Friday, February 27, 2009

Tips Straight from the Grocer

Tips Straight from the GrocerMy wife and I will go to the grocery this afternoon. We actually do not set a regular day when to go. We just find a common time and we just go. And our grocery list contains only the most important stuff to make through to the next trip to the grocery. We don't list items that we don't need, but that does not mean we don't buy them...

Recently, we found out that the most popular grocery is not necessarily popular because of its price. We were shocked when we discovered that for exactly the same items, the biggest supermarket here in the Philippines (clue: initials S and M) actually has far higher prices than the other lesser known supermarkets.

We think location and convenience are big factors for most people in choosing which supermarket to go to. But for us, we obviously go to the one with the lower prices. The small differences in price accumulate into a huge amount when you look at it in the long run.

Readers Digest has compiled some Tips from the Grocer that would help us become smarter at the supermarket. It is written from the point of view of the grocer, addressing the shopper how to make their grocery trips more effective.

13 Things Your Grocer Won't Tell You
Get smarter about grocery shopping. These tips could change your family eating habits.

By Adam Bluestein and Lauren Gniazdowski
From Reader's Digest


1. If you hate crowds and lines, shop at dinnertime (5 to 9 p.m.) or even later. Only 4 percent of shoppers hit the aisles between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Least-crowded day of the week? Wednesday.

2. Go ahead and reach way back for the fresh milk. Everybody does.

3. Coupons with a bar code are easy to scan. The other ones take an eternity. But if you're willing to wait …

4. That star fruit has been here a lot longer than the broccoli. Familiar produce turns over more quickly than exotic things.

5. "The more products you see, the more you are likely to buy," says Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat. "That's why the aisles are so long and the milk is usually in the far corner."

6. Like employees with a good attitude? Shop at chains that are employee-owned, suggest customer-satisfaction surveys. When employees have a stake in the profits, it shows in their attitude.

7. The "grazers" order food at the deli, eat it as they're shopping, and get rid of the wrappers before they check out. We also call that stealing.
8. I'm not just selling groceries, I'm selling real estate. Look high and low-literally-for good values from smaller manufacturers who can't afford to stock their products in the eye-level sweet spot.

9. We're marketing to your kids too. That's why we put the rainbow-colored cereals and other kiddie catnip at their eye level.

10. Be wary of "specials." When people see signs with numbers-"8 for $10!" "Limit: 5 per customer"—they buy 30 to 100 percent more than they otherwise might have.

11. The baby formula is locked up because thieves resell it on the black market. Ditto for the cough and cold medications, smoking-cessation products, razor blades, and batteries.

12. Driving your Ferrari to the Piggly Wiggly and want to avoid shopping-cart dents? Park far, far away.

13. You'll end up tossing 12 percent of what you buy.

Sources: Maurice Nizzardo, former supermarket executive in Connecticut; David J. Livingston, an industry consultant; Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating; and others. Interviews by Adam Bluestein and Lauren J. Gniazdowski.


16 More Tips From Your Grocer

Get smarter at the supermarket with these tips from grocers.

From Reader's Digest

1. "Don't buy anything with more than five ingredients (too processed), with ingredients you can’t pronounce (too processed), with anything artificial (tastes bad), with a cartoon on it (direct marketing to children), or with a health claim (misleading)," says Nestle.

2. Paper? Plastic? We don't really care. But asking us to double-bag…that's just wasteful.

3. Dig and reach for the freshest produce. Older merchandise gets pushed to the front of the bin and spread across the top to encourage customers to take it first.

4. This isn't a social service agency. "The purpose of grocery stores is to get you to buy more food, not less," says Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat (North Point Press). Only 14% of consumers overall stick to just the items on their shopping list.

5. Very few people really like the "loyalty card" program, and it's expensive for us to run.

6. Attention, shoppers: Don't start your shopping just as we're closing. We just want to leave. It's been a long day.

7. Watch out for gimmicks. They are intended to get you into a store more frequently and to keep you away from competitors.

8. The person who supervises it all has a tough job; they're just a big babysitter.

9. Thanksgiving is our least favorite holiday.

10. Bring back your recyclable cans and bottles, but please rinse them out first. Leaving soda inside is unsanitary and we find it disgusting.

11. Signs of a store in trouble: Stocking fewer perishable items, storing non-perishables in refrigerated cases to make them look full, and "dummying up" shelves with empty boxes. If we were offering the best prices and highest quality, wouldn't there be more people shopping here?

12. I'm not getting rich here. After-tax net profit for the grocery industry is less than 2 percent, and by the end of 2013, the Food Marketing Institute, an industry group, predicts annual average wages will be just $18,000.

13. If you get in the 10 items or less line with 25 items, don't be surprised if you are asked to leave. If you have 12 items, not many people will care.

14. Watch those shopping-cart handles. They're covered in bacteria, says food-safety consultant Jeff Nelken. Use a sanitary wipe if the store provides them. Finicky shoppers can even patronize supermarkets that send their carts through a cart wash.

15. Skip the center aisles. That's where you'll find the junk food, like sodas and snack foods.

16. Check sizes. "Manufacturers are constantly trying to repackage things to make them sound like a better deal," says David Livingston, a supermarket industry consultant. "Some new peanut butter containers may look the same, but look closely and you'll see they actually have less peanut butter inside. Ninety-five percent of customers don't watch this kind of stuff."

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Important Privacy Notice:
Starting May, Google will have access to your internet usage via a cookie. This cookie will help Google provide the most appropriate ads for my blog, and any other website using Google Adsense, basing on your internet history. For example, if you frequent websites about Blogging, Health and Fitness, or Personal Finance, Google will show health or finance related ads in my blog, and any other website using Google Adsense. The reasoning is that you will be more interested in these ads and will help you find what you are possibly looking for.

For more information about these changes and how it affects our privacy, go to Google Privacy Center. Also, if you think these changes are not acceptable for you, there is a blue "opt out" button you can click. If you opt out, you will still see Google ads in my blog, but they will be based on the content of my posts, not on your personal internet history.

Please take time to read more. Whatever you do, make sure you understand the effects to your privacy.

  © Blogger template 'External' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP