Impulse control in the supermarket

Postdate: 14 July 2016

When you are buying your groceries, you are already thinking about healthy food. But at the supermarket, you will find temptations and attractive discounts lurking around, and you run the risk of being a lot less rational than you wanted to be. This is often visible in impulse purchases. Therefore, the best advice is: don't go shopping when you are tired or hungry.

Unconscious emotions
Marketers like to capitalise on unconscious emotions of customers. This is not big news, but it is a process that is now more deeply anchored in our society. Especially because you may think that you are no longer or not sensitive to colour, smells and sound. Yet, the temptations are everywhere: at the cashier, you usually find a rack with chocolate bars, because you always have to wait in line. Cosmetics and dairy are often at the back of the store, so you need to go through the whole store to get there. Another temptation trick are the premium brands, which are usually placed at eye level because they generate the most revenue. By being aware of the discounts for basic products (such as milk, toilet paper, detergents, and bread) you can avoid ending up with more products than planned, which will also cost you more money.

Limit the temptations
You can avoid coming home with more groceries than you had planned, you can make a clear weekly planning at the start of the week which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And don't forget your snacks! This will keep you focused when you get your groceries. It is also good to do your shopping once a week at a fixed moment, preferably in the morning. This will limit the temptation to buy more. Another tip is to adjust your supermarket route to the outer aisles. Here, you usually find fruits and vegetables and dairy: these are the essential products that are the basis for a healthy diet.

In the end, you can use many of these tips at the supermarket, but the most important step is the one taken before. Fatigue and hunger are the two things to avoid when you go shopping: they reduce your willpower.

'Good habits result from resisting temptation'

diet     emotions     impulse control     supermarket     temptations     tips    

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