Oreo cookies. You know that’s why you go to the grocery store on the weekend when they’re offering samples. You’re still getting the Cheetos and the mayonnaise balls, and the cookies.
Now that you know this truth, what are you going to do? We’ll tell you what you’re going to do. Nothing. It’s so much easier to shop the way they laid it out that you’re going to keep doing it the way they want you to, knowing full well that you’re getting fatter and will be complaining about it on Facebook every month from now until they amputate your diabetic foot.