Grocery Store Confessions: 19 Ways They Manipulate You


If you truly wish to become a much smarter grocery shopper, you will need to recognize all of the ways that grocery stores secretly (as well as not-so-secretly) manipulate you into purchasing more products than you actually need.

As you read through all of these “Grocery Store Confessions,” you will be armed against the tricks, and ultimately equipped with the facts you need in order to protect yourself from the mass manipulation.

Are you ready to find out all of the ways that grocery stores have confessed to manipulating buyers?

1. Huge margin item pairings


What the aisle will say: “If you’re getting chips, you’ll also need salsa, too. Might as well purchase them together…and in bulk amounts.”

2. Placing fresh goods directly in the front area of their store


That fresh aroma of baking bread is often enough to have you throwing out your perfectly planned grocery list. For this reason, hitting shoppers with a sensory overload upon entry is a very intentional action. It makes shoppers salivate and become hungry, and this means you might end up purchasing more than what you intended to.

3. Hanging out wobbly signs


The signs are for redirecting the shoppers’ attention to wherever the owners of the store want you to look.



  1. Actually I work in a grocery store and I’ve seen a lot of this personally. Yes we constantly reset so you have to look for the particular cat food you want. Yes we have our bakery close enough to the doors to drive the cashiers crazy when they start baking cookies. One it didn’t cover here is store brands. Most people don’t realize that stores often have more than one ‘brand’ and that in some cases those brands are fairly expensive.