Grocery Store Secrets: Dissecting the supermarket layout to keep you on budget

If you find yourself spending a lot of time and money at the grocery store, it could be the store's layout! So, we're dissecting the supermarket to keep you on budget!

HOUSTON – If you find yourself spending a lot of time and money at the grocery store, it could be the store's layout!

So, we're dissecting the supermarket to keep you on budget!

Step into some grocery stores and what looks like a work of art is really science at work!

The first area you enter is the "decompression zone" because it's designed to elevate your mood. Usually you'll find a coffee shop, a bakery and fresh flowers.

"Flowers will keep us in an upbeat mood as opposed to let's say laundry soap" said University of Houston Marketing Professor Dr. Betsy Gelb. "I can't think of a single store that isn't paying attention to what you see first."

Even though it's cheaper and more convenient to have bread delivered, there's nothing more inviting than the smell of baked goodies wafting through the store.

Next, you'll find the produce section that is clean, colorful and eye-pleasing. Psychology has taught us that red catches the eye, blue promotes trust, and yellow makes us hungry!

"It's inviting," admitted Maca Ferguson. "I have to think about that the next time I go in the grocery store."

There's also science at play on the shelf. What's called the bulls-eye or "thigh to eye" zone is directly in front of the average shopper.

"Whatever brands of this product category will be the most profitable for them are the ones that will be at eye level," said Dr. Gelb.

Most specialty brands are on the top shelf and store brands on the bottom.

We can't forget about items that appeal to children. Stores know to place them in their line of vision too.

There's also a reason that you'll find staples in the center of the store and dairy products in the very back.

Stores want to expose you to plenty of nonessential products along the way so you leave with more than just milk!

"It's fair to say this is not sinister," Dr. Gelb explained. "They're thinking about what they call unplanned purchases."

Consumer experts suggest as much as two-thirds of what we put in our shopping carts, we didn't intend to get.

"Every now and again, I will find something on sale that I might not need right now but get" Ferguson admitted.

Knowing some of these secrets might help you stay on course!

Now, we want to hear about YOUR secrets!

Tell us what you do to cut costs by posting on the KHOU Facebook page or tweet KHOU. Be sure to use the hashtag #savemoneyhouston.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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