Grocery store choice architecture

From the Chicago Tribune:

“There’s a reason why produce and often the bakery are the first sections you hit,” Underhill explained. “First of all, the produce section tends to be lit theatrically, so that everything looks better in the store than it ever will when you get it home. Almost every supermarket knows that if they can get your saliva glands working, you will tend to buy more. So there’s a reason why the bakery is up front, or the flowers are up front.”

The dairy case is usually way in the back as a way to pull the shopper as deeply into the store as possible.

“The dairy section has both the highest number of … shoppers and historically has the highest conversion rate,” Underhill said. “There are very few people that go look at milk and not buy it.”

So on your way to getting the milk, you walk through the middle of the store 5 — historically where the tougher-to-sell items are displayed — past jumbo olives and potato chips that you had no intention of buying. But seeing them on the shelves …

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  • Moktarama

    It’s nice to make international comparisons : in France, if we do also find milk and bottled water in the back, the main thing used to make the shopper pass in front of less efficient products is alcohol. Liquors and wines are systematically in the back, even more than milk (those sections often being adjacent) . And culture and hygiene are often in front, not bakery or flowers…