Do you ever see those signs hanging on the aisles in supermarkets and see how you can get the last three last things you need without going to the start of a terrible race?
If you have something like most, you can start shopping in an orderly manner. With rigorous determination you create it through the “decompression zone” – any man’s land with candles and wicker baskets and lilies, carefully crafted by retailers to slow you down from street speed to shopper speed, which is the motherboard of freshness in the “market”.
You’re stuck around the “perimeter” of the store: tele, bakery and butcher shop and high-profit fringes. Then it becomes a little more random. Halfway through the break, you drop your trolley and make a U-turn around those “end cap” scenes that lure you to buy items that are not on your list. (What does a breakfast menu do next to a kettle ad?)
As the vague panic increases, you begin to look for types for some guidance and common sense – please tell me where the baking aisle is. After about 25 minutes in the supermarket we switch from rational to emotional decision making as retail designers evaluate (and they do a lot of inquiries about customers ’micro behaviors). This also gives us a greater chance of snatching a pocket of chocolate grapes located next to the eggs.
Foods – The way we see the basic groups of foods – Fruits, vegetables, grains, oils, milk and many more, are incredibly powerful. We mentally calculate the method of choosing the shopping list, family members and the situation of the day. Breakfast, Dick. Lunch boxes, dick. Dinner, Dick. The Food Safety Commission of Ireland has done some very interesting research on the nutritional content of foods in Irish supermarkets. It found that the majority of yogurt are not healthy choices, not breakfast cereals. The majority of “baby crumbs” were higher in saturated fat than adult “reduced fat” crumbs, while most baby biscuits were higher in sugar than plain digestible biscuits. Types can be deceptive and dangerous.
In the face of an obesity crisis that has caused hidden but systematic suffering and loss of life, the ban on junk food advertising for children, or the tax on sugar drinks or fast food outlets 100 m. From the school gates, but it is easy to see how healthy consumers are by sorting food items. If that action is taken, most breakfast cereals will appear in the snack aisle, most baked goods will appear in the dessert aisle, most yogurt will appear in the cold aisle, and those rusks will appear during the candy test. This may seem trivial, but accurate and explicit classification of food items is a major battle in the battle against obesity.
Because “cognitive classification” is a powerful phenomenon. Every object, every experience we have, is assigned to a category that is built into our minds over time. We respond to the world by putting things into categories, not by thinking of them as personal events. That’s why we don’t run into every single person on Cropton Street we’ve ever seen, and we are amazed at their uniqueness. We scan the environment: “person”, “person”, “person”, “shop”, “person”, “trash can” and so on. These “heuristics” form the backbone of consumer behavior and marketing theory.
When we work hard to create sophisticated varieties in our minds, we outsource it and hand it over to food companies. Do you remember the orange juice Sunny Delight? It started with a multi-million pound marketing campaign in the United Kingdom in the late 1990s, which soon became one of the world’s best-selling drinks. It has been established as a healthy alternative to busy drinks. In its advertisements, the mother would store the refrigerator with Sunny D so that when the children and their friends came to visit, they would see what a cool family they were. The central message is that the drink should be stored in the refrigerator. Things categorized as refrigerator-worthy are on the healthy high table.
But Sunny Tea is not technically a juice, it is a “citrus-fortified drink” – just 2 percent orange juice, high in fructose added to corn syrup and water. It can be on a supermarket shelf for years. But the meanings of the freshness provided by the refrigerator are firmly and subconsciously linked to it in our perceptual category of “healthy”. Most recently, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that the sugar content of subway sandwich bread should be classified as confectionery. The court case was considering whether subway bread should be VAT-exempt rather than consumers being confused or misled in their food choices. A decade ago there was a similar court case for Brinkles Crisp, whose potatoes, wheat starch, rice flour, sunflower and corn oil were filled with monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinates, turmeric and more than a dozen other ingredients? Chip ”, again for tax classification purposes.
Most of the processed food we eat is not of Thai nature, but is assembled in factories that include laboratory agents. The role of marketing is, in a deeper sense, to re-enchant an object. Marketing can re-enchant food by transforming it into emotionally powerful images (pastoral countryside, forest, woods, country kitchen or bakery). It is at the assorted level where most of the money and effort is spent by the makers of ultra-processed food.
Take the case of the recent European Parliament, which rejected the meat lobby’s attempts to ban plant-based products using varieties such as “burger” or “sausage”. Its argument was basically confusing to the customer. In fact, it explains that the major battles for food and its consumption are not in its advertising, branding, celebrity endorsements or pricing, but in the most subtle and profound ways in which our perceptual segments are massaged. Food brands, supermarket retailers and industry lobby groups know this.
Meanwhile, the rest continue down the “grain” aisle, wondering where this is wrong.